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January 30, 2008

Adventures with Ethiopian food

We're talking dream date compared to my horror. It started out fine, she's a very nice person, and we're sitting and we're talking at this Ethiopian restaurant that she wanted to go to. And I was making jokes, you know like, 'Hey I didn't know that they had food in Ethiopia? This will be a quick meal. I'll order two empty plates and we can leave.' Yeah, nothing from her not even a smile." ~ Harry Burns from When Harry Met Sally
Growing up Billy Crystal's quip was my first hearings of Ethiopian food and then there was the remake of Sabrina, which made the African food look romantic as Harrison Ford and Julia Ormond ate their meal with their fingers during a dinner date. Since living in L.A., I've passed a part of town called "Little Ethiopia" several times and was eager to finally try the cuisine and have a legitimate excuse to eat with my hands. So, I had Raphael take me after he assured me that the food wasn't spicy. Liar! It was spicy, nothing too extreme, but it was making my nose water by the end of it. It's also rather gooey and honestly like nothing I've ever tasted before.

Technically you don't really eat with your fingers though. You take a piece of their cold sponge-like bread "injera" and use that to scoop up the seasoned and mushy veggies, beef, lamb and chicken mounds. According to our menus a true Ethiopian has the cleanest fingers afterwards, I guess I'm disqualified because I still had to use my fingers to contain the meat inside the bread, which I tried to pretend was a tortilla and not the tasteless pancakes that it really was.


The restaurant, Rosalind's, also lacked the charming vision I had of dark lights and small round tables seen in Sabrina, especially since it had bright lighting, big tables and only small wicker ones for show. The hostess also looked at me like I was nuts when I asked her not to include curry on the lamb since I'm allergic. In the end, it was an experience though, the food wasn't terrible, just not my style. And since I was still hungry after I left, I hit the Carl's Jr. drive-thru for their six-dollar burger afterwards, yum! Now that's a patty.

11 comments

  1. I've never tried Ethiopian food but have always wanted to. I had no idea that everything was mushy. I'm very big on the texture of foods, so that might be a problem for me!

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  2. I am open to new foods, but the presentation doesn't make it look appetizing. I was going to ask about the curry. Good thing you told them. I bet you smelled it immediately when you walked in.

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  3. You crack me up. I would have been disappointed that it didn't look like it did in Sabrina, too.

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  4. I've always wanted to try Ethiopian food, it looks so interesting. Glad you liked it!

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  5. Your first paragraph is really not cool at all. Better remove it.

    For all Ethiopian restaurants, you might want to check out this Ethiopian Portal site:

    http://www.EthioPortal.com

    The restaurants link is found at the top right corner.

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  6. Of course you'll choose transfatty, artificial globs of mess over REAL food. Of course you'll shun ethnic cuisine because all you've ever had in your life is McDonald's. This is why you're fat.

    I wish you were more enlightened.

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  7. To Anonymous': The first paragraph is a quote from the film When Harry Met Sally, not me and as I say in the second paragraph it was my first introduction to Ethiopian food. I also like ethnic food, my father was an Italian chef from Italy afterall, I just didn't like Ethiopian food, chill. And yes, I like McDonalds and fast foods, but I'm hardly fat. I wish you were more enlightened too.

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  8. I always feel bad when I don't like new cuisines, like I'm lame. Glad I'm in good company because Ethopian has never done much for me.

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  9. TransFAT lady,
    Get the fact that Ethiopian food doesn't have curry and also transfatty.

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  10. CalTechDude, the lamb did in fact have curry, so get that fact. Also, I don't give a crap about calories, transfat, yada yada, I eat what I like.

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  11. I am open to new foods, but the presentation doesn't make it look appetizing. I was going to ask about the curry.

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