Must tell you about my experience at Rosalind's in the little Ethiopia district of LA on South Fairfax.
About 95% of my Ethiopian dining experiences have been at Nyala at the south end of Ethiopian restaurant row. The food is basic but tasty and prepared well (though I'd avoid their all-you-can-eat vegan lunch steamtable buffet, which tends to be quite bland). Nyala's menu tends to be on par with every other ethiopian restaurant I've visited (one other on Fairfax, one in Phoenix, AZ and one in New York City)... which is to say a few spicy lentil dishes, some greens, a salad, and a few spicy meat stews.
Rosalinds, however, was a different place entirely. As anyone who reads my posts knows, I'm a sucker for a place that puts a spin on the same old standard. Rosalind's has several items on the menu that I'd never seen before at typical Ethiopian restaurants (like "O Jo Jo" meatballs), and their house specialty was a beef and onion dish ("special tibs") that arrived on a sizzling platter. A bit greasy but succulent and delicious. The real star however were the veggies... now I love meat, but these red lentils (which were part of the veggie combo platter) were absolutely divine. I tasted about a dozen different spices-- including (most likely) cardamom and cinnamon, and the interplay of these wonderful spices with the special tibs really was a match made somewhere better than heaven.
If Rosalinds is any indication of what I've been missing by my blind devotion to Nyala, I think I need to start expanding my ethiopian repertiore! Any suggestions?