Instead of going to my usual Ethiopian standby Assimba, a friend and I recently decided to branch out a little and try another of the many Ethiopian restaurants on Cherry between 23rd and MLK (I have also reviewed Meskel in the same stretch). Our basis for choosing was more or less gut feeling and curb appeal, which is pretty danged low for almost all of them. When we spotted Ras Dashen, we instantly chose it due to the simple fact that there were no bars on the windows.
And it was a good choice! Though not apparent from the outside, the inside of Ras Dashen was spacious, clean, light and modern. The restaurant smelled wonderful and there were reed curtains over the floor to ceiling windows that let in lovely light but blocked out the street.
We ordered beers, a Harrar and a Hakim Stout, which is my definite new favorite. It was nutty and flavorful without being too bitter. It made the regular Harrar, my usual choice, taste pretty lame.
For dinner we split a veggie combo, which was made with Canola Oil instead of the oft used (and non-vegan) Niter Kibeh. Everything on the combo was delicious: two kinds of lentils, okra, green beans, salad, potatoes, greens and plenty of injera. We added on a side order of Lab, the mild Ethiopian cheese, and we both waddled out of there beyond satisfied.
I might have a new favorite on Cherry Street!