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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Spicy Ethiopian Chicken at Moya

Posted By on Wed, Jul 14, 2010 at 7:30 AM

click to enlarge Ye doro tibs ($12), served on house-made injera. - JOHN BIRDSALL
  • John Birdsall
  • Ye doro tibs ($12), served on house-made injera.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Fana Alemayehu's days-old Ethiopian eatery is the real thing. The spare, high-ceilinged site in a SOMA SRO has a sort of mum, beige elegance, with Alemayehu herself ― shy and smiling ― doing the cooking in Moya's semi-open kitchen.

Alemayehu's ye doro tibs: soft nubs of chicken sautéed in spiced butter (kibe), married to a scant, mashy tomato sauce sweetened with bits of long-cooked onion. Order it spicy and the color shades aniline orange via chile-laced Berbere spice. Its heat sneaks up on you. Swaddled in pinched-off scraps of house-made injera ― Ethiopia's tangy, pockmarked, pancake-like "bread," here made with teff, barley, and wheat flours ― the burn is negligible. But when you get to the sauce-soaked injera beneath, it sears like a hot sidewalk under bare feet.

Moya 1044 Folsom (at Sixth St.), 431-5544.

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