Desta Ethiopian Kitchen

The intersection of Clairmont Road and Briarcliff Road has emerged as Atlanta’s Little Ethiopia in the last few years: Four restaurants serving that country’s cuisine sit at the junction. They all present similar menus, but Desta is the busiest for a reason. Co-owners Titi Demisse and Ash Nega serve food made as if you were an honored guest in their home.

Their showstopper is the vegetarian combo plate arranged over injera, the spongy Ethiopian bread used as an eating utensil. The array includes garlicky greens, a crisp salad, and pulses (lentils, chickpeas, split peas) scented with gentle spices. You can order kitfo (Ethiopian steak tartare) cooked medium or well-done, but it’s so much better raw, warmed only by melted spiced butter and seasoned with crumbly farmer’s cheese.