Monday, August 06, 2007

Ethiopian Food in Beverly Hills

I spent an evening in Santa Monica last week with with a friend who I was meeting after a decade. We had worked together at Delhi a long time back. He has since moved to the US and recently made Beverly Hills his home.

Nyala Little Ethiopia Los AngelesHaving discovered that I blog about food, he wanted to take me to a place that was different from anything I have eaten before. We eventually settled on Ethiopian food (my first time!). Nyala is a family owned and operated Ethiopian restaurant that has been serving the Los Angeles area since 1988. Located in the Little Ethiopia area in Beverly Hills, this restaurant has since garnered considerable praise from many a local food critic.

Nyala Little Ethiopia Los AngelesIn the restaurant, a section for performing the traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony is reserved in the back across from the bar, and large and small tables are set tastefully around tropical flowers. Traditional Ethiopian dishes such as Dora Wot (marinated chicken), Kifto (sauteed beef), and Kik Alecha (split peas with onion and garlic and ginger) are available. All dishes are served with injera, a spongy Ethiopian bread, vegetables and salad.

Nyala Little Ethiopia Los AngelesWe were served an initial appetiser of what looked like bread sticks with hummus, but this one was spicier. I had ordered Yebeg Wot for my entree, which was lamb marinated in red wine and sauteed in seasoned butter, fresh onion, garlic, ginger, and seasoned red pepper sauce.

A spongy, flat sourdough bread (called injera) is spread on the plate over which the rest of the food is served. You use your fingers to tear off pieces of the bread which soaks the gravy to eat. It is actually fun, and for Indians like eating dosa but with gravy!

4 comments:

Sandeepa said...

I love Ethiopian food. The restaurant here serves a platter which can be shared by two people and has Injera with 5 diff side dishes.

Jitesh said...

Great stuff! Many years ago I got to eat a lot of Ethiopian food during a month-long stay in, of all places, Cairo (our cook was Ethiopian). That was some of the best food I had eaten.

Did you know the word Coffee originates from Caffa, a place in Ethiopia, where I believe coffee was 'discovered'.

Shantanu said...

@sandeepa: Seems like Ethiopian is among the only African food available at restaurants in the US. Have you seen food from any other African country in the US?

@Jitesh: Interesting!

Sig said...

I am a big fan of Ethiopian food too... it is so much fun to go as a big group.... getting a variety of dishes on a big platter of injira, and the injira gets socked up with all the different gravies... oh I am drooling here...
About other African cuisines here, we have some Moroccan restaurants too, though the cuisine is more Mediterranean inspired...