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Check out our new neighborhood African Dining Jewel

Posted by Mike G on December 07, 2009

At times I wonder if I ought to use this blog to promote an exceptional new restaurant.

I’ve resolved to do it if I feel that a particular restaurant is exceptional - one that I hope that the community rallies behind

I found one.

I encourage you all to check out the new Ethiopian Diamond, adjacent to (Leona’s owned) Hop Haus, at 7537 North Clark.

I’m not sure if the reason I am so enthused is because upon entering this restaurant, I was greeted by a friendly face, a patron, neighborhood restaurant legend Steve Dorizas, who, sitting at the bar, bought me what he was drinking: Reme Martin cognac (!), but I must say that I am quite impressed with this place - a restaurant that I’m sure will be a long time destination gathering place for Rogers Park residents and for others.

Don’t confuse the Ethiopian Diamond (actually called, Ethiopian Diamond II, for reasons explained below), with the African restaurant that was formerly there, African Harrambee, which served “Pan African” faire (dishes from all regions of Africa). This restaurant focuses on cuisine from only one region of Africa, and, based on my first experience, it does it VERY WELL!

In one way, my experience dining at Harrambee was similar to how I felt when I went skydiving many years ago - “interesting, but I’m not sure if I want to do it again.” (Okay, perhaps not a great analogy: skydiving was a tad more exhilarating, and, unlike eating at Harrambee, with skydiving I did fear for my life!)

My point: unlike the Harrambee (and skydiving) this is something I tried once that I definitely intend to experience again.

The owner, Almaz, is a talented and experienced restaurant owner, as proven by her success with her other Ethiopian Diamond on Broadway in Edgewater.

The new Ethiopian Diamond has a wonderful colorful ambience, and the vegetarian cuisine that I tried was exceptional.

The food is fresh, and expertly prepared, presented beautifully.

Almaz told me about the unique spices grown in Ethiopia and how she incorporates them, along with a lot of fresh garlic and onions, in her menu.

And another patron, our former police commander (who, later in the evening, joined me and Steve) commended how fresh and lean were the meat dishes.

Whether you are into the vegetarian or the meat based dishes, or if you enjoy hanging out and enjoying a neighborhood bar that hopefully will cater to us “older folks” check out this place.

Last night Almaz also had a terrific jazz trio perform, which added immeasurably to the comfortable ambience.

By the way, for now Almaz is also offering lunch on Fridays through the weekends.

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About the Author

Mike G's photoMike Glasser

Mike has a long term relationship with Rogers Park, having lived here at various times in his life, most recently returning to the neighborhood in August, 2009. While living here as a third year law student, he remembers drunken nights at Biddy Mulligan’s and hosting a couple of memorable parties that he, hypocritically, now forbids his own tenants from having. Years later, after completing his stint as a lawyer, Mike started investing in apartment buildings in Rogers Park (and elsewhere), and soon after, did what many newly divorced real estate investors do: he moved into one of his buildings. In 1992 Mike was one of the founding members of the Rogers Park Builders Group, an organization that he eventually headed for six years, until yielding those reigns three years ago. Around a decade ago, on a whim, he reserved the web site “,” which he has been developing ever since, and which co-hosts RP BizArts networking events. Mike is the proud father of three wonderful children, Amy, Mitch and Ella.

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