A friend and I went there last night for dinner, and I was slightly disappointed. Although it's only about five miles from where I live, it's the first time I've been there.
I was hungry (and my friend was paying!), so we ordered the Special Veggie Combo, the lamb tibs, and the regular kitfo, raw. Too much for two people to eat!
I'm certainly no expert in Ethiopian cuisine, but compared with the Ethiopian restaurants I've been to in DC, too many of the dishes were underseasoned and bland.
I don't know their names, but the yellow lentils, collard greens, cabbage and potato dishes were pretty much what I would have expected, although the collard greens had a more of a nice buttery flavor than I've experienced.
The dark lentil stew (misir wot?) was lovely, with a dark, deep complex combination of spices, that seemed like it had been cooking for days. Outstanding!
But the best of the veggies dishes were the tomato salad and the tomato fitfit, both excellent. It was such a pleasure to taste tomatoes that actually had flavor. I don't know what the "special dressing" that they use on the tomato fitfit is, but I could have easily eaten a whole bowl of that and been happy :)
The slight disappointments? Both of the meat dishes.
The lamb tibs weren't bad by any means, although they came out well done and not rare as we ordered. And the seasoning was IMHO rather timid.
The big disappointment was the kitfo. It had the nice fatty mouthfeel of kitfo with kebbeh, but none of the seasoning or heat that I've come to expect. Bland bland bland bland. Maybe they ran out of mitmita? Completely underseasoned, and a huge disappointment.
I know some people have complained about service in this restaurant. Unfortunately IME it's true. The service was very attentive at the beginning of our meal, but about halfway through, it got much worse. The lady that I assume is Meaza is incredibly gracious...as are the other servers, once you get their attention. But getting their attention is much harder than it should be.
My summary, based on just one visit: Convenient for us NoVans, but you can get better Ethiopian food and much better service in DC.
5700 Columbia Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041
re: wayne keyser
Dinner at Meaza the other night- a week night and they were almost empty- 3 tables of diners. Live in the neighborhood and had not been before- I ordered the large veggie sampler and husband ordered a lamb dish- food was ok IMHO but the injera was really COLD- and as a result a lot of the veggies were coldish- I understand that the tomato dish is a cold salad but I wondered if I misunderstood the dish. Have eaten in other Ethiopian restaurants but never had the veggie platter cold nor the bread cold.
Is that ususal?
I've never been to Meaza, but as I recall, the cooked vegetables at other Ethiopian restaurants have not been served cold. I've wanted to try Meaza since they moved into their present location. It was "supposed" to be one of the best Ethiopian restaurants in the area, based on the reputation of the owner, but perhaps things have just been too slow there and they've let it slide. It's too fancy for the "cab driver lunch" I suspect, and that's probably the most picky group of eaters.
re: wayne keyser
Thanks Wayne- Yeah! Should have said something- but it must have been clear to the kitchen that the food except the lamb and 1 or 2 of the veggies were COLD and the others barely warm and the injera must have been taken from the fridge and onto my plate, When the server brought more injera it too was cold-
The irony is that I realy like the cuisine and had not had it in a while-last time at the place opposite the Studio Theater a few months agowhich was also empty at the time I was there but the food was hot( temp wise) and well seasoned and spicy which is how I like it. My first time in my neighborhood and it was cold and not so tasty- nor spicy.
Perhps I should try another noght when there are more cars outside- it is on my route home.
I was there with a group back in February, and here was my review from DR.com:
We had a lovely dinner at Meaza tonight. Four of us ordered:
7. Liyu Ye Tsom Wot (Special Vegi combo)
8. Ye Tsom Migib Ke Asa Gar (Vegetarian combo with fish)
15. Kitfo (Regular Kitfo) (raw)
31. Ye Beg Awaze Tibs (Lamb Awaze Tibs)
Without exception, everything was very good. The fish was slightly overcooked, but had an excellent flavor. The Kitfo was amongst the best I've had. I thought the spicy dishes could have had a bit more heat, but a minor complaint.
Total after tax and tip was $16/person, and we left stuffed (and left food on the plate). I haven't been downtown for Ethiopian in a year, so it's hard to make a direct comparison, but I think Meaza is only very slightly behind Queen Makeda and Etete.