World Cup continues: Guelaguetza or Rosalind’s?

Soccer fans go wild at the Plaza Mexico Guelaguetza during the 2010 World Cup. That branch is closed, but the original is as good as always.
(John W. Adkisson / Los Angeles Times)

Mexico v. Cameroon, Friday 9 a.m.

Cameroon’s national team, friends assure me, is more or less the Boston Celtics of African soccer, with Samuel Eto’o as its aging Larry Bird. The team has over the years gone on mini-strikes until they were paid – they did it again just this week. And who wouldn’t want to root for a country named after the delicious prawns in its bays?

Still, there is nothing close to a Cameroonian restaurant in Los Angeles, unless you count a stray dish or two that may have found its way onto the menu at Inglewood’s thoroughly Nigerian restaurant Nkechi, or possibly the black-eyed pea fritter called akara at Rosalind’s, which used to be mostly West African before it turned Ethiopian a couple of decades ago.

Which leaves us to the mournful and plentiful supporters of El Tri, among which I hope to find myself tomorrow morning, contemplating both the fried grasshoppers and the pickled scorpion at the bottom of the mezcal bottle at Guelaguetza, home to L.A.’s best enmoladas, ace micheladas, an enormous selection of tequila and mezcal, and a theater-size projection screen. Perhaps Mexico will be victorious – it will do more to elevate the mood of the city than a hundred Stanley Cup finals.


Which reminds me: Where should we go to eat poutine and watch the Kings?

Nketchi African Cafe, 2717 W. Manchester Blvd., Inglewood, (323) 541-1265

Rosalind’s Ethiopian Restaurant, 1044 S. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles, (323) 936-2486

Guelaguetza, 3014 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles, (213) 427-0608