Ahadu: good Ethiopian (Telegraph Av, Oakland)
This location has had several incarnations, which I am misspelling so the closed operations will not show up in searches.
It was HidAway café for a number of years, serving breakfast and lunch. Then it became an Ethiopian place named Darye, which was very good -- but soon the original chef left. The operation continued under the same name and was not good.
Finally it has reopened as Ahadu, and it is very good.
There are ten or so Ethiopian places in the Telegraph Avenue corridor; it hardly seems there is a need for another. Ahadu is directly across the street from Café Coluci. The new owners had Nyala restaurant in San Francisco some years ago, but gave it up to raise their kids.
In my opinion the quality of Ethiopian food is inversely related to the speed at which it appears at the table. If it comes quickly it has been precooked. At Ahadu you wait for the food to arrive. We have taken to ordering a small plate of cold lentils and injera to start, while we wait.
I've been three times, and the only dish I've ordered was the "dulet." It is chopped lamb, lamb tripe, and lamb liver, cooked in spiced butter. One has a choice of raw or cooked; I get it cooked. Very good, very consistent. Others at the table have enjoyed the veg combo, and the lamb (or beef) tibs (sautéed small pieces of meat, then stewed in spiced butter). Meat dishes come with a tomato salad and stewed collard greens.
Last time we went someone ordered a dish "medium" (we were asked about the level of spice). It turned out too spicy for her to eat (she usually enjoys spicy food)-- and they replaced it with the milder version.
The servers are exceptionally pleasant and attentive, though we dine early and sometimes there are only a few other diners.
There are two options for outdoor dining: a patio in front and a very nice private courtyard in back.
Inside is quiet and usually not crowded.
Corkage is $10, and that seems a flat fee-- we often open two bottles (for five people).
Street parking is easy (we live close; we always walk).
A great site for information on Ethiopian restaurant food: http://www.ethiopianrestaurant.com/
6430 Telegraph Ave
(between Alcatraz Ave & 65th St, a few blocks from the Berkeley border
)Oakland, CA 94609