H Street NE, Capitol Hill, Northeast
Vegetarian/Vegan, Ethiopian cuisine consists of various vegetable or meat side dishes and entrees, usually a wat or thick stew, served atop injera, a large sourdough flatbread, which is 50 cm (20 inches) in diameter and made out of fermented teff flour. One does not eat with utensils, but instead uses injera (always with the right hand) to scoop up the entrees and side dishes
Opening Hours: Monday through Thursday 5 to 10, Friday and Saturday noon to 10.
Best Dishes Butcha (ground chickpeas and jalapenos); doro wat, a chicken stew; kitfo, minced raw beef; vegetarian sampler with boiled lentils, split peas, potato/cabbage salad, gomen, and tomato/onion salad.
Ethiopian restaurants aren't unusual in DC, but this is the place to experience spicy, long-cooked stews and the sizzling theatrics of the meat-and-onion stir-fries called tibs.
The airy, brick-walled room feels casual, and diners settle in for lessons in the deployment of spice--some dishes singe, others release a more diffuse heat. The wonder is that cooking this robust speaks with such clarity. Anyone tempted to drop in for a quick meal before a show should know that Ethiopian culture regards our grab-and-go world with the same incomprehension as the French. In other words, prepare to linger.
What to get:Butcha, garlicky chickpea dip; azifa, lentil salad with mustard; doro wat, chicken leg braised in red-pepper-and-onion stew; lamb tibs, marinated leg of lamb, pan-seared with onions and peppers; kitfo,a beef tartare; veggie sampler, including kik alicha, a yellow split-pea stew.
Open Tuesday through Thursday for dinner, Friday through Sunday for lunch and dinner. Inexpensive.