Lemat - Ethiopian in South Berkeley


Finally got around to trying this place. They say they’re open until 10:00, but they put up the closed sign at 8:15. That might have been because we were there on Ethiopian Christmas, but I’d call ahead to make sure.

They’re open for breakfast, no menu on the web site. Some friends who stayed at our house while we were out of town went and said the chef was trained as a baker makes a lot of unusual things. I think the sign out front says they’re opening much earlier than the web site says.

They also offer Ethiopian coffee ceremony.

Vegetarian / vegan combo on left, meat combo on right. Clockwise from the white scoop at the top:

  • shiro wat (powdered chickpeas)
  • ye doro wat (chicken & egg)
  • alicha y’beg wat (lamb)
  • ye’siga wat (spicy beef)
  • gomen (collards with meat)
  • lentil something
  • misir kik (lentils)
  • alcha kik (split peas)
  • gomen (collards without meat)
  • cabbage
  • house salad in the center

Plenty of food for two. The ye’siga wat, shiro wat, and lentil thing at the bottom were my favorites. Lamb, misir kik, and gomen with meat were also good. Next time I’ll probably just get the ye’siga wat, which was as good an Ethiopian dish as I’ve had. I think Cafe Colucci’s vegetarian dishes are more interesting.

Went again last night, ye’siga wat, misir kik, shiro wat, and lamb gomen were all great.

The “lentil thing at the bottom” turns out to be azifa, a sort of hummus-like salad seasoned with mustard. It’s not on the menu, just comes with the vegetarian platter.

The injera is 100% teff. Our server says it takes six days to ferment, so they have six batches going at all times.

Oh, and they’re not open for breakfast any more. They open at 11 and it’s the same menu all day.

How great! Amazingly we have an Ethiopian place in Reno that’s really good. Thanks for the reminder. Such a great cuisine.