Named Best of LA 2009
Ethnic Vegan Restaurant by Los Angeles Magazine
Online Videos by Veoh.com
A Los Angeles Vegetarian Web Magazine
By Zel and Reuben Allen
R: Vegan dining out in Los Angeles is becoming easier and easier with a rash of vegan restaurants opening in recent months. Debuting in January 2005, Rahel Veggie Cuisine is the only all-vegan Ethiopian restaurant in L.A.'s Little Ethiopia, a huddle of Ethiopian restaurants that occupies the one-block area of South Fairfax between Olympic Boulevard and Whitworth Drive.
Z: Owner and chef Rahel Woldmedhin is not new to the restaurant business. She was the original owner of Messob, the Ethiopian restaurant just next door. While her previous experience operating Messob focused on cuisine for omnivores, Rahel made the bold decision to open a new restaurant that offers her native cuisine with an all-vegan menu. New to the vegan path, she is experiencing renewed energy and improved health that many of us enjoy regularly.
R: The menu is an artful expression of vivid colors and appealing design. Since we brought along a pair of friends who share our embrace of Ethiopian cuisine, we ordered the giant Hudade Special Combo that included a sampling of all the dishes on the menu.
R: The comfortable surroundings offer the diner an intimate, warm, and relaxing experience. The walls are dressed in two-tone beige and sprinkled with paintings and African artwork. A grass hut style roof divides the restaurant from the small spice shop at the rear of the long, narrow room.
Z: Green table linens and large plants bring a coziness to the room that features a trim around the top of the wall in the colors of the Ethiopian flag. The nearby kitchen was sending out spicy essences that stirred our hunger....
R: We had eaten Ethiopian food many times before but had never encountered this variety of offerings. New to my repertoire was the Yemiten Shiro Wot, a ragout of powdered chickpeas seasoned with berbere, the traditional red pepper sauce indigenous to Ethiopian cuisine. Another unfamiliar dish was the whole lentils seasoned with lemon, salt, horseradish, and jalapeno. Yet another new taste was the Siljo, a broad bean paste tastefully seasoned with the tang of lemon.
Z: The stews mentioned here were a mere introduction to those we devoured on our visit to Rahel's restaurant. Ethiopian cuisine is endowed with a wealth of vegetable, legume, and spice dishes that Rahel prepares with an alchemist's flair.
R: Our evening ended with a pleasant surprise--vegan chocolate cake all decked out with a candle and accompanied with melodic vocalizations to honor my birthday. It was a joy to know that I could blissfully enjoy my decadent dessert without having to ask about questionable ingredients.
Z: Rahel Veggie Cuisine is truly a welcome addition to the growing list of vegetarian restaurants popping up in Los Angeles. And Rahel knows just how to pamper her customers who will find good value, reasonable prices, and scrumptious creations made from scratch . . . >>more