401 H St., NE
Washington, DC 20002
Neighborhood: H Street NE, Capitol Hill, Northeast
Cuisines: Vegetarian/Vegan, Ethiopian
Tuesday through Thursday for dinner, Friday through Sunday for lunch and dinner.
Nearby Metro Stops: Union Station
Price Range: Inexpensive
Noise Level: Chatty
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.
In a crowded field, this smartly appointed dining room has quickly risen to the top tier of Ethiopian restaurants. Some of the area's best vegetarian eating can be found here.
The easiest way to sample the vegetable stews and sautés is to share a generously heaped platter on a round of injera, the sour bread that takes the place of silverware. Supplement it by starting with two of the most vibrant dishes on the menu--butcha, a cold mash of chickpeas, and azifa, made from yellow lentils and perked up with jalapeños. The kitchen is sure-handed with meat too, turning out a superlative yebeg wat, the aromatic lamb stew, and very good beef and lamb tibs.
Also good: Fosolia, a mix of green beans and carrots; shimbra asa, chickpea dumplings in a spicy sauce; doro wat, a chicken stew.
Open Tuesday through Thursday for dinner, Friday through Sunday for lunch and dinner.