When I moved to DC in 2003, I was amazed at the wide variety of ethnicities represented in the city’s cuisine. One that always intrigued me, but I somehow never tried, was Ethiopian food. So, naturally, 14 years later, back in Cleveland, I would finally try Ethiopian cuisine (and wonder what the hell took me so long.)
My friend Melissa and I met up for dinner at Zoma Ethiopian Restaurant last night. The decor was colorful and welcoming and the restaurant staff was similarly so friendly and inviting.
Our table came with helpful instructions on how to enjoy Ethiopian food.
Melissa and I started with an order of sambusa, which is fried dough stuffed with lentils. We both loved the spicy (and I mean, spicy) sauce served with the sambusa.
For my entree, I chose the lamb tibs, which is cubed lamb prepared with onion, garlic, rosemary, and jalapeno peppers and served on a sizzling skillet (think: fajita-syle.) For my side, I chose the flavorful split yellow peas, with onions, garlic, and turmeric.
The food is served atop injera, a spongy Ethiopian bread used to dunk and eat the food. The texture of the bread is really different, almost pancake-like, but stretchier. And while it’s a great compliment to the food, it definitely takes up a lot of space in your stomach, so even our server warned us to not overdo the bread!
Melissa is a vegetarian and Zoma offers a ton of flavorful options for non-meat eaters. Melissa got a combo platter with chickpea stew, cabbage with ginger and curry, and red lentils in hot garlic and onion sauce.
We loved our meal and I really enjoyed exploring a different way of eating and different flavor profiles. After dinner, we popped across the street to pick a bottle of The Wine Spot‘s rose tree and enjoy some more good girl time.
It was a lovely, spicy evening! I’m so glad I finally tried Ethiopian food and I can’t wait to go back and dip my injera in more flavorful offerings!