10401 Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232
Adequately Fed: $15
(Out of Five Stars)
Ethiopian cuisine has yet to hit mainstream stomachs for the most part, but this quaint little restaurant across from the Sony Pictures Studios is quite a find. This Mom and Pop establishment has a homey feel to it with the tacky decor, but the ambiance is hardly enough to deter the true food enthusiast. Having only been to two Ethiopian restaurants before, I cannot really compare Fassica to other Ethiopian eateries, but evaluating it for the food alone, I have good things to say.
We ordered two glasses of their tej, honey wine, following the recommendations of several online reviews. The wine is homemade and tastes relatively high in alcohol content. The aftertaste is pleasant with the aroma of honey without the saccharinity.
For two people, I recommend ordering the Fassica special. This dish is a sampler of a variety of menu items including beef tibs (saute), lamb tibs, chicken wat (stew), collard greens, lentils, a cottage cheese that our host insisted was freshly made that morning, and several other items. This is a great size for two people and is served with injera, a pancake-like flatbread of spongy consistency. Since this is a sampler platter, it gave us a great sense of the variety of their food. The tibs were sauteed well and most of the other sides were stewed. Although most stewed foods tend to be bland or overcooked, Fassica serves these dishes up well.
The food is eaten with the right hand, so be prepared to get a little messy. If you run out of injera, just ask for more.
Being a small family operation, there was little service. However, when we went, there were few customers so the hostess who served us adequately tended to our needs. In fact, she was especially cordial and ready to help us out in any way, including explaining the eating method.
Recommended: Because this is a communal dish, pick a dining partner in whom you can trust his/her hygiene.