My spouse and I dined at this one-week old restaurant yesterday for lunch. Overall it was a highly satisfactory experience and we truly enjoyed our meal.
Upon entering we were very impressed with the appearance of the place. Everything was brand-spanking new and clean. Unlike many local ethnic places, the restaurant was decorated very tastefully with white cloth tablecloths covered with peach overlays. The chairs were a beautiful burgundy and gold fabric. There was a variety of African art pieces adorning the walls. Beautiful modern lamps in neutral tones adorned the small bar area. In total there are about 20 tables, a small dance floor area (we were told they have live music until 3 am Fridays and Saturdays) and a bar that seats about 12-15 people.
Ordering was a bit confusing at first, despite the fact that we are very familiar with Ethiopian food. We inquired about the vegetarian combo, and the answer as to what it contained kept changing. This is probably because the waitstaff, like the restaurant, are very new. We finally settled on the vegetarian combo with fish, and an entrée portion of the string beans and carrots, which was one of the vegetarian dishes that was not included in the combo platter.
Unlike our past experiences, the food was served in individual white bowls, with basket of injera. Although we were more accustomed to large platters of injera topped with the entrees, we decided that we preferred this method of service, and felt like the portions were larger and easier to share.
As for the food, it was as good, if not better, than most we have had before. As previously mentioned on this board, Demeras vegetarian platter was our past favorite. Most of the offering here were equally fabulous. The spicy red lentils were our top choice they were deliciously spiced and served at the perfect tempertaure. The same could not be said for the collard greens or the cabbage dishes, which were unfortunately served cold and seemed to be right out of the fridge. Perhaps this was due to the fact that we dined so early in the day we will surely try again. The green beans and carrots were also fabulous. The fried fish, which neither of us had tried before, was quite impressive. The filets were sliced thin, coated in a herb-seasoned bread crumb mixture, and perfectly fried. We do not ordinarily care for fried food, but the fish was outstanding.
The waitresses were fabulous. It was clear that they had a lot of pride in their restaurant and their native food and culture. Adi was our waitress and she was so polite and helpful. She was so pleased that two Americans were so enthusiastic about her culture. It was truly a pleasure to meet and speak with her.
The service slowed as the crowd increased around 1:30, so getting and paying our bill took exceedingly long. However, we were delighted to see that the restaurant that was completely empty when we arrived around noon was almost completely full when we departed giving us hope that this place will succeed and stick around.
We are delighted to have a great Ethiopian restaurant open so close to home. We definitely feel comfortable recommending the place, and look forward to becoming regulars at this neighborhood gem.
The restaurant is located at 664 S. Pickett Street, which is in the shopping center at the corner of S. Pickett and Van Dorn (the Jerry's subs is at the end of the strip).