While many restaurants go dark at the beginning of the workweek, The GastroGnome, Naomi Bishop, is here to inform you of good eating options where the lights stay on Monday nights.
Often at Ethiopian restaurants, sticking to the meat or veggie combo can mean missing out on some of the most interesting dishes they offer. Lucy bucks this pattern by showcasing a bone-in lamb dressed in a blanket of spiced injera (Ethiopian bread) on its meat platter. Next to it, you'll find kitfo, a beef dish that is traditionally served raw, though is often cooked when served to non-Ethiopians. As is the case in most Seattle area Ethiopian joints, if you're interested in getting yours raw, be sure to specify when you order. This Ethiopian steak tartare-esque pile of meat is a study in yin and yang when the spiced meat is eaten with the accompanying cooling fresh, homemade cheese. Even for the biggest eaters, this platter, piled high with servings of collard greens, lentil dishes and a few more meat dishes, is plenty for a couple to share and is easy on the wallet, at just $13.95.
So bring your date and offer to pay, invite him or her to cozy up in one of the large, soft booths that line the dinning room. Sink into the seat and use your fingers to feed your date, as is the Ethiopian tradition. The strip mall setting of the restaurant might not be ideal for a romantic date, but the restaurant does what it can, splitting the room into two halves. The bar is crowded with Ethiopian men, the television showing the football game, while on the other side of the room, the big booths keep diners focused on their food. The entrance-way, between the two sides, is decorated with traditional Ethiopian-style low tables, lending an air of authenticity to the awkward location and, to borrow a phrase from The Dude, it really ties the room together.