Nes left her job as a middle school science teacher in south LA to help her mother realize her dream of bringing their native cuisine at the restaurant they founded together. Nes’ health-consciousness lead to experimentation with vegan interpretations of the traditional fare–like a gluten-free injera (bread) made, in part, with quinoa flour. Or collards stewed with kale–not exactly a vegetable native to Ethiopia, but one in abundance here in California.
The traditional “doro wat,” or chicken stew; a vegan interpretation–not a shred of animal product. Instead, for a “meaty” texture, Azla uses mushrooms, stewed long and slow with tomatoes, onions, and plenty of home-madeberbere, the staple spice of Ethiopian cooking. One can also add tofu and eggplant.