While we looked over the menu, the waitress brought out a complimentary appetizer, an Ethiopian version of hummus and pita.
The dip was very creamy and oily and had a rich olive taste. There were slight notes of pureed chickpea. The accompanying bread was soft and delicate and lightly toasted.
As an appetizer, I ordered a bowl of lentil soup ($4).
This was so delicious. The taste of lentils was dominant, with a hint of sweet tomatoes seeping through. It was mildly spiced, yet was hearty and comforting. This was a great way to begin the meal.
Next, we had three entrees aesthetically assorted on one dish. We ordered the Red Lentil Stew ($11), the Mixed Vegetable Stew ($11) and the Vegetarian Combination ($12). When it first arrived, it was a bit overwhelming, but we actually devoured the entire meal.
The entrees were so delicious and flavorful. They were mildly spiced and well-seasoned. The mixed vegetables were soft and delicate and had a slightly tangy flavor. The lentil stews were very smooth and had a creamy consistency. I was not a huge fan of the collard greens, as the texture was a bit too rough and stringy. I found the salad to be light, yet had a moderate spice to it.
Unfortunately, Nyalaa did not have any Vegan desserts, so my sweet tooth was not satisfied. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed the meal and loved the varied flavors on the entree plate. We only spent about $13 for our meal, which was such a great deal considering all the food we ordered. I will definitely return, although I prefer Rahel for delicious and authentic Vegan Ethiopian food.