Little Ethiopia – Los Angeles

Of all Los Angeles’ little ethnic neighborhoods one that I most regret spending the least amount of time in is Little Ethiopia. I’d always cruise through the little area using Fairfax Ave as a way to weave in and out of city traffic. On a good day free of work and school, I would have pulled over and gazed into the shop windows or gone inside to make small-talk with the retailer, but these days were always few. So instead I kept my foot on the gas looking sadly out the window towards little Addis Ababa styled stores and restaurants. My heart would beat fast.

My interest in visiting Ethiopia one day is as genuine as visiting the other twenty plus countries on my growing list, but in the meanwhile I’ve got to learn to take advantage of the small finds tucked inside this melting pot of a country. There is a lot to learn and a lot to find on the tiny strip. For language enthusiasts kick back in a cafe and listen to the sounds of Amharic and Tigrinya, the two main languages of the country. The piece found here at Urban Mozaik appears a tad dated, but has a great handful of suggestions if you’re hungry for the cuisine. Merkato provides a more hands on experience to dining, while Nyala has a more Western one. If cold beer is the only thing on your mind, swing by for Harrar at Rosalind’s and Messob. Of all things I can promise you this – a stroll down the sidewalks of Little Ethiopia might not be far off L.A.’s beaten track, but it will be far more culturally enlightening than Hollywood Blvd.