cosmopolitan field, when we dropped by after several years' absence, we were in many ways delighted by the experience, if sometimes underwhelmed by the fare.
Bathed in shades of ochre, deep red, and dark green, and decorated with geometric designs and folkloric paintings, the spacious room is welcoming and comfortable. Seating is in deep booths or at a mesob, a colorful woven basket of a table. Mesobs are built to hold only the communal tray from which everyone eats; small side tables handle drinks. Though I'm generally on the side of authenticity and adventure, I admit to liking the idea of the mesob more than the reality. This is such a communal meal-particularly at dinner-that it encourages hanging around and yakking afterwards, and for that, booths serve as a much better lounging venue.
The evening menu is simple and straightforward. It consists of four meat and seven vegetarian dishes, a salad, and a few desserts. Dinners are served communally and priced by the person. We chose the Ethiopian feast-meat plus vegetables-but a slightly less expensive vegan feast is also an option.
Before dinner the waiter brought a tray of steaming hot washcloths for our hands. Then he delivered a tray of rolled injera bread-soft, sourdough griddlecakes that are torn into strips and used in place of cutlery to pick up bites of food. This was followed by an injera-lined platter on which the eleven dishes were displayed in small mounds of various earthy shades and contrasting textures, arranged as carefully as a still life.