After standing about in the cold for 3+ hours we were looking forward to a hot meal. Silver Spring, MD has a number of Ethiopian restaurants, and I chose LacoMelza based on some favorable reviews I had read on several social media sites. When we arrived, unfashionably early at 5:15, the restaurant was completely empty.
Fortunately, this was not an indication of the quality of the forthcoming meal. This was our first time eating Ethiopian, and I was somewhat relieved there wasn't a crowd of seasoned eaters watching our fumbling about sans cutlery. The waitress was helpful with meal selection and generous with the injera (the crepe-like bread that serves as plate, fork and spoon) and napkins.
We ordered doro wat: a single chicken drumstick bathed in a spicy red berbere sauce and a vegetable assortment that included kik alicha (yellow split pea puree), misir wat (spicy red lentil stew), tikil gomen (sautéed cabbage and potato), fasolia (green beans with carrots and onions) and gomen wat (collard greens). All delicious with complex flavors and some packing quite a bit of heat. We enjoyed scooping up every last bit with the injera and left too stuffed to think about dessert. Dinner for 3 (not including drinks and tip) <$30. Without any other Ethiopian experiences for comparison I was completely satisfied and would love to return, hopefully when the restaurant is a little livelier.