Yesterday the kids and I went with a friend to check out Little Ethiopia in downtown Los Angeles. And it is exactly that: a small block of Ethiopian restaurants and shops. It was a very cool experience for us, and such a fun reminder of my experiences in actual Ethiopia, which were now 3.5 years ago (geez!) There were a couple of shops and quite a few restaurants to choose from. We browsed through the stores, and the kids liked looking at the books. T really wanted to keep this DVD about the "Hyenas of Harar" which is actually his city of birth. But, I wasn't sure it was appropriate for kids as some of the hyena shots looked a bit on the rough side. So, no DVD, which equaled a pretty sweet tantrum on the sidewalk.
Then we exposed the kids to their very first Ethiopian food! We ordered the vegetarian plate (made up of things like delicious cabbage, collard greens, chick peas, and a salsa type thing) and doro wat (a chicken and egg dish with spicy and sweet sauce). Both of these dishes are served with and to be eaten by hand with injera, a sourdough-like pancake. This is an absolute staple of Ethiopia. With one touch of the finger T knew it would not be a staple in his diet in the near future. He was not about to put any of this in his mouth. B at least put a piece of cabbage and injera in her mouth...they just didn't go down. She kept asking when they were going to bring out the pasta. :) They did enjoy looking at the pictures of animals and "riding" on the chairs that were more like saddles.
All in all, a very fun experience. And the most hilarious part was hearing B tell her dad about it, like it was just a normal day. "We went to an Eth-opian restaurant and baby (her baby doll who she lives vicariously through) just ate some doro wat. T is from Eth-opia. Then we went to a special market and...." :)