I went to Asmara for the first time back when this was one of the few restaurants on this strip of Telegraph. It was very good then.
It is still good now.
Though we called ahead to rsvp for a party of 4, this being a Thursday night dinner service, the mood is low key, busy enough with native Ethiopian Americans as well as other locals.
Since there were 4 of very hungry people coming straight here from a long day of work, we decided to order the meat and vegetable combo plate, and added the collard greens with beef cubes as well as the beef strips with bell peppers.
Wow, everything tasted fresh, well seasoned and homecooked. The service was very attentive and after stuffing our face silly with all the delicious Ethiopian fare, we still had enough leftover for another meal.
Can't wait to come back.
Out of the many Ethiopian restaurants that I have eaten at, Asmara is definitely on of the best. As you walk in to the restaurants, you can tell that this is local's place where the majority of the customers are Ethiopian and well acquainted with the cuisine. The owner and staff here are very accommodating and attentive to their customer's need and made my friends and I feel comfortable and welcomed as soon as we arrived.
Food: The food here is amazing especially their Kitfo, which is raw beef that is flash cooked right before serving with butter and spices prior to serving. If you like eating rare meat this is a great dish. It has a little kick to it from the spices but trust me, its worth it. Another favorite is the Lega Tibs, which is made with cubes of beef, carmelized onions, chunks of garlic, and rosemary, provided an aromatic fusion of flavors when eaten with injera (a sourdough flatbread with a spongy texture that is normally made with teff flour). If you can't pick between the meat platters, you can always order a meat combination which give you beef, lamb, and chicken made with three different house sauces. They also offer a wide variety of vegetarian dishes that are not only unique but also make a meat lover like me want more veggies. There are veggie dishes that include mustard greens, lentils, potatoes, carrots that are served with a side of salad that is dressed with lemon juice and and crushed peppers.
Service: Fantastic service and great waitress that seem to really care.
This place was recommended by my Ethiopian Lyft driver when I took Lyft in SF.
Since visiting Asmara for the first time, I have come back 3 times in a period of 2 months. That tells you how much I love this place!
The same general area offers a lot of decent Ethiopian restaurants, but this is why I think Asmara stands out:
--- Amazing food (equal if not better than all nearby Ethiopian places) but somehow CHEAPER. Their lunch combo is a little smaller portioned but it's only like $8!!! And dinner combos are still $1-$2 less than nearby places.
--- Flax seed drink for $3.5. I really like it. It's slightly sweet with a milky taste.
--- Good, friendly service & simple decor & atmosphere
--- Easy to park. If you can't find parking on Telegraph itself, take a few turns around the neighborhood blocks and will be sure to find some.
After coming to Asmara and other Ethiopian places in Oakland, I can never have Ethiopian food in SF anymore....!
In a city of more Ethiopian restaurants than shards of broken window glass, Asmara stands a cut above the rest.
If you're asking yourself "which one do I go to?" Stop. This one. Go to this one. Yes, the rest are good. Very good. But this one is the best for quality, portions, flavor, prices, the whole sha-bang.
I once stayed until after closing, and saw a stream of healthy Ethiopian grandmas meander out of the kitchen a half hour after closing.
I think that sums everything up.
My friend Carol and her family took us here a long time ago for dinner and since then this has become one of our frequent go to place in the hood. The food is delicious and very consistent in quality/ flavor and service is attentive. For two diners, we always order the combination vegie and catfish dish all comes in one huge serving platter to share with side of injera bread which has the consistency similar to thin pancake. Sometimes we order meat combo and vegetarian combo.
I literally just had the best meal of my life. I am vegan so it's really hard to go to a "non-vegan" restaurant and have so many wonderful options. The atmosphere is great, the service is great, the food is beyond better than any food I've ever had, and the honey wine changed my life. I wish I could say this is an exaggeration because I normally am more on the critical side... But this place is phenomenal. Thanks Asmara.
love the Tsugni the veg combo
the food was amazing the service was amazing and the prices were cheap. Definitley will be back , actually for now it is my favorite ethipoian / artrean in the east bay !
It was delicious! I grew up on this food, so I know what I'm talking about, lol. I've been to a few different Eritrean/Ethiopian spots out here, and they all seemed too Americanized. This place is good because the flavor is to the max like how the actual recipes call for.
Had the Awaze Tibs (beef) and inhaled in. Super flavorful, decent quality of meat. The alicha (or vegetable medley with the potatos/carrots/string beans) was good, but could've used some more garlic. The greens were also solid. Of course not like my mom's or grandma's, but they were good for a restaurant, for sure. I'll be coming back.I literally just had the best meal of my life. I am vegan so it's really hard to go to a "non-vegan" restaurant and have so many wonderful options. The atmosphere is great, the service is great, the food is beyond better than any food I've ever had, and the honey wine changed my life. I wish I could say this is an exaggeration because I normally am more on the critical side... But this place is phenomenal. Thanks Asmara.
This a a wonderful Ethiopia restaurant. The owner and staff are very friendly. The flavors are so rich and wonderful. The injera is not overly acidic so it does not overpower the stews. Always a good experience.
Best Ethiopian food I have ever had. Great ambience. Owners are super friendly . Good for a date night or family dinner .
Absolutely fantastic! I can't wait to come back again. Service & food are equally amazing.