Forget lofty hordes of tourists and admission prices: Entering the dining room of this Edgewater restaurant is a lot like wandering into an ethnic museum in its own right. The expansive floor plan leads the eye toward embroidered tablecloths, enormous artwork and beautiful pottery, all of which compete for attention as you navigate your way to an empty table.
But the decor, while pleasing to look at, is by no means the reason to frequent this interesting eatery. Food is the main exhibit here and deserves the highest regard: Appetizer aficionados would be hard-pressed to avoid flaky meat- or vegetable-stuffed sambusas, and few will find themselves unable to refuse the variety of stews and other entrees served up sans-injera. Admittedly, it's a lot more fun to sop up shimbra assa (chickpea dough cooked to look like a fish) or gomen watt (collard greens with potatoes in a berbere sauce) with the absorbent bread, but these dishes don't lose their unique flavor when enjoyed with a fork.
Meals here are meant for sharing, with food served on an injera platter ideal for a communal sampling of the entire menu. Wash your food down with a generous bottle of Tusker beer (just don't drink it solo) and you're guaranteed to go home satisfied.
The experience at Ethiopian Diamond is complimented further by good-natured servers and reasonable prices. Dishes range from $8-$15 and are much better enjoyed with friends, so bring your bread-loving sensibilities, your best pals, and prepare to taste the world.
Average cost: $10-$20
Centerstage Reviewer: Jenny Seay