Located in a modest strip mall, Dirdawa Cafe offers simple, homey Ethiopian fare. A narrow row of tables astride an open kitchen leads to a genial patio offering respite from the bustle of city life. Dirdawa also serves Mediterranean cuisine, but it’s their Ethiopian meals that shine.
Dirdawa Cafe, 1120A W Florence, Inglewood, CA, USA, +1 310 338 1077
Ayara Thai Cuisine
Nestled in a charming block of shops on 87th Street, Ayara Thai Cuisine specializes in unassuming, finely prepared Thai dishes served in a traditional yet fresh style. The tasteful décor provides a pleasant backdrop for enjoying meals which are authentic yet palatable to a Western appetite. During lunch hour expect a wait to sample their delicate preparations.
Ayara Thai Cuisine, 6245 W 87th St, Los Angeles, CA, USA, +1 310 410 8848
Front Page Jamaican Grille
Steps away from Dirdawa Cafe in the same strip mall sits Front Page Jamaican Grille, cooking up food bursting with flavor in the most basic surroundings. The simple but delicious menu items are served by a friendly couple. Stop in again and the proprietor might remember you by the dish last sampled from the simple, no-nonsense menu featuring Jamaican specialties. Dishes are typically accompanied by veggies, rice and fried plantains.
Before leaving the confines of Southern California you might long for a taste of the authentic Mexican food on offer at LAX Tacos. While arguably not the very best in the region, this drive-in offers delicious tacos, burritos and the like on a paper plate flanked with carrots, radishes and peppers. The fish tacos are unremarkable – go with meat instead.
LAX Tacos, 543 W Arbor Vitae St, Inglewood, CA, USA, +1 310 412 3903
Mandovi Indian Cuisine
A few quick miles from LAX, Mandovi is tucked away in another of the many strip malls lining the streets of Los Angeles. The spartan dining room invites diners to sample impeccably prepared Goan delights. From butter chicken to tandoori, every dish is a treat for the senses. At lunch time enjoy a splendid buffet offering main courses, sides, salads, desserts and naan bread fresh from the oven.
Mandovi Indian Cuisine, 150 S Sepulveda, Unit G, El Segundo, CA, USA, +1 424 220 7115
Johnny Eyes is a renaissance man who abhors renaissance faires. A bon vivant who’s often monosyllabic, Johnny is a photographer, filmmaker, writer, and free thinker. He lives in the vibrant burg of Koreatown. Find him online at facebook.com/gotyoureyes, Twitter@gotyoureyes, and Instagram@gotyoureyes.