Restaurant Roulette: Walia

Rating and analyzing dishes from different restaurants in and around Cupertino

Emily Xia

Twice a month, El Estoque goes to restaurants around the area and takes a chance by asking the waiter to suggest food for us to try. This week, we continued the alphabetical theme by going to Walia in San Jose.

Address: 2208 Business Circle, San Jose, CA 95128

Situated in the heart of downtown San Jose, the small and bustling restaurant Walia offers traditional Ethiopian dishes. The walls are decorated with traditional Ethiopian paintings and old photos, making the atmosphere feel rustic and homey.

Along with the relatively cheap prices, Walia is a great place to bring friends, host parties or explore a different culture’s cuisine.

Ethiopian Coffee – $2.95

Ethiopian Coffee

The coffee, an authentic Ethiopian drink, was extremely bitter, carrying the same flavor as an extremely strong espresso. However, flavor wise, it was rich and delicious. Anyone who enjoys coffee and wants to stay awake for a long period of time should try this drink.


Ethiopian Spice Tea – $2.95

Ethiopian Spice Tea

Unlike most leaf or flower teas, this spice tea has a strong cinnamon scent. When sugar is added, it has a light and refreshing taste that creates a warm and cozy sensation. This tea is a perfect ending to a day.


Injera – $0


A complimentary side to every dish, this unique Ethiopian classic is made of a special wheat called Teff, native to Ethiopia. The customer can rip off a piece of injera with their hands and use it to scoop up any sauce they would like. The bread has a sponge-like texture with a very sour aftertaste. It soaks up sauces well, although when eaten in abundance, the sourness is a bit overwhelming.


Lael Combo – $48.95

With 12 different dishes, this combo can satiate up to five people. Hover over any of the buttons to see individual ratings. All in all, the combo is very well-rounded flavor-wise and all of the dishes are extremely well made.



Price: $$ / $$$

Overall Rating: 9/10

Walia was a new and immersive experience into a different culture, and the food was cooked to perfection. Every dish had its own unique and delicious flavor, and complemented the others well. On the whole, Walia is well-priced and completely worth trying. Anyone in the area should stop by to eat an authentic Ethiopian meal.