When Ethiopian food is good, it's very, very good. And when it's wonderful, it's Walia!
We knew we had a winner the moment we walked in. For one thing, the place smelled amazing. Our daughter, who had never eaten Ethiopian food before, took one long breath and said "I'm excited! I can't wait to try it! It smells wonderful!" For another, when we looked around, we realized that we were one of only two parties there who were not Ethiopian...always a good sign!
The restaurant is very nice inside...clean, bright, and attractively decorated. It's located in a small shopping center off Stevens Creek Boulevard...easy to find, with plenty of parking. There is a bar in the shopping center that's kind of sketchy -- lots of rough-looking people hanging around -- but they didn't bother us and we didn't bother them, so it was all good!
My husband and I are vegetarians (our daughter isn't, but since she was unfamiliar with the cuisine, she decided to just follow our lead for this first visit), so after perusing the menu and talking with the very nice young waiter, we decided to order two vegetarian combos, served on one platter "family style."
Oh man...not only did they have my two favorites (Misir Wot and Alicha Wot), they were about the best versions I've ever had! Soooo rich and flavorful! The Gomen (collard greens) was fantastic as well! Even the salad in the middle of the platter (which in most places is a little "meh") was lovely, showcasing fresh California greens and a nice vinaigrette.
To drink, the daughter and I had Ethiopian beer (dark-style...basically a sweet stout), and hubby had iced tea. The beer was new to me, and quite good...a bit on the sweet side (I think I'll try the light beer next time), but a nice complement to the food.
Service was excellent...prompt, friendly, and informative.
As a long-time fan of Ethiopian cuisine, I have to say that this is one of the best Ethiopian meals I've ever had. We will most definitely be back!
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