I’ve heard of Muzita Abyssinian Bistro for quite some time now, but didn’t have a chance to visit until recently. I am always interested in cuisine from different countries and cultures, so I was excited to experience Eritrean and Ethiopian food for the first time.
The restaurant was quite crowded on a Friday evening, and the staff seemed to be a bit disorganized and scattered. We waited on the patio for a seat for quite some time, even though there were several tables open, and there was some confusion before we were finally seated. Also, no one took our drink orders – we didn’t even get water until more than halfway through our meal – and we were served by several different people throughout the meal, which made it quite confusing.
Samples of Side Dishes
Shortly after we were seated, one of the waiters brought out a sampler of their side dishes for us to try. Unfortunately, the food doesn’t photograph well, but these were: Alitcha Atakilti (stewed seasonal vegetables, in this case root vegetables), Timtimo (spicy red lentils), and Caulo (braised green cabbage and stewed tomato). I really enjoyed the flavors here, with plenty of spice for a rich savoriness.
Even though everything on the menu looked intriguing, eventually date and I were able to each settle on an entree choice.
Shiro + Beggie [$23]
Shiro (Eritrean-style ground chickpeas), sautéed New Zealand leg of lamb, house herb blend, tesmi (herbed butter), garlic & serrano.
Siga Duba [$25]
Pictured with house salad, sides of caulo and alitcha atakilti, and rolls of injera (crepe-like fermented bread).
The “Sigi Duba” was a seasonal special, and I was unable to find the full menu description, but it was basically a beef and pumpkin stew. Both of the entrees were quite delicious – I particularly liked the stewed pumpkin, though! Also, there are no forks and knives provided with the entrees – as you can see, the injera serves as the vessel to hold the food, as well as the utensil with which you eat! Just tear off a small piece and use it to scoop up the stew. It gets messy, but that’s definitely part of the fun.
Overall, I really enjoyed the food at Muzita; the flavors are really exciting and quite different from anything else that I’ve had before, and I like the fluffy, lightly fermented injera. It’s too bad that I wasn’t able to get great photos, but hopefully on my next visit, I’ll have better pictures! Hopefully the service will be more smooth next time as well, but it certainly will not prevent me from returning. There are still so many things on the menu to explore!
Muzita Abyssinian Bistro
4651 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA 92116