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Former Almaz Ethiopian Restaurant Undergoing Major Renovations on U St, NW

by Prince Of Petworth August 15, 2011 at 10:30 am 16 Comments

Almaz was located at 1212 U St, NW. A reader writes:

“So Almaz is closed for renovations. We just walked down U St and they were working on it on a Friday night, which I thought was strange. I asked one of the workers whether Almaz was reopening and he said no, it would be an American food place. I peeked in at the reno and it did look very nice.”

I also asked some of the workers what the new place would be and they echoed the same as above, it will focus on “American food”. They did not know what the new name would be but they said they expected to reopen in a few weeks.

Were there any fans of Almaz?

  • Courtney

    Noo! I loved Almaz. They had restaurant.com certificates that were a great deal, good happy hour drinks, and a tuna kitfo that was wonderful. Darn.

  • MrsB

    I LOVED Almaz! My friends and I have been going there at least once a month for years, starting then it was known as Roha. I’m so sad to hear about this! Another death by restaurant.com. 🙁

  • This seems fairly curious. Ulah Bistro, one door west, focuses on “American food.” So do Ben’s Chili Bowl and Ben’s Next Door across the block. The “American food” market seems pretty saturated, at least as far as the 1200 block of U Street is concerned. The old Duke’s City, one door east, could not succeed as yet another “American food” place on the block, which is why it is now a club, Indulj, focusing on folks who want lots of noise with their meal (and don’t put much of a priority on good spelling). I wonder if this place will become another club or a sports bar type establishment.

  • Anon

    Hopefully part of the renovation will be fixing that crazy women’s bathroom. Two toilets in one room, it was so weird.

  • dtr

    Uh oh… no permit issued for this work according to PIVS on DCRA.

    I would expect this renovation to be shutdown soon. They better hope this is just a filing error — especially being so close to where the ANC holds it’s monthly meetings.

  • Bloomingdude

    I love Ethiopian but I feel U street is saturated with it, particularly if you include 9th street. Is there really a market for that many Ethiopian restaurants? How come no Vietnamese or German or Argentine or whatever…?

    • Anonymous

      because dc has the largest ethiopian community outside of ethiopia.

    • Courtney

      Yes, there really is that big of a market and you would be surprised at the differences between each one.

  • Oh no!! This is terrible! Almaz had the best, most authentic Ethiopian food I’ve ever had! It wasn’t consistent – the food changed from visit to visit, even from day to day (I take all my employees there for their orientations, and that sometimes means two or three lunchs in a single week) – but it’s ALWAYS yummy.

    I’m depressed. Where will I find such good tuna kitfo? Where can I find mitmita that is so smokey and spicy??

    • Anonymous

      I don’t know, 9th St?

      • 9th Street…what, Etete? Not nearly as good. Don’t be sarcastic, make a suggestion! I’ll go there!

  • Anonymous

    Their lunch buffet was a great deal. It was the first Ethiopian restaurant I visited when I moved to the neighborhood a couple of years ago. I’ll miss it.

  • U St resident

    What a shame. Best Ethiopian in DC. Hands down.

  • mike

    Really sad! My favorite Ethiopian place in DC. They had a really great $20ish vegetarian sampler dinner meal for two people that was giant and had every vegetarian dish available. Most food you could get for $10 a person at an actual restaurant. I no longer live in DC but every Ethiopian place we go to now we compare to Almaz.

  • Joseph

    What we don’t need is another TAVERN or CLUB like that wretched Indulj. They could serve corn dogs for all I care as long as they don’t have noise blaring out the windows and hoochie mamas yipping and yapping in a line out the door!!!

  • Mitmita

    Such a shame, the 2nd time now I’ve had my favorite Ethipian restaurant in DC close (1st time was Addis Ababa on 18th, a few years ago now.) I also went to Almaz nearly monthly for over 3 years, bummer.

    My new favorite is great, Ethiopic, but all the way across town on H st corridor. Bah, not conducive to last minute meals out, plus you often have to make reservations there. Guess I’ll be giving Etete a 2nd chance (decent but unspectacular my first visit), as well as trying a couple others on 9th.


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