14th Street NW has become a hot spot for new Chic and expensive restaurants. As i was walking down 14th Street at its intersection with Rhode Island Ave. I came across the one and only place that wasn’t closed, or at least that I could find serving, between the hours of 3:00pm and 4:00pm. Not only was it an hour wait, having arrived at Le Diplomat at 3:15pm, until 4:00pm for the happy hour to start, but they wouldn’t serve food until 5:00pm. My growling stomach overpowered m
y greed for high priced dishes. “Lalibela” sketch me out the first time i walked by and read the menu. However, out of desperation, we gave it a shot.
We walked into a beautiful aroma of spices and a 14th Street scene unknown to my previous experiences. This was a popular spot for local Ethiopians, specifically what we witnessed was a large group of Ethiopian men watching the Champions League game. I started to think about the restaurant’s surroundings, how the street was changing, and how this would affect these local Ethiopians that seemed like blue collar, hard working, normal men. It got me thinking about how the clear push for renovation and gentrification taking over the neighborhood, was going to affect these happy and welcoming local Ethiopian community.
The meal was wonderful and the change of dishes was a unique experience unexpected after searching in restaurant like, “Black Whiskey” and “Le Diplomat. Not only was the service available, welcoming, fast, and professional but incredibly cheap considering that I later progressed to a near by bar that two draft pints came close to matching my filling and delicious meal. “Lalibela” truly feels like entering a small corner restaurant/bar in Ethiopia, rare to the new boom in high end dinning to the Street.