Enssaro, which has been mentioned recently by a few hounds as a new favorite Ethiopian restaurant, "lived up to the hype," says Ruth Lafler after organizing a chowdown there. "When Ethiopian food is done poorly, the flavors get muddy and the dishes tend to taste the same. These dishes were all distinctive and complexly seasoned."
The vegetarian dishes are stellar, Ruth says, especially the gomen (collard greens), which have both sweetness and tang. Atakilt, a medley of slow-cooked vegetables, includes the unusual addition of beets.
Doro wat (chicken stew) was a hit, "an unforgettable, savory dish potent with rich flavor," says Antarctic Widow. Lamb banatu is another favorite, a tender and delicious tomatoey stew with pieces of soft injera bread mixed in. The beef dishes are forgettable, Ruth thinks, although the special kitfo, a kind of spiced steak tartare, has plenty of other fans among the hounds. "Very nice delicate flavors and tender beef," says roster.
Enssaro [East Bay]
366 Grand Avenue, Oakland