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I’ve never been to Ethiopia, so the food I’ve eaten here in Los Angeles may or may not be authentic to the food served and eaten in that country. I can only describe the flavors and my preferences, so if any Ethiopians read this blog, please comment and let me know what places you enjoy and describe the dishes that you recommend!

Queen of Sheba┬áin Inglewood serves what I guess is very authentic Ethiopian food since both times I’ve gone the place was filled with Ethiopians ­čÖé It’s in a very nondescript and worn looking strip mall, so don’t be put off by the outside appearance. The warm welcome and the fragrant flavors inside will more than make up for the first impression.

We tried the In and Out (Geba Wet) for $13.99 with the vegetarian combination $12.99, and although the flavors were wonderful, the beef had many fatty and sinewy bites, so next time perhaps one of the other beef choices would be better.

On another night, we got the lamb tibs $14.99 with the vegetarian combo $12.99, which was definitely our favorite combination with purified butter and onions, the lamb melted into tender shreds as we scooped it up with the bites of the Mesir wot, Yater Alicha, Gomen, cabbage and salad.

Messob is on the stretch of Fairfax known as Little Ethiopia, in a much more appealing section of town, and they also serve wine. Unfortunately their signature dish of doro wat (chicken stew) tasted burnt and bitter, and after all the tasty vegetarian variations at Queen of Sheba, the offerings here were bland and a bit sad. Service was slow since we were seated in the back section by the bathrooms and the poor server was running all over the main dining room and our section by herself. (BTW that round oval in the middle of the doro wat was a hard boiled egg.)

Thankfully Meals by Genet, made famous by the sorely missed Jonathan Gold, is just a block away from Messob, but a world away in terms of flavors, service, and ambiance in the best of ways. You will likely need a reservation so plan ahead or be prepared to wait a long while for one of the few tables.

The vegetarian combo, which included every vegetarian dish, is $22, and the Chicken Tibs were $20. Prices reflected the upgraded ambiance and the option of nice bottles or glasses of wine with your meal, makes this a great date destination. Our waiter was an absolute professional with an entertaining flair that made our meal even more enjoyable.

Depending on your mood, timing, and your location, you may opt for either Queen of Sheba or Meals by Genet, but you can’t go wrong with either!

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