Rahel Ethiopian Vegan Cuisine

  • Vegan Vegan
    ( 43 reviews )
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323-937-8401
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1047 S Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, California, USA, 90019

Traditional Ethiopian cuisine in Los Angeles Fairfax district. Food is all vegan. Small and cozy space in area also known as "Little Ethiopia". Order lunch and dinner a la carte, or try the lunch special where a plate of assorted veggies, lentils, and special of the day are brought to you (free refill). Special beverages made from flax and sunflower seeds, plus vegan desserts. Open Mon-Thu 11:00am-10:00pm, Fri-Sat 11:00am-11:00pm, Sun 11:00am-10:00pm.

Categories: Vegan, Take-out, Catering

43 Reviews

First Review by Mimi710

Really good food, cute spot. - Edit

I came here for the all you can eat buffet and it was absolutely delicious. A bit different as i've never had Ethiopian before but it was a welcome change. I wanted to try the mango cake but they were out when I was there, and service took kind of long for there being only a few customers, but I had a good experience over all.

Pros: really good food, salad bar, fun atmosphere

Cons: Slow service, they were out of cake:(

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great food at a great price - Edit

Stumbled upon this place thanks to HappyCow! Got in just in time for the all you can eat vegan buffet for $12.95!!! Food was amazing and the workers were so sweet! Highly recommended!

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first time ! - Edit

it was a good introduction to Ethiopian food... being from South America I found most of the ingredients very similar to my culture... great lunch bar...

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Rude Customer Service, mediocre ambiance but Good Food - Edit

I went out to dinner here for the first time recently with two friends.

We ordered a platter to share as well as one additional dish. When the platter arrived we politely asked if the other dish was on the way but the server (owner I think) replied extremely defensively "you didn't order anything else!!!" But the three of us all remember that it was definitely ordered. She repeated several times that we did NOT order anything else instead of apologizing and fixing the mistake. This rude response took the joy out of the meal a bit.

The food was delicious! But poor customer service, uncomfortable chairs and poor decor would be some cons.

Updated from previous review on 2016-09-21

Pros: Delicious

Cons: Customer service , Uncomfortable chairs, decor and ambience

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A buffet is always a smart move - Edit

I hadn't tried Ethiopian food before this visit, but was pleasantly surprised by how good everything was. I wasn't always clear on what I was eating, but it filled me up and I have few complaints.

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Best Ethiopian in town - Edit

The lunch menu is awesome and a nice introduction to Vegan Ethiopian food. I look forward to my next visit.

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Finger food - Edit

We loved most of the food that was served but the trouble I had was that you have to eat it with a wrap instead of forks , all would of been fine but I found the wrap very bitter so whatever you would take it would give that bitterness/ sauerkraut like taste... Big fan of those lentils though.

Pros: tasty vegan food/ home made , not greasy food /not oily , friendly owners and servers

Cons: decor needs updating , wraps , forks would of come handy

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Delicious - Edit

Great Great Great food!

Pros: Service, Environment, Big portions

Cons: A little pricey

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best Ethiopian restaurant - Edit

The stewed lentils are delicately seasoned. The vegetables are wonderfully spiced. The injera is perfectly spongy and tangy. Great service. I've been coming here for years.

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vegan buffet - Edit

A menu and a lunch buffet. Good varieties, a lot of choices and a very kind staff. All the sabors of ethiopian cuisine.

Pros: Ethiopian specialities!, vegan, eat as much as you want

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For two - Edit

Love the traditional hand washing basin

Pros: Location, Back Parking, Staff

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red lentil love - Edit

Went with a group and ordered a sampler with sambussa to share with 5 people. My favorite is the red lentil dish, but everything is delicious and it is fun to be able to taste different things and mix and match flavors. Sat in the hut, which was shipped over from Ethiopia and reassembled in the restaurant. Beautiful presentation and very friendly service.

