Through my recent travels, I’ve met quite a few people who say they enjoyed traveling to Africa to heighten their senses of the many cultures and the beautiful wildlife. Almost every person raved about Africa’s natural resources, the breathtaking scenery, as well as the food. Today, in Los Angeles you can enjoy some of the ambiance through the culinary delights of Ngoma Restaurant, which is the only Pan-African restaurant in Los Angeles.
They feature dishes from West, East and South Africa that will arouse your tastebuds in a new and unique way. The dishes are different from those of Ethiopia, the African cuisine with which many diners are most familiar. Some dishes are spicy and others are surprisingly mild.
For instance, the Samaki, a fried tilapia fish in a curry sauce, is delightful and tasty, though it’s seasoned very lightly. The Egusi Soup and Fufu made from yam flour made with crusted melon will open your senses. My favorite dish is the Nyama Choma, goat served with corn flour with cabbage, an East African dish and one of the most popular served at Ngoma.
A dessert delicacy, Dodo, is tropical banana fruit, sliced, seasoned and delicately sautéed in a pan. Mango Cheesecake is also excellent.
I dined on this visit with actor Audrey Harris, who just completed touring with “The Bachelorette Party.” During our conversation with the manager, Dan, she raved over the Sambusa, which is chicken and beef garnished with an array of vegetables.
By the way, if you are inclined for some tasty juices, try Ngoma’s freshly prepared passion fruit juice and the bunde are prepared with ginger and red flowers. Absolutely marvelous. All foods are prepared from scratch, which means there may be a little bit of a wait., but anything good is worth waiting for, especially the cuisine of Ngoma, the “Pulse of Africa.”
African music is always played softly in the background, along with cable programming from Africa. The décor has the rich look of a Kenyan safari lodge, making the dining journey interesting.
Ngoma is located west of La Brea at 5358 Wilshire Blvd. (323) 934-1595. For more information, their website is NgomaRestaurant.com.
Pricing is moderate. Ngoma African Restaurant gets a CSN rating of *9-plus.*