I made my second trip to Gojo in less than a month and am now ready to review the place. Gojo is an Ethiopian/Eritrian restaurant in San Jose.For those unfamiliar to Ethiopian cuisine, here is my take on it. There is a big focus on vegetables and lentils, much like Indian food. There is also a lot of impetus on a shared plate. More on the cuisine here and some notes on their communal eating here.
The menu at Gojo is pretty wide and there are enough options for vegetarians to last multiple visits. In my first visit, I tried the timatim fitfit which is a spicy mix of injera, tomatoes and some spices. The second time, I tried their veggie combo which is the best item in the menu to sample all their veggie dishes in one shot.
The veggie combo is delivered on top of a big injera, which is a soft flour flatbread much like a dosa but very different in taste. More injera is provided on the side and on request. I also ordered a ethiopian spice tea which is done in a unique way. Warm water steeped with spices is given and a tea bag is provided. The spices have a distinct flavor by themselves and combined with the tea, offers a very interesting taste. The veggie combo has a bunch of vegetarian dishes that is very strong on the veggies and lentils. The full spectrum of dishes in the veggie combo should make any healthy eater, very happy.
Some of the dishes found in the veggie combo are Yemisser Wot – a spicy red lentil dish, Gomen Wot- a collard green dish that is less on spice and high on the greens, Ater Kik- a dhal like dish with split yellow peas, Atakilt Wot- a sabzi with potatoes, carrots and beans and some fresh salad. Each of them offers a different experience and Gojo does them all very well.
We were a party of 9 and the owner was nice enough to give us all a baklava on the house. The baklava, not a Ethiopian specialty by any means was pretty good for the price (less than half of what Chelokababi or Kabul charges). Overall, we were a satisfied crowd.
Ambience: 4/5. Nothing fancy. Its a small place with pictures and artifacts from Ethiopia.
Service: 3.5/5. Probably my only grouse. It took us 30 minutes to get our food on what was a very light day for the restaurant. I wish the food arrived faster.
Food: 4.75/5. Great food. Very healthy, filled with lentils and vegetables. Very filling and a unique eating experience from a taste standpoint.
Price: 4/5. The veggie combo is $12.99 which is pricey for a lunch. But it is a big platter. I wish it were closer to $10.99.
Overall: 4/5. Here is a place with really outstanding food. The taste of food is really good and the cuisine is interesting enough that I strongly recommend a trip to excite your taste buds.