300 N Killingsworth St., 285-4867, enatguada.com.
[GREAT GOOP] The thing with
Ethiopian restaurants is they all serve the same basic lineup of
dishes—the red lentil thing, the yellow lentil thing that's never quite
as good as the red lentil thing, those collard greens that taste better
than they look, something with lamb...if you order the combo plate (and
you should always order the combo plate), you only know them by sight,
anyway. So you go to your closest Ethiopian restaurant, and you're
served some familiar-looking mounds of goop, and they taste fine, and so
that becomes "your" Ethiopian place and you never bother trying
anywhere else. Why drive/cycle/longboard further for basically the same
goop when it's just fine right here? Enat Kitchen is worth the journey.
Yeah, the menu is basically the same as your local, but no matter where
you're eating now, this is just better. The spicing is more complex, the
flavors are bolder, the injera is fresher and tangier. Even the
salad—usually just there to bulk out the plate and take the heat off—is
elevated here to a lick-your-fingers delicious standout. Whatever "your"
local is, you really won't know how much better those mounds of goop
can be until you make the trek up here—unless your neighborhood joint is
at 300 N Killingsworth St., in which case you've already hit the holy
grail of Portland Ethiopian cuisine; you need look no farther.
Ideal meal: You should always order the combo plate.
Best deal: There's a lunch buffet for $8.
Pro tip: The dishes aren't super-hot by default, so request spicy if you're into that sort of thing.
11 am-10 pm Monday-Saturday. $$.