Dallas' 50 Most Interesting Restaurants, No. 3: Lalibela

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Leading up to our annual Best of Dallas® issue, we're counting down the 50 most interesting restaurants in Dallas. These spots bring something unique or compelling to the city's dining scene, feeding both your appetite and soul. Find more interesting places on our all-new Best Of app for iTunes or Android.

Not many meals come to pass at Lalibela without a visit from Genet Mulugeta. If business is slow and you're an inquisitive diner, she may even linger at your table, answering questions about that phantom spice lingering in your lentils that you can't quite discern.

Business isn't always slow, though, and when things pick up Mulugeta spends most of her time in the kitchen -- which is a good thing, because you'll enjoy her cooking twice as much as her personal attention. (And you'll love her attention plenty.)

To the untrained eye the cooking at many Ethiopian restaurants may seem homogenous, but eat at enough of them and variations present themselves across each and every dish. Textures vary, spice profiles shift and dishes that lie outside the mainstays like tibs, kitfo and doro wot come in and out of focus.

If every Ethiopian cook had his or her own style, then Mulugeta's trademark would be her aggressive use of spice. Her dishes are more rustic, less refined and unapologetically heaped with the ingredients and flavors that define Ethiopian cooking. The results are rich lentil stews that eat like they're made of meat, and vegetable dishes that stand on their own, too. Pair a handful these with a meat dish of your choice, and you'll come to understand that Mulugeta cooks with passion and personality, which lends Lalibela its distinct appeal.

No. 50: Joyce and Gigi's
No. 49: East Hampton Sandwich Co.
No. 48: 20 Feet Seafood Joint
No. 47: Taj Chaat House
No. 46: Mot Hai Ba
No. 45: La Nueva Fresh and Hot
No. 44: Pera Turkish Kitchen
No. 43: Tom's Burgers and Grill
No. 42: Mughlai
No. 41: Russian Banya
No. 40: Off-Site Kitchen
No. 39: Bachman Lake Taqueria
No. 38: Carbone's
No. 37: Babe's
No. 36: Barbacoa Estilo Hidalgo
No. 35: Zaguan
No. 34: Royal Sichuan
No. 33: Spoon
No. 32: Bambu
No. 31: Pecan Lodge
No. 30: FT33
No. 29: Keller's Drive-In
No. 28: La Pasadita
No. 27: Ten Bells Tavern
No. 26: El Ranchito
No. 25: Cafe Urbano
No. 24: Nova
No. 23: Jeng Chi
No. 22: Omi
No. 21: Tei-An
No. 20: Jonathon's Oak Cliff
No. 19: Yutaka and Sharaku
No. 18: Local
No. 17: Ibex
No. 16: Pakpao
No. 15: Chennai Cafe
No. 14: Smoke
No. 13: Nonna
No. 12: Kuby's
No. 11: Sushi Sake
No. 10: La Banqueta
No. 9: Kalachandji's
No. 8: Mesa
No. 7: Teppo
No. 6: Stampede 66
No. 5: Crossroads Diner
No. 4: Bolsa

Location Info

Venue

Map

Lalibela

9191 Forest Lane, Dallas, TX

Category: Restaurant

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1 comments
jonfromtjs
jonfromtjs

i love the sheer number of asian places on this list.  quality of any list is directly linked to % of asian restaurants.    seriously - great list.

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