Why do so many Thai restaurants insist on having an accompanying sushi bar? It turns us off for the following reasons:
1) The cuisines have nothing to do with each other. Hear that? Nothing. Spicy green curry and amberjack sashimi are not friends. One is about messy, fragrant, oily excess, and the other is about the purity of the protein. You could make an argument that curried fish is perfectly tasty, but that’s not what’s served at Thai/sushi places
2) If two disparate cuisines share one restaurant, neither one can be great. Sourcing and slicing raw fish is a full-time pursuit, and so is making satay. Anyone trying to do both is clearly not an expert in either
3) It’s totally trendoid. Crazy combinations can work, as long as they are at least somewhat unusual. Take Rajun Cajun, for example, which deftly mixes Indian and southern food, sometimes simply altering the spice mix to go from one to the other. Spicy fried chicken with curried greens, corn bread and a samosa? Damn straight, and you don’t find that on every corner, either. But Thai/sushi is clichéd to the point of disgust, at least for us. Why not Vietnamese and ceviche? Now there’s a concept
But at the same time, we wish every new (nonchain) restaurant well, and so we present Dib to you, in the hopes that our worst fears are not realized in it. Nestled in a little shopping plaza (strip mall chic!) on Lawrence, Dib has all the standard Thai dishes, plus all the standard maki and nigiri (if you’re keeping track, their Chicago roll contains tuna, salmon, yellowtail, cucumber, lettuce, avocado, and masago, $8. Let’s hope it’s at least good lettuce).
Points in Dib’s favor? It’s BYO and it delivers, doubling the delivery sushi options in the area (the other is Tokyo Marina). Okay, and if you go, you can say, “dibs on that tempura!” and people will be annoyed that you made a pun.