Pros: friendly staff, abundant servings, authentic hut dining

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Ethiopian first time - Edit

Never had Ethiopian before so not sure how representative this is of Ethiopian food generally or just this place. We had the buffet. Mixed feelings.

It's all stews - great if you like that sort of stuff, otherwise could be boring. It reminded me of mild Indian curries with less bite and more aroma. I must admit there was one particular red stew that I ended up really liking and filled up on - but I was hoping for a more diverse meal. I tried the injera and was was NOT impressed! My partner OTOH couldn't stop raving about all the food (except injera) at this place.

A highlight is that the staff are clearly devoted to vegan living and sport "vegan power" t-shirts. Loved it.

Not sure I'd come back unless my arm was heavily twisted. I really only want to give 3 stars but I'm averaging my and my partner's experience and adding a star for the vegan power theme.

Pros: Vegan staff, Some flavoursome foods

Cons: Stews, stews and more stews, Injera - yuk!

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Our favorite restaurant in LA! - Edit

My husband and I eat here literally every time we come to Los Angeles. Service is wonderful, atmosphere is wonderful, most importantly, it's the best Ethiopian food we've ever had (and we eat Ethiopian almost once a week.) We've eaten here a dozen times over the last few years. Order the veggie feast and eat your heart out!! :)

Pros: Best Ethiopian food ever, Great atmosphere, Friendly service

Cons: Parking sometimes takes a few minutes

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Hearty, Healthy Ethiopian Cuisine! - Edit

My husband and I ate here over the weekend for the all you can eat lunch buffet. It was SOOOOOOO good!

All vegan Ethiopian cuisine sans fake meats. This food is the real veggie deal.

Great price for the all you can eat buffet. I loved the lentils and split peas, as well as their sauces and dressings. The mango cake was to die for!

Highly recommend if you are int he mood for hearty, healthy, Ethiopian food!

Also very attentive service, even for a buffet. One waitress was manning a pretty busy room and didn't let a water glass go empty or a request unanswered.

Pros: All you can eat buffet, Hearty and healthy, Great Service

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Tasty Meal! - Edit

Very tasty food. We were in a rush and had to scarf down the food. I wish I had more time to enjoy the food. I went with a flexible vegetarian and a guy that was very meat and potatoes and only ate American food (he had never tried any ethnic food before this experience). I was a bit worried that he would not be happy but everyone loved their food. The samosas were probably the best samosas I’ve had in a very long time. The food was very delicious and I didn’t have to worry about any hidden clarified butter. Great food, great service. Next time I’m in LA, I will have to try the buffet.
Updated from previous review on Saturday May 17, 2014

Pros: Great food

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A feast for the senses - Edit

Hands down my favorite restaurant in L.A., vegan or not. Consistently delicious with spices and flavors that jump off the injera and into your mouth. Get a combination platter of course - try as many dishes as you can. The red lentils are divine and the greens are always perfect. Try the pure teff injera, made with only this ancient grain (no wheat/gluten) that is reminiscent of buckwheat. Its tanginess offsets the deep rich flavors of the stews. FIrst time eating Ethiopian? This is the place for you! Say hello to Rahel herself, a most gracious host. Coffee lovers: ask about the coffee ceremony. I don't even like coffee and I LOVE this.

Pros: wildly good food, eat at traditional tables if you like, excellent staff and service

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Excellent experience - Edit

It is rare to be able to eat vegan african food in a restaurant. That makes this one really nice, food is really excellent and you will find it nowhere else. Portions are big and they serve you different sorts of food in an ethiopian traditionnal pancake. You also can eat directly with your fingers, which is really appreciable. Staff is friendly and the restaurant has a pleasant atmosphere. You should absolutely try it!

Pros: excellent food, friendly staff, nice place and atmosphere

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Excellent Vegan Food, Gluten Free if needed - Edit

I've been to this restaurant several times and rate it highly. Excellent food, friendly people. They can serve gluten free injera (the spongy pancake-like bread that is used to soak up the food when eating) upon request for those who are gluten sensitive.
One time, visited on a Sunday and the food wasn't as good. Perhaps the main chef isn't there that day, not sure.

Pros: Clean, Pleasant ambiance, Excellent vegan Ethiopian food

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First time - Edit

Our first time eating here, we were impressed, the food was good, the service nice.... We will come back.

Pros: love the decor, friendly staff

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Won't be back - Edit

I give this a 3 stars, only because it is an all vegan restaurant. But yikes, I did not like it all, and ultimately I don't like Ethiopian food at all.
The food was bland and boring, and lukewarm (maybe that's supposed to be that way) and we could not even finish it. We had the feast and could not enjoy a single bite of it.

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Great food, greater buffet - Edit

I love Ethiopian food, and this place really does it well. Additionally, they have a buffet during lunch times, and it doesn't get much better than that.

If you're looking for something ethnic, try this place. It's all-vegan, and that's always a good thing to support.

Bring change for the parking meters, and expect to park a few blocks up or down the street.

Pros: All-vegan, Buffet

Cons: Difficult parking

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Tasty and Filling - Edit

I had read about this place on happycow when it first opened some years ago, and have eaten here several times. Here's my Rahel Ethiopian Vegetarian Cuisine review.

It's located on Fairfax Blvd in a section known as Little Ethiopia - lots of restaurants serving Ethiopian food. Rahel's is the only pure veg (vegan) establishment, as of this writing.

The food is tasty and flavorful, lots of lentils, dal, potatoes, and some dark greens. Food is served with injera bread that you're supposed to eat with your hands.

When eaten in moderation, I felt good. But on the occasions where I ate a bit too much, the spices and the heaviness of the food did not settle well.

A good dining adventure if you'd like to try Ethiopian food.

Pros: authentic flavors, good variety, Ethiopian coffee ceremony

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Excellent Ethiopian - Edit

I wasn't hungry, so I just ordered a bowl of lentil soup and baklava. I was excited for vegan baklava, but it was a little disappointing. My friend ordered a feast and she seemed to enjoy it. She had leftovers, but it still seemed a little overpriced. Nice atmosphere.

Pros: all vegan

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I love Rahel! - Edit

Rahel has a wonderful atmosphere and great food. You can also often see Rahel herself at the restaurant, which I always enjoy. I think it's nice to be able to meet the owner and make a connection. There is a real sense of community. The combo platters are wonderful to share and it's some of the best Ethiopian food I've ever had. The drinks are also delicious and there's great variety like spiced tea, Ethiopian coffee, and wonderful unique traditional drinks made from barley or sunflower seeds. They also have a all-you-can-eat lunch buffet everyday until 3pm. I love the Yeatkilt Wot. Mmmmmmmm!

Pros: Great atmosphere, Delicious food, Friendly service

Cons: Sometimes they have the t.v. on

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great lunch buffet - Edit

We have been hearing about Rahel's for years and finally got a chance to try it today. This was our first time eating Ethiopian food, so I cannot comment on authenticity, but it was damned good vegan food. All the dishes were naturally vegan (no faux-anything), constantly replenished, and delicious. The choices were heavy on lentils and varied in spiciness from not at all to somewhat.

On a whim, I ordered a glass of Besso (drink made from barley). It was sweet and creamy and just the thing if I ate a little too much spice at once.

Cannot wait to get back there for dinner sometime.

Pros: tasty, good value

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Best Vegan Ethiopian Food - Edit

I haven't tried a whole lot of Vegan Ethiopian food, but this is my favorite Ethiopian place so far! I was happy to see descriptions of what each dish was composed of, since it's usually a little hard to tell... For the $9 lunch buffet, you can get a good deal of food for your money! They even have gluten free injera for those avoiding gluten. It's just too bad they're only open for lunch, or I would have gone back for a second try during my vacation in California.

Pros: all vegan, good value, delicious

Cons: only open for lunch

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