Thursday, April 16, 2009

In Memory of Fassica: Rosalind's Little Ethiopia

I'm still mourning the loss of my beloved Fassica, the best Ethiopian restaurant in town. As a coping mechanism, I've decided to rediscover Little Ethiopia, the one block stretch of Fairfax Avenue south of Olympic filled with Ethiopian restaurants. About five years ago, I ate at all the Fairfax spots, but I stopped going when I discovered Fassica. Suddenly, all of them seemed to pale in comparison. But now, I need to deal with my loss and search for a new source of great Ethiopian food, so I will begin a project to visit each of the Ethiopian restaurants on Fairfax and see what I find, a project that may take some time, but hey, I'm in no rush. Today, we start with Rosalind's.

Rosalind's was never my favorite Ethiopian place, but I hadn't been in years, and I was pleasantly surprised. As I typically do, I ordered the vegetarian and meat combinations. The meal starts with a salad. The salad components are a fairly lackluster serving of lettuce and out of season tomatoes, but it is topped with a delightfully tart dressing with a strong dose of lime and salt.

In the veggie combination, the lentils were fairly standard, but the alicha (a stewed mix of cabbage, potato and carrots) was nicely flavored. The meat dishes were all very nice. The combination includes beef, chicken and lamb wots (stews), the beef and chicken were bathed in nicely spiced, traditional, thick sauces with intense, concentrated flavors of peppers, onions, garlic and spices. The lamb was stewed in a nice curry sauce. While the flavors were good, all of the dishes were overly greasy, and the injera was stiff and lacking in flavor. Overall, though, it was a good meal.

1044 S. Fairfax Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90019
(323) 936-2486


augustgarage said...

Looking forward to your opinions.

I've been to a few of these repeatedly and find the quality varies from visit to visit at the same place.

My favorite so far is probably Merkato (food generally as good or better than the others, but cheaper and a more relaxed atmosphere, especially on weeknights). I remember the salad being significantly better at Genet, but the menu seemed a bit overpriced.

If you see St. George beer on the menu (most of them have Harar, which is pretty enjoyable), please let me know. It is a strongly malted beer, out of all balance to its other ingredients, but I like it anyway.

The mead and coffee service offer unique experiences as well.

sku said...

Thanks AG. I haven't been to Merkato or any of the other places in years, but am looking forward to retrying them all. I will try Harar if I see it; my favorite Ethiopian beer is Hakim Stout, but I don't know how many of the Fairfax places carry it.

augustgarage said...

Oops, I meant Hakim, not Harar. Merkato has Hakim (though they seem to get their liquor license suspended periodically!)