Went to Fasika last night at about midnight. Nigh-top-quality Ethiopian food. I gather that they're open until 2AM Saturday and Sunday nights (yes, Sunday, not Friday) because there's some sort of Ethiopian nightclub (Blue Nile) upstairs. Other nights they're open until 11PM.
My friend and I were the only white-skin types in the place, but that didn't seem to be a problem at all. The really nice waitress beckoned us in to the back and immediately sat us down at one of the Ethiopian-style tables (a low pedestal for putting the plate of food, a wooden bench on the side for drinks, and chairs with very small and low backs). There are also regular US-style tables. We ordered the $18 combo for two, which is a sampler of 3 (I think) meat stews and 5 vegetable stews. You're supposed to pick which 5 vegetables you want, out of a selection of about 10, but I just asked for whatever was good, and the waitress smiled and said OK.
It turned out that she misheard me and thought I asked for just the vegetarian sampler ($10), which is just those 5 vegetables and no meat, but that turned out to be fine, as we were stuffed by the time we finished the plate of 5 vegetables. I love my meat, but these vegetable items were extremely satisfying. I gather that they're probably all vegan as well.
My descriptions of the items will be horribly inadequate, but here I go. We had:
1. A stew of yellow lentils. This was bright yellow and had no chile in it.
2. Cabbage and potatoes. Also yellow. I seem to remember this item being criticized as "underseasoned" or something like that in a Globe capsule review, but I thought it was quite subtle and great. The flavor reminded me a lot of a cabbage dish I make with tumeric and black mustard seeds.
3. A stew of red lentils. This may have been the same as the yellow lentils but with chile and a few other seasonings.
4. A pile of chopped greens. Very appealing flavor, and not harsh or bitter at all. Texture was good and not overcooked.
5. Green beans and potatoes. These had a great texture- they were chewy, but not crunchy. It seemed they'd been cooked a long time, but not so as to make them mushy. The flavor was, if you might be able to follow me on this one, like the odor of a McDonald's, but really really really good.
I highly recommend this place... And if it's after 1AM on Saturday night and you don't want pizza, it's practically your only good option under $9 per person. And Sunday night after midnight? It's the place to go.
23 S. Huntington Avenue (right where the T turns in toward JP)