The place was Rosalind's Ethiopian Restaurant on Fairfax Avenue in the midst of a lively collection of restaurants and shops known as Little Ethiopia. The meal was a relaxed Sunday lunch.
There were no individual plates and no utensils. But if you've eaten Ethiopian food, you know that you eat with your hands, scooping up the food with pieces of injera, a spongy, sourish bread made with teff flour (above). If you like the bread, you can buy readymade injera and also teff flour at a market nearby.
One of the main dishes in the center of the platter is yedoro wot--chicken stewed with red pepper sauce, onion, garlic and gingerroot and spiced with nutmeg and cardamom. It sounds so interesting, but to be honest, I couldn't pick up the flavors, perhaps because the chicken mingled with the other main dish, a lamb stew called yebeg siga alicha, seasoned with garlic, ginger and turmeric.
Rosalind's is bright and colorful, with African art on the walls and African fabric wrapped around posts supporting thatched roofs that give you the illusion of eating in a rustic hut (above). There's a bar too, if you want to spike your meal with something alcoholic. You can see it on the left, through the arches that line the dining area.
Rosalind's Ethiopian Restaurant, 1044 S. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90019. Tel: (323) 936-2486.