Little Ethiopia inhabits the block of Fairfax just south of Olympic Blvd. We have explored all the restaurants and tiny markets, enjoying many tasty meals, but our hearts and tastebuds keep calling us back to Awash just a short drive west on Pico Blvd.
The location and atmosphere are convenient and basic with consistent high quality, exotically spiced and exceptionally well prepared food that leaves us saying, “This is great food,” every time we dine here.
We always begin with the Ethiopian tea and its secret brew of spices served alongside a bag of Lipton tea. You can choose to add the tea bag or drink the spiced tea straight, either way you get a solid, warm taste of this African nations bounty.
For those not familiar with Ethiopian food, it is eaten with the hands or rather with the bread, which looked to us like a giant handy wipe the first time we saw it. But the large, round pancake-shaped injera is actually the eating tool and the edible plate. Its spongy texture and mild sourdough essesence play well against the flavorful dishes. We became addicted on our third visit and now crave this teff based staple of Ethiopian cuisine. The injera served here is a mix of teff and flour but the full gluten free teff version is now provided in many Ethiopian restaurants for an additional fee.
The meal is served communal style on a large round of injera. The vegetarian plate includes a tangy green salad spiked with jalapeño slices, garlic kissed spinach, potato and carrot melange, yellow and red lentil stews as well as a red pepper based puree and a cool mint green horseradish dish that always takes our breath away it’s so unique and satisfying.
The stews, meats, vegetables and salad are all scooped up with small pieces ripped from the fermented injera and the entire package is popped into the mouth, a delicious and ingenious system that keeps the fingers clean and the palate stimulated.
We are bowled over by everything on the menu and last time fell in love with the grilled chicken served with rice and salad which captures the smoky flavors of the grill along with exotic Ethiopian spices pulling everything together in four juicy, plump butterflied chicken legs.
For those who love Ethiopian food or anyone up for a heathy and mouth watering cuisine, Awash is just the ticket.
Awash Restaurant, 5990 1/2 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90035 Phone number – 323-939-3233