Asmara, (named after the capital of Eritrea) has been serving up Eritrean/ Ethiopian delights in North Oakland since 1985.
What begins with a rather mediocre facade opens into a roomy, inviting space with cute touches of ethnic décor.
The food is pretty good overall though in certain dishes I felt like there was something missing – perhaps something in the spices they use. Their injeras were very good and we were given plenty of them.
The service is a little slow but overwhelmingly warm and friendly.
All in all – Asmara is a really good bet!
Here is some of what we ate:
POTATOES & CARROTS AND SALAD
The potato and carrots combo and salad are usually served on the shared plate with an injera at the bottom. I thought the potato dish was very bland and devoid of spice and flavor. The salad was nice and crunchy and went very well with the rest of the meal.
This red lentil stew marinated in berbere sauce was very good. It really had great depth of spices and flavor.
DORO AND GOMEN
This boneless chicken cooked with mustard greens was outstanding. The chicken was cooked down to a perfect tenderness, which melded really well with the cooked greens.
This roasted grounds peas cooked in berbere sauce is one of my favorite Ethiopian dishes. I found Asmara’s shiro very lacking. It was disappointing.
This dish had pan-roasted strips of beef, simmered with onion, butter, and mild spices.
MY RATINGS FOR THIS MEAL
I recommend: Temtmo/ Yemissir, Doro and Gomen