By Julie Lawrence Special to Published Oct 24, 2007 at 2:46 PM

It used to be that Ethiopian was one tough ethnic food to come across in Milwaukee.

In 2002, Lula's Café opened at 2921 N. Oakland Ave. in the former Sedita's Italian Deli spot, offering East Affrican and Italian cuisine. It was there that Milwaukeeans got their fix of injera, the traditional Ethiopian spongy flatbread, covered in several savory piles of vegetables and spicy meats, until the restaurant was replaced by Shiraz, a Persian restaurant, in 2006.

Lula's co-owner Omar Gagali opened Club Timbuktu in Riverwest with Youssouf Komaraest in 2004 to offer African cuisine, though not strictly Ethiopian.

Recently however, the gap is beginning to fill in a little better. The Ethiopian Cottage opened in February at 1824 N. Farwell Ave. and now there are signs that another Ethiopian eatery is due to fill the former Antigua Latin Café space at 307 E. Wisconsin Ave. The restaurant is called Alem and looks to be coming soon to Downtown.

Julie Lawrence Special to staff writer Julie Lawrence grew up in Wauwatosa and has lived her whole life in the Milwaukee area.

As any “word nerd” can attest, you never know when inspiration will strike, so from a very early age Julie has rarely been seen sans pen and little notebook. At the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee it seemed only natural that she major in journalism. When offered her an avenue to combine her writing and the city she knows and loves in late 2004, she knew it was meant to be. Around the office, she answers to a plethora of nicknames, including “Lar,” (short for “Larry,” which is short for “Lawrence”) as well as the mysteriously-sourced “Bill Murray.”