Zara Restaurant & Bar , an Ethiopian Restaurant (Ethiopian Yellow Pages) is one of the best East African restaurants in the heart of Columbus, Ohio offering a fun-filled, casual dining experience! ZARA Restaurant strives to always serve you fresh and affordable East African cuisine in the East side of Columbus, Ohio..
ZARA Restaurant is one of the best East African restaurants in the heart of Columbus, Ohio offering a fun-filled, casual dining experience! ZARA Restaurant strives to always serve you fresh and affordable East African cuisine in the East side of Columbus, Ohio.
ZARA Restaurant are committed to provide the most authentic Eritrean/Ethiopian food, top notch service and great atmosphere. ZARA Restaurant offers great testing menu’s to it’s customers, depending on their varied tests. Our skilled chefs work hard to create authentic East African dishes for you, and the staff all work together to create the perfect atmosphere. Stop in today and we’re sure you’ll love what you find.
According to the lovely young waitress who served us lunch this past Friday, Zara Restaurant and Bar has been open for two years or so, despite the lack of previous Yelp reviews. Maybe it’s because Zara has a comparatively low-key presence in an otherwise nondescript strip mall in an unprepossessing portion of Hamilton Road, or maybe it’s just because we’re so focused on barcades and food trucks and whatnot that Zara has managed to escape everyone’s notice.
The restaurant itself is pretty simply decorated, with a large bar (including some draft beer options) occupying the center of the space. The front of the restaurant has big tall windows, so it’s a bright, sunny space in the day.
Our meal started with a complimentary salad of green leaf lettuce, tomatoes, bell pepper, onions, and jalapeno peppers. At many restaurants this would be the least memorable part of the meal, but Zara’s salad was fresh and bright, and lightly dressed with a housemade dressing of salt, pepper, and oil.
For our entrees, we ordered the vegetarian combination, the kitfo, and the dinish siga. The vegetarian combination included lentils, split peas, cabbage, collard greens, and more salad; everything was decently cooked, but comparatively underspiced. The kitfo, I have to admit, was not my favorite; a mix of ground beef cooked with butter, it was, for me, rather heavy and bland. The dinish siga was the highlight of the meal; tender cubes of beef cooked with onions, tomatoes, and potatoes, it was both hearty and surprisingly complex in flavor profile. I would come back to Zara for this dish alone.
Everything came in the traditional Ethiopian manner, served on a bed of injera, and accompanied by additional rolls of injera, and eaten with your hands. So wash your hands before your meal, and ask for a fork if you want one.
Lalibela remains my go-to for Ethiopian food, but I’m happy to see another option available, and Zara is a worthy peer in Columbus’ Ethiopian food scene. And I’m not complaining about being able to get a draft beer, the next time I’m there for dinner.