Mela Bistro bills itself as “Modern Ethiopian Cuisine,” but many of the modern touches that chef Adiam Tsegaye adds to her food are subtle. For her lentil sambusas, she replaces deep-fried spring roll wrappers with a spinach tortilla, and for her yellow lentil soup, she adds fire-roasted corn for bursts of sweetness. There’s also a larger appetizer section than most Ethiopian restaurants, including double-baked awaze chicken wings, marinated in berbere and accompanied with housemade gingery berbere aioli. Don’t miss the duba wot, a traditional yet hard-to-find dish of sweet orange squash served in a thick, spicy berbere-laden stew — and cool down with the sweet, refreshing beet and potato salad. Other dishes, like the grass-fed lamb tibs, chicken and mushrooms, and veggie platter are solid, albeit less unusual. All dishes are served by default atop 100 percent teff, gluten-free injera, although customers can also choose from turmeric rice, couscous, pita bread, or red quinoa. For dessert, don’t miss Tsegaye’s vegan, gluten-free teff chocolate cake.

— Katherine Hamilton


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Payment Type: Cash, All Major Credit Cards

Hours: Mon.-Fri. 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Sat. 3 p.m.-9 p.m.

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