Here is a post from Liz, the author over at Yo Soy! the vegan blog of choice for Los Angeles. Well, at least the east side. She helped ring in The Food Monster's birthday.
When we asked The Food Monster what he wanted to do to celebrate his 24th year on the planet, he said all he wanted was to find an All-You-Can-Eat mecca. We all did a bit of research but didn't find anything that looked too appetizing (to my disbelief, I couldn't even find a decent looking all you can eat Indian buffet!!! Anyone know of a good one in town?! Preferably on the east side?). Further brainstorming brought us to the idea of Ethiopian Food. What better place to try Ethiopian for the first time than in Little Ethiopia?! With a little more research, we decided to make a rez for ten at Rosalind's.
Not all of the minions in our party were new to Ethiopian cuisine, but we still couldn't really figure out how the hell to order in a way that would satisfy everyone at the table. We ended up just having the waitress bring us three big sampler platters. While we waited, we ordered a couple bottles of vino, including a traditional Ethiopian honey wine which was crazy tasting. It was as if someone had emptied the entire contents of a plastic honey bear into the bottle and mixed in three or four drops of white wine. T'was definitely too sweet for me, but everyone else seemed to really enjoy it. As the food arrived, the vegetarians positioned themselves far from the carnivorous Food Monster and got to work chowing down on the veggie platter.
Ah but first there were the yam balls. This little app was basic but good enough--just balls of yam, lightly fried. Nothing to write home, or even blog, about. So on to the main digs...The platters each had a big huge crepe with dollops of various mushes which one eats with the bread that is provided. That's right baby--no utensils in Ethiopia--you have to tear off chunks of the bread, called enjera, to use as a scooper. Basically, this is a dieter's worst nightmare as it means you have to have a big load of white carbs every time you take a bite of anything. How do those Ethiopians stay so svelte?! The enjera is spongy and sour and has a texture that is strikingly similar to neoprene. So much so, that by the end of the meal we were saying "Hey Food Monster, quit hogging the wet suit!"
The dishes that came on the veggie sampler were collard greens, lentils in red pepper sauce, split peas with onions, steamed carrots, and a sort of pickled slaw. Basically everything tasted good but it was all just different variations on a mush theme. By the end of the meal I felt like I had eaten about twelve times as much bread as anything else. The more experienced Ethiopian diner's among us seemed to conclude that this wasn't the best example of the cuisine, but I think Ethiopian food may just not be for me. It's just a blander version of Indian. At the end of the day, there wasn't really enough substance to satiate all the people we had--just a whoooole lotta bread. Good thing The Food Monster had planned for our next stop on the b-day tour to be at Mashti Malone's!
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