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Restaurants & Bars 4

Asmara - Lackluster Ethiopian Food in Oakland

Kathleen Mikulis | Dec 12, 200303:12 PM

I went to Asmara last night in Oakland on my ongoing quest to try all the Ethiopian/Eritrean restaurants in the East Bay.

We ordered the "doro tibsy" (I enjoyed how "tibsy" replaced "tibs" on their menu) and the meat combo (doro wat, beef in berbere sauce - I think, and lamb). The family size platter arrived with an unappetizing layer of oil over all the dishes. There was a 1/4 inch gap between where the meat was on the injera and the edge of the injera, and this area was all oil.

The meat in the doro tibsy was very disappointing. This was obviously an expensive cut of meat with very gnarled pieces connected to other pieces by thin strings of fat/tendon. We picked at the meat in the dish, though the onions and sauce were flavorful.

The doro wat stood out as the best dish. Although this chicken dish also included dark meat, it was much better quality. The beef was overwhelmed by the sauce, and we had to go hunting in the sauce for tiny pieces of beef. The salad and potato/carrot dish that accompanied the dinners were nothing special.

Overall, it was a pretty lackluster meal. My boyfriend pressed to go to our favorite Ethiopian place, Abyssinia, for dinner, but I was stubborn and wanted to try a new place. I wish I had listened to him.

Telegraph & 51st, Oakland

Best Ethiopian in the East Bay so far:
1) Abyssinia
2) Finfine
3) Cafe Colucci

Favorite Ethiopian place EVER:
1) Zeni (San Jose)

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