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First time trying Ethiopian food...where should I go?

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I am going out to dinner with my girlfriends for Ethiopian food next week. It will be my first time eating Ethiopian food and the girls have left it up to me to pick the restaurant. I have heard fabulous things about Fassica and Merkato. Where would you recommend that I go to get a wonderful first time experience?

Thank you in advance!

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  1. fassica is not what it used to be.
    this is very sad for me because it is much closer to where i live and work than are the others.

    of the rest,
    meals by genet is best, but check their hours before you go.
    i also really like the vegan ethiopian restaurant, rahel.
    be sure to ask for some awazay to put on your food.

    if you go to merkato, DON'T order the fish.

    3 Replies
    1. re: westsidegal

      Why did you say not to order the fish at Merkato? I love it.

      1. re: WildSwede

        was too old, smelled 'fishy', tasted and fell apart like a fish that had been kept too long.
        their other stuff was ok, the fish, though, was gross.

        1. re: westsidegal

          That's too bad. Whenever I have had it it has been fresh and wonderful tasing. Could this maybe have been a one-time thing?
          I love their vegetarian combo - over any of their meat dishes. Also, get their honey wine. MM mm good!

    2. i went to nyala a couple years ago and the food was pretty good.

      1. f
        Foodie Universe

        I've eaten at most of the restaurants in Little Ethiopia, so here's a rundown:

        Meals by Genet: Jonathan Gold is a fan. I haven't been here though.

        Messob: other people seem to like this place a lot, but I didn't have a particularly impressive experience. I thought their vegetarian platter fell short.

        Rosalind's: My favorite. It's quiet and peaceful most nights (I think they have live entertainment on the weekends) and they have never let me down.

        Merkato: Can be a bit hit or miss. Atmosphere isn't as nice as the other places. Unbelievably cheap.

        Nyala: The only Zagat-rated Ethiopian place. The portions were smaller and the prices were higher. The atmosphere was nice, but it didn't feel like the real thing. I felt sick after eating here.

        If you click on the link below, make sure to also click on the restaurant titles if you are intersted in more info on Merkato or Messob. I think Rosalind's is your best bet, though.

        Link: http://foodieuniverse.blogspot.com/20...

        1. The first time? Go to Nyala. It's not the best one but it's the best experience, especially if you do the coffee at the end with the incense and the tiny cups and the stone ewer.

          Then, once you've acquired the taste for it, go to Genet. Get the lamb, and get the vegetarian platter. It's so good. I've never even been tempted by the "Western" side of the menu, it's so good.

          1. The original comment has been removed
            1. my recommendation: don't go on a saturday night. then look for nice ambience and pick one based on the vibes ou get.