Meals by Genet

I’ve been meaning to try meals by genet but I always end up going to other Ethiopian places because it isn’t open for lunch. And I always figured that all Ethiopian restaurants are basically the same.

But j gold and Yelp are right: meals by genet is the best. It’s a step above all the other Ethiopian places I’ve been to, including a bunch on fairfax and in DC. The tofu tibs is the best tofu dish I’ve had in LA. Probably because it was loaded with clarified butter, but also because they did a great job of dicing it small and browning the sides.

I don’t understand why Ethiopian food is so yum but hooray for Ethiopia and meals by genet.


I’m a huge Ethiopian food fan. I used to go to Nyala, but my favorites now are Buna and Azla Vegan. Buna is more traditional, and their portions are gargantuan. Azla Vegan is a lighter, California take on Ethiopian food.

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I love Meals By Genet. One of my colleagues at work is from Ethiopia and likes to tell me, “Genet is for white people!” Well, I’m white and I really enjoy it - he may or may not be right! A veggie combo and an order of doro wat is pretty satisfying meal. When I want something a bit more casual, I go across the street to Merkato and grab a bite.

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for lunch, if you can tolerate eating a meat-free meal, my recommendation is the excellent buffet lunch served at rahel on fairfax.

terrific vegan ethiopian food

it costs $12 before tax and tip.
well worth it.

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I like azla okay. You are right, it is California-style Ethiopian food. But I like butter in my Ethiopian food and it’s doing an ethical disservice to the cows not to eat their butter.


Wow, I’m surprised your colleague says that. I gave up on Ethiopian food in LA until I found Meals by Genet. This is the only place I’ve found here that would rank with the places I used to frequent in Washington, DC. I just wish they were open for table service during lunch.

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IMO, Rahel is not in the same league as Meals by Genet. I would much rather get a vegetarian combo to go from the latter (they take to-go orders during the day). Just no comparison… again, IMO.

if you want to have lunch in a restaurant and don’t like rahel, you might consider giving AWASH a try.

p.s. my ethiopian friend, who these days is running a restaurant IN ethiopia, told me the same thing about Meals by Genet as djquinne’s ethiopian friend told him/her:

“food for American white people only”

Anything in LA for Ethiopian people?

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This is a classic example of the authenticity fallacy. Authentic is not necessarily good or desirable. Americans love Applebees. Put an Applebees in China and it would be authentic American cuisine. Put Gjelina in China and I’m sure Americans would complain that it doesn’t taste like the food back home.


This is a good point I suppose. Sometimes I do wonder exactly what it means when like foreigners say that some cuisine is “just like back home”.

Though by the same token, people on these forums are American, and if any of us ate at Applebee’s in China we would lament, while being thrilled about Gjelina.

So it somewhat depends on how the foreigner eats right?

Yes. I’m just saying…nobody on here is going to trust the average Yelper’s opinion. But we place high importance on the opinion of random people from foreign countries.


I will have to give Awash another try.

I’m really surprised by your Ethiopian friend’s appraisal of the food. I suppose the decor, service, and prices (!) are Westernized. And I can see how that might rub some people the wrong way. Like Genet’s putting on airs or something.

But I lived for several years in the heart of the Ethiopian community in Washington, DC. I know good Ethiopian food. And I stand by my statement the food at Meals by Genet is the best Ethiopian food I’ve had in LA by large margin. The ingredients are higher quality and the flavors more robust.


We eat Ethiopian a couple times a year, and have worked our way all the way up and down the Fairfax/Pico strip several times over the last 25 years. Also eaten Ethiopian in DC, and will acknowledge that the game’s different there. Genet is more polished “cuisine” and less “local place to get food like back home”.

Hit Awash on Saturday night. Veggie combo + special tibbs. A winner every time (well, the veggies are, tibbs can be hit or miss). And the leftovers are my lunch tomorrow. Love that place.

so do i
AWASH is on my regular rotation
Aesthete: AWASH is one of the answers to the question you posed yesterday

Tried Awash the other day and was very pleased. I realized when I looked up the address that I’d never been there before. I must have been thinking of one of the other places on Fairfax. Maybe Buna? Anway, Awash was much better.

I ordered the veggie combo and the awaze chicken tibs. Both dishes were hearty and flavorful with ample portions and fresh ingredients. I was particularly impressed with the chicken, which was a stew of dark-meat chicken chunks in a spicy berber sauce. The stew paired perfectly with the simple but delicious salad that comes with every plate there.

It’s an interesting contrast with Meals by Genet. Whereas Genet does more refined preparations, the food at Awash is like what someone might serve you in their home for dinner. A good example is the horseradish stew, which comes with the veggie combo at both places. At Awash, the legume is unidentifiable and the taste one-dimensional. At Genet, however, you can actually tell they’re lentils, which enhances the taste and texture.

Personally, I still prefer Meals by Genet, particularly if we’re talking about the vegetarian combination. While the portions are smaller and the price higher, the flavors are more complex and satisfying. However, I can certainly see myself going back to Awash for more of that delicious awaze chicken tibs and salad.
Thanks for the tip, @westsidegal!


so glad you enjoyed it.
one of my favorite places

An ethiopian friend made me some delish ethiopian food last night. Now I am on an ethiopian food kick. Btw, they all like Awash best.

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obviously Genet’s is a bit higher end, but it’s precisely why i prefer Awash (aside from that crazy chicken)