Growing up, Abegaze (the self-described crazy child of the family) had a front-row seat to the dinner parties her mother threw. “For her, sharing food and bringing people together around the dinner table was the best way to express love,” Nesanet told Citizine. “I’ve always had a passion for food, community, and storytelling — and [opening a restaurant] was a perfect way to bring all of those things together.” So, in 2013, Azla and Nesanet opened Azla Ethiopian at the Mercado La Paloma in South LA.
Nesanet (far left) with director Ava DuVernay (far right), image courtesy of @azlavegan
According to Nesanet there are, "guests who still eat at Azla regularly that discovered [us] the first week [we] opened,” and describe the flavors of their Ethiopian cuisine as tasting “like a hug.” Nesanet herself has been eating the same few things from the kitchen every day for the last four-and-a-half years. Her staples consist of misir (spicy lentils), yatakilt (curry potatoes + carrots + cabbage), gomen (kale + collard greens), and keysir (marinated beets + quinoa) with lots of injera (Ethiopian flatbread).
Echo Park Film Center
Eso Won Books
NA: I live around the corner so I love that I can take a stroll and buy books here. No matter how easy it is to buy books online these days, I will always have a special affection for libraries and bookstores. I especially love their selection of children’s books because I am that auntie who buys books for all of my nieces and nephews on every occasion!
Rueben Ingold Park
NA: I come to this track to exercise, but also to see the amazing older women in their matching sweatsuits and sequin hats!
California African American Museum
NA: The exhibits and programming at the California African American Museum is wonderful. I attended a talk with Thelma Golden and Gary Simmons in December, and it was such a treat. I’m excited to see what they have planned for the summer.
Luxe De Ville
NA: A cute little vintage spot in Echo Park - the owner is great and I love their selection!
NA: Our manager Evan turned me on to this studio in West Adams and I really dig the vibe. Kaitlin’s classes are my favorite!
Santa Monica Farmers Market
NA: The farmers market in Santa Monica on Wednesday mornings is reason enough to live in Los Angeles. The selection of produce there is almost overwhelming!
Blue Whale Jazz
NA: I haven’t been in a while because I’ve been spending my free time editing, but this is my favorite place for live music in LA. It is intimate and the sound is great, and I have some wonderful memories in this space.
Mercado La Paloma
California African American Museum courtesy of @maisiersellers
Luxe De Ville courtesy of @luxe_de_ville