Note: This was a gifted meal, but my opinions around my overall experience, as always, will be authentic and honest.
Tasty Bistro–Satisfying The Asian Cuisine Craving!
If you are like me and adjusting to being back in the suburbs after a few years spent in the city (not too much, I know!), then you understand the need to find your new favorite places to eat and spend time at. When we were in Chicago, we had every cuisine you could think of basically a short drive away. Being back in the ‘burbs just means you may have to drive a little bit further, but that’s alright, because in the West Suburbs, there are SO many gems, one of which I got to check out just yesterday.
If you’re looking for an authentic sushi experience combined with great service and yummy drinks, then I urge you to sit back, relax, and enjoy today’s review!
Today we’ll be talking about Tasty Bistro. Located in Crystal Lake, Illinois–this Asian restaurant combines Japanese, Chinese, and Thai cuisine, so you are likely to find something that will be enjoyed by everyone.
For our visit, specifically, I wanted to focus on the sushi that Tasty Bistro rolled. Being gluten-free, sushi is one of the easiest food items to prepare gluten-free…until you get to signature rolls. So let’s talk about the experience from a gluten-free lens, shall we?
Checking Out Tasty Bistro
One of the first things that I bring up to the staff before I make a reservation and once again when I am seated, is that I’m gluten-free. I’ve learned not only from my own experience, bu also from others I’ve followed, is that you have to continue to advocate for yourself. Unfortunately not everyone is well-versed in what is and is not gluten-free.
Our server was extremely friendly and accommodating, and if he did not know if something was gluten-free, he did not assume, but actually reached out to his manager. I sincerely appreciated getting confirmation of what I could not have and what could be adjusted to being gluten-free.
For those new to GF–it’s not only soy sauce that will get us. Tempura, anything that is fried (unless the location has a dedicated gluten-free fryer), imitation crab sticks (YUP), special sauces that may by soy sauce based–I mean…it can be overwhelming. It’s a lot.
So the safest option for us is always to get THE plainest sushi, unless the staff is able to adjust signature rolls to not include gluten-containing ingredients. Which…Tasty Bistro did! 🙂
I’d like to point out that the menu itself does not indicate whether or not items are gluten-free, which again…it’s incredibly important that you ask if any rolls can be edited to be okay for you to consume. This is one of those cases where it’s best to call ahead and mention that you’re gluten-free and ask if signature rolls could be adjusted. Hence, why I’d call this restaurant gluten-friendly, but not totally gluten-free.
I, fortunately, had a great experience with the rolls that I got to try and I’m usually symptomatic within a few hours. Tasty Bistro did a great job making sure my plates were separate and not touching my husband’s plate (as he’s not gluten-free).
Is The Sushi Worth It?
I adore sushi–always have, but if it doesn’t taste right, then it can honestly ruin my day. Before heading to dinner, I did my review check on Tasty Bistro’s google page and what was the most frequent positive review? How good and fresh the sushi is! I certainly walked in with high-expectations and they were absolutely met!
When trying a new restaurant that serves sushi, I always order a sashimi platter as well as a few signature rolls, because I like to try the fish without any other special ingredients. The Sashimi Tasty ($13) had four varieties of fish that were sliced very generously. And each of them was SO incredibly fresh. And imported from Korea, we were told–nice!
Seriously this fish was so fresh–there was not a hint of “fishy” flavor. It was just such beautiful, clean flavor that even putting on the smallest bit of gluten-free soy sauce felt naughty! But seriously–what an outstanding sampling. If it were me just going out to eat–I’d likely just get a platter of sashimi and call it a day! Haha! It was an impressive platter. I’m still thinking of that tuna…
As for the signature rolls, the menu has a great selection of sushi with combinations I hadn’t even thought of! They were presented beautifully (heart-shaped..how cute!) and tasted as as good as they looked! Frankly, you’d have to make a few trips to sample everything on their menu, which just means that this spot is one worth coming back to, just so you could enjoy something different every time.
This restaurant also has an “All you can eat” sushi deal that is priced at $28/person that is available:
- Monday-Thursday – 11 AM CT – 9 PM CT
- Friday-Saturday – 11 AM CT – 3 PM CT
- Sunday – 12 PM CT – 8:30 PM CT
With this quality–that is a CRAZY good deal!
Grey’s Grade: 5/5
I sincerely enjoyed my trip to Tasty Bistro for a few reasons. One–the food is fresh and absolutely delicious. That’s a given, right? But what I really enjoyed was the full package. The staff was very friendly and helpful in making sure my meal was safe (gluten-free) and the overall ambiance was perfect. The music playing wasn’t distracting or too “chill”. The design of the restaurant was vibrant and very nice to look at.
If you live in the area or are visiting, