Neighborhood: Historic South-Central
Address: 3655 S Grand Ave Ste# C2, Los Angeles
One of the latest editions to Historic South Central's Mercado la Paloma is Azla Vegan, a restaurant that successfully marries classic and modern Ethiopian. At Azla, it's a family affair, with a very talented mother executing her recipes in the kitchen and a savvy daughter running the show out front. Their vibrant plates appear as a rainbow of food, packed with kale salad, gomen (collard greens), kik (yellow split peas), keysir (marinated beets) and of course, ingera, the porous flatbread that so fascinatingly absorbs every flavor on the plate. Azla has also developed an incredible gluten free pizza with a tomato sauce bursting with berbere, an Ethiopian mix of 15 different spices. This is the first I've tasted of its kind and it feels so right. Ethiopian pizza is crucial in 2014.