UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS. Simple rule of thumb: foreign cuisines venture into vegetarian and vegan dishes more often than the traditional American fare. Tasty example in support of the rule: the Muzita Abyssinian Bistro. Located in University Heights, Muzita is an Eritrean and Ethiopian restaurant that offers vegan dishes packed with spice and flavor. Muzita even dedicates a portion of its menu to “Vegetarian/Vegan” entrees, a warm welcome by any measure.
- Birsn Korosho: spicy lentil spread with crispy injera*
- Beet salad: fresh garden beets, potato, and onion
Vegan Lunch Entrees:
- Shiro: Eritrean style seasoned, ground chickpeas
- Tofu Silsi: silken tofu with awaze sauce
- Timimo/Caulo/Alitcha (“TCA”): spicy lentil, berbere braised cabbage, and seasonal stewed vegetables
Vegan Dinner Entree:
- Shiro: (see description in Lunch section)
- Tofu Silsi: (see description in Lunch section)
- Hamli: braised spinach and collard greens
- Kantisha tsebhi: fresh berbere braised mushroom, tesmi stewed tomato and serrano
(* Injera is a yeast risen flatbread with a unique and slightly spongy texture that is a hallmark of traditional Eritrean and Ethiopian food.)
My favorite vegan dish at Muzita is the TCA entrée – scoops of spicy lentils, cabbage, and stewed vegetables assembled on delicious injera. This is a great plate for a first visit, as there are many ingredients to sample. Fair warning, however: it is only served at lunch!
How flavorful can chickpeas get, you ask? The Shiro entrée is the answer, grinding chickpeas with spices, served warm, in a bowl, with injera on the side. It is so good that Muzita features the Shiro on both the lunch and dinner menu. (Am I a little bitter that the TCA was not picked for the dinner team? Indeed.)
Muzita has an inviting and relaxed atmosphere. Earth tones warm the inside of the restaurant where the dark wooden floor and tables meet with beige walls. There is also patio seating available for those who wish to enjoy the outdoor deck or dine with their dog! As a note to those who have never tried Eritrean or Ethiopian food, silverware is not provided! Use those hands to lift, rip, scoop, and enjoy.
4651 Park Blvd
San Diego, CA 92116