Our Man does not usually devote his column to a restaurant he absolutely didn’t enjoy, but it’s hard to imagine he’ll be revisiting Zoma any time soon. He can still recommend it, however, for certain eaters out there, especially those new to the cuisine timid around spices: “For the tender-tongued, for vegetarians, and for wine lovers, Zoma is something of a boon,” Sietsema says.
There are seven vegetarian options on the entree list, and there are “mercifully low mark-ups” on the vino. Sietsema’s complaint is summed up in his hilarious headline: “Bland on the Run.” He misses the spicy kick Ethiopian food should celebrate.
Though nicely prepared with wholesome ingredients, many selections suffer from a mind-numbing blandness in a cuisine that relishes hotness. A stir-fry of lamb tidbits, called awaze tibs ($15), arrives dry and not tasting much like lamb. “Awaze” is a complicated red chile paste, and the dish had none of the heat or subtlety that it usually confers.
2084 Frederick Douglass Boulevard
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 9, 2007