Midwest Living Review
In business since 1996, the original Ethiopian Diamond in the Edgewater neighborhood has earned a reputation as one of Chicago's finest African restaurants. Now, Ethiopian Diamond II serves similar -- and just as excellent -- fare on Clark Street near the Chicago-Evanston border.Dining Ethiopian-style means eating without any silverware. Instead, you pick up the food with pieces of spongy, pancake-like bread called injera. The injera itself is rather bland, but the foods that it lifts to your mouth are anything but. The taste of Ethiopia sampler plates are a great place to start, presenting scoops of delicious stews, meats and vegetables laid out before you on a big, round tray.One of the tastiest (and spiciest) offerings is "kay watt" -- lean beef cubes in spicy homemade diamond sauce. The "yebeg alicha" features tender chunks of lamb meat on the bone. And "doro watt" is chicken legs in a spicy sauce with a hard-boiled egg. Ethiopian Diamond also serves many vegetarian dishes, including the mouthwatering chickpea stew called "shimbra assa."For appetizers, try the "sambusa," which are similar to Indiana samosa -- light, crispy bread shells stuffed with minced meat or vegetables. Several Ethiopian beers are available, as well as honey wine, which is quite sweet but not as sweet as mead. Desserts include the delightful Chocolate Diamond, with melted chocolate pouring out from the center of a spongy cake. Main dishes cost $10 to $16. Sampler plates are $16.25 to $18.25 for one diner, or $30 to $34 for two.Elegantly decorated with Ethiopian art, the restaurant also has a well-stocked bar. Jazz bands perform on some nights, which is fine, but some actual Ethiopian music would be even better.