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Ethiopian Food in Little Ethiopia

July 29th, 2012

Arizona is one of the few states blessed with Ethiopian Food.  Zemam’s in Tucson is best of class!  They have high standards of cleanliness in a slightly run-down building.  Also the tiny but amazing Babylon market gets the surplus Injera from Zemam’s so we can grab some and make our own meal!  Phoenix has a couple that are not impressive, Lallibella is a vegetarian place with more traditional decor.  Below is the Ethiopian Alphabet.  Seems way too complicated for the amount of words in the language.

Ethiopian Alphabet on skin.

We were also blessed with the opportunity to visit Little Ethiopia in Los Angeles.  Like Little Tokyo and other cultural minority areas, Little Ethiopia seems to be drying up and moving away.  There were basically a handful of stores on one street about a city block long.  We got lentils and Injera from each one as a sample. Here are our findings compared to Zemam’s:


Location Impression
Messab Second Hand Smoke permeated the room. Lentils at 9.50 were not edible. Injera was bland.
Rahel Veggie Injera was way too sour. Lentils at 10.70 were more of a soup, not pleasant.
Nyala Tried Kik Wat and split peas. They were watered with potato and had bland Injera. Lentils were 11.00
Little Ethiopia Injera lacked a sour edge. Dark but not overcooked, possibly better Teff used? The lentils were good, and had spice. Garbanzos were undercooked and the chicken not edible. Doro 12 dollars, Kik 5.00
Rosalind’s Injera was better than the others. Undercooked collards and the lentils tasted weak, but acceptable. Chickpeas were too oily. We tried a veggie sampler. The meatballs were scary. Overcharged Dinner prices at Lunch time.


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