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Restaurants & Bars 8

Ethiopian at Cafe Rehoboth in San Jose's Japantown

maigre | Feb 18, 200809:56 PM

After becoming aware of Cafe Rehoboth, which opened last August, only in the last few days, we decided to pay a visit earlier this evening. Things were quiet. We were warmly greeted by the family that owns it. As we sat down, the owner/chef came out to say hi and tell us about the restaurant. We ended up talking for awhile about a bunch of things. The conversation was absorbing enough that I'd have been happy to have had her stick around for awhile longer before she disappeared to prepare our meal. I look forward to continuing it at another visit.

One of the subjects that came up, at my suggestion, was that I love Ethiopian food, but wish the ingredients were of higher quality than they tend to be at quite a few places. My biggest gripe is the use of corn oil instead of olive oil, which would work better taste and healthwise.

Did I ever strike the right note. Cafe Rehoboth does olive oil, and not only that, have a couple different ones they use depending on the dish. And most of the produce is organic. Yes! Just what I wanted! I didn't ask about the sources of the meats, though I'll do that another time.

We got our standbys, Gomen (collard greens), which were tender, lively and delicious, Yedoro Tibs, the chicken saute, which was sweetened nicely by the onions and the best version of this dish I've tried, a tasty red lentil dish, which had great texture and a great balance of spices (the owner was rightfully proud of this one), and a bit of Kik Alicha, the split pea staple of many an Ethiopian menu. That balance I mentioned in the lentil dish was characteristic of everything. All the dishes had just the right amount of each flavor and they all sung together.

The injera was thicker and a bit less sour than some and a bit more brittle in its texture, probably due to the proportion of teff to other grains and the fact that she doesn't use any yeast that doesn't come naturally from the fermenting process. I like it as sour at anyone is wiling or able to make it, but I'm not complaining.

This is now my favorite Ethiopian restaurant in the area and the fact that they use better and healthier ingredients than most will probably get me back often. It was pretty quiet tonight, though it sounds like there are busier times of the day and week. I hope so, because I want this place to make it, both for the owners and for me.

If you're in the South Bay and like Ethiopian food, make sure to pay a visit.

655 N 6th St. at Taylor
San Jose, CA 95112

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