with Michael Lum

REVIEW: Bayu’s Authentic Ethiopian Cuisine… in Hillcrest !!!


530 University Ave
(between 5th Ave & Brant St)
Neighborhood: Hillcrest
(619) 269-6142

Bayu’s Authentic Ethiopian Cuisine
is named after the late grandmother of owner Reem Ali, whose mother helms the kitchen with a repertoire of bright, deeply flavored foods from their native homeland.

Bayu’s recently took over the space previously occupied by Café Bleu on University Avenue between 5th and 6th Avenues. That block and 5th Ave.  going north and south is truly becoming an international collection of epicurean delight. Italian, Greek, Mediterranean, Thai, Vietnamese, Ethiopian, Afghan, Indian, Japanese and going down University headed south the “Asian Alley”.

Upon entering let me say how simple and realistic the decor of the restaurant is. With sconces casting unique patterns on the ceiling, the hut in the corner, the bamboo bar it really sets the mood.                                                                                                                                                        

INJERA…..This is the national bread of Ethiopia. Is a fermented flatbread made from a grain called teff. This grassseed is gluten free so the bread does not rise. When the dough is placed on the flat grill, it bubbles like a pancake.

BUT, this is ALSO your eating utensil. YES! You wrap your food in it, sop up the sauce, and eat!

We went to the Lunch Buffet ($9) because we could try a number of different things on our virgin experience to Ethiopian food.

Now, if you order ala carte the plate is also made from INJERA as well.

I had a bit of a time being that so many of the dishes were saucy.
They DO have spoons available if you ask…

They also have an Ethiopian beer that is somewhat bland but actually counteracts the spiciness of the food. If not in the mood for a beer the iced tea with a hint of cinnamon is great. The cinnamon puts out the fire really quickly. Alot of lentils and vegetables are used.  Vegetarians would be right at home.

I really think you should give it a try for lunch if you’ve never been.  We will go back at night for a complete experience at some point. I’ve been told they are pretty good by people who know Ethiopian food.


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