Editors' pick

LacoMelza Ethio Cafe

$$$$ ($14 and under)
Authentic Ethiopian with a side of art.
Tue-Thu 11am-10pm
Fri-Sat 11am-11pm
Sun 11am-10pm.
(Silver Spring)
67 decibels (Conversation is easy)

Editorial Review

2012 Fall Dining Guide
By Tom Sietsema
Washington Post Magazine
Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012

This Ethiopian newcomer shot to the head of its class when it opened in Silver Spring last winter. Good looks help. The red walls of the small dining room show off a gallery's worth of paintings, and the glass-topped linens on the tables turn out to be Ethiopian cultural lessons. But the trio of women behind LacoMelza Ethio Cafe take extra care with their food, too. The cottage cheese that's served with the fiery kitfo — Ethiopia's wicked take on steak tartare — is made in-house, and the crepe-like bread used to scoop up the stews and salads is bought fresh, all day long, from a nearby bakery. Neat touch: Be it wrinkly strips of dried beef tossed with bits of injera (kuanta firfir) or ginger- and garlic-teased collard greens (gomen), the cooking is presented in pots or raised glass dishes. Less mess!