My girlfriend, Ashley, and I had the pleasure of dining at Dib Sushi Bar & Thai Cuisine in Uptown last Saturday night. Dib, obscurely located in a strip mall across the street from the historic Aragon Ballroom on West Lawrence Avenue, is a quaint establishment with an exceptionally pleasant atmosphere that features an open kitchen space. Because Dib is a BYOB restaurant that strictly offers nonalcoholic drinks, I bought a four-pack of Guinness and Ashley purchased a bottle of wine to bring to dinner. We were immediately greeted at the door by a friendly waitress who escorted us to one of their 10 tables. Less than two minutes after being seated, the waitress provided us with an ice bucket and two glasses for our respective beverages.
Ashley and I perused over their menu and were impressed by its expansive array of appetizers, salads, Thai dishes and sushi entrees. Without hesitation, we selected crab Rangoon ($5) for starters. Our hors d’oeuvre arrived within five minutes and the generously sized portion was utterly scrumptious. The crab Rangoon, served cold with duck sauce, was comprised of ample cream cheese, scallions and a hefty slab of savory crabmeat.
Subsequently, Ashley chose garlic chicken ($9) and I selected spicy salmon rolls ($6 for five pieces), spicy tuna rolls ($6 for five pieces) and spicy scallop rolls ($7 for six pieces) for our primary meals. Ashley asked our waitress if her stir-fry could be prepared with minimal garlic, brown rice and broccoli, mushrooms and yellow bell peppers over an Asian-inspired sauce. Ashley’s dish was perfectly prepped and she raved about its tastiness. My sushi was fresh, delicious and presented with expert artistry. Additionally, as I wanted, all three types of Sushi rolls were extremely peppery and covered in sriracha and masago. Ashley and I determined that, after consuming so many veggies, whole grains and lean protein, we were too stuffed for dessert and requested our check. The waitress proceeded to hand us an inexpensive bill in the amount of $36.54.
A nitpicker could surely claim that Dib has its flaws. It’s situated in a somewhat seedy section and crowds that flock to an event at the Aragon Ballroom can create congestion in the streets. Fortunately, any driving difficulties are primarily offset by Dib’s designated parking spaces. Another potential drawback is that Dib’s dessert menu is virtually nonexistent. In fact, the only sweets offered are Mochi Ice Cream and Taro Custard. Lastly, excluding any chatter from patrons, this establishment is quiet and lacking music. Perhaps soft Asian melodies would bolster the restaurant’s overall ambiance. Regardless, despite such minor deterrents, Dib provides a delightful dining experience.
Dib Sushi Bar & Thai Cuisine
1025 W Lawrence Ave
Chicago News rating: Four stars
Open: Monday to Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Sunday from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Prices: Main courses $9-$14
Credit cards: A, DC, DS, M, V
Reservations: Generally unneeded
Noise: This is a relatively quiet establishment
Ratings key: Four stars, outstanding; three stars, excellent; two stars, very good; one star, good; no stars, unsatisfactory. The reviewer makes every effort to remain anonymous.