Dib Sushi Bar and Thai Cuisine (Restaurant, Uptown)
If you know anything about Chicago, you’ll know I’m not lying when I say this: often, the best restaurants in the city are not prominently showcased on Michigan Avenue, Wacker Drive, or even State Street. They’re hidden, and you are usually introduced to them by a friend, or while stumbling around, starving, looking for any kind of sustenance. Then, boom, you find your new favorite restaurant.
I found Dib much in this way. My friend Sarah and I have standing date where I go to her adorable apartment and watch Mad Men since I have a fantasy love affair with most every character on that show but own no television. It was on one of these nights envying Joan’s dress that Sarah ordered from Dib. And another love affair began.
Dib is located in Uptown, close to the Aragon, the Riv, the Green Mill, The Wild Pug, and Fat Cats, yet I have never had to wait for a table. When I order delivery, it always arrives early. I keep thinking that soon, surely, the secret will explode with the force of Miley Cyrus, yet it won’t be nearly as surprising.
While I have eaten many of the entrees and appetizers from Dib, my favorites are the Pad Thai and the Crab Rangoon. The portion sizes are big enough for leftovers, but not monstrous enough to put you in that uncomfortable food coma which is important if you’re jamming at a nearby venue afterward. The food has the yum factor of a hole-in-the-wall Asian restaurant but the aesthetic of a much more high-end dining experience. Go ahead and take a date here. Modern, sleek furnishings and décor surround your cozy table, and even the forks are unique and delightful, with a cute curl at the top, turning your inability to use chopsticks into less of a handicap and more of a stylistic choice.
Dib manages two cuisines successfully, which is also a feat: Thai, but also sushi, which is traditionally Japanese. I am usually leery of restaurants that purport to exercise mastery of both, but Dib gets it right. The prices are reasonable, the service is spot-on, and the flavors are wonderful. It’s just a short walk from the Lawrence red line stop. Raid your wine rack or swing past a nearby liquor store (Foremost Liquor at 1040 W. Argyle or Laurie’s at 5153 N. Broadway) as Dib is BYOB. The restaurant also offers vegetarian and vegan options.