Those who travel abroad learn countless secrets, including the fact that the British call french fries "chips" and call chips "potato nasties." Taste the fruits of other cultures with this Groupon.
Choose from Four Options
- $12 for $25 worth of Somali food for a party of two Monday–Thursday
- $12 for $25 worth of Somali food for a party of two Friday–Sunday
- $25 for $50 worth of Somali food for a party of four Monday–Thursday
- $25 for $50 worth of Somali food for a party of four Friday–Sunday
Sambusas stuffed with spiced beef, tuna, or vegetables are $0.99 each; the marinated, pan-seared goat dish hilib ari is $10.99; oven-baked tilapia is $11.99; and chicken or beef suquar stew with jalapeños, garlic, cilantro, and a choice of somalian bread or rice is $10.99.
The decor of Habiba Abdi’s restaurant, Gendershe Cuisine, is not ostentatious—she tries to impress the four senses besides sight. The aroma of all-halal meats marinating in signature spices tints the air, heralding Somali entrees such as the hilib ari, a goat dish that OC Weekly deemed "gamy and glorious." Mango lassis cool the tongue with a mix of almond milk, fruit pulp, orange juice, and vanilla. Pieces of bur—somali fry bread baked onsite—engage the hands, encouraging patrons to soak up lingering sauces with their dough instead of a friend's shirtsleeve. All the while, guests absorb the sizzling sounds of salmon and tilapia being sautéed in the kitchen's special "mother sauce."
Named after the Somalian city where Abdi’s father grew up, Gendershe Cuisine is an outpost of a kind of cooking rarely found in the United States, much less Orange County. Even so, Somalia’s rich culinary tradition—influenced over the years by Italy, India, and surrounding East African cultures—means that many dishes may look familiar even to the uninitiated. Crispy, triangular sambusas are relatives to indian samosas, ethiopian injera pops up beneath stews of beef, chicken, goat, or fish, and spaghetti and lasagna lie under sauces subtly spiked with Somali herbs and spices.