Vegetable combo photography by Kevin Marple

Restaurant Review: Lalibela Restaurant & Bar

You'll need a partner to properly tackle the delights of this Ethiopian cuisine.

Anyone who has said “I do” can tell you that marriage is as filled with pros (having a special someone who’s contractually obligated to listen to you complain about the yogurt thief at work) as it is with cons (having someone for whom you’re obligated to do the same). Thankfully, there’s something new to add to the pro column: having someone with whom to double-team the menu at Lalibela. For those of you who have yet to experience the gustatory joy that is Ethiopian cuisine, Lalibela provides one of the finest examples of the style that I’ve found in my extensive research in New York, L.A., and many points in between. If you’re new to the genre, do as I say and order one vegetarian sampler and one meat sampler in order to receive a well-rounded mix of both wot (spicy) and alecha (mild) items. When a round platter layered with spongy injira bread and topped with unidentifiable piles of stews, lentils, and vegetables arrives at your table, tear off a square of the injira (this is your utensil), scoop, pop the bundle in your mouth, and prepare for speechlessness. Ethiopian cuisine is best eaten slowly with a Zen-like attention to flavor, texture, and stomach fullness, which will creep up on you with surprising speed, so keep your wits about you. I promise: you’ll forget about that hijacked Yoplait in no time.

Get contact information for Lalibela.

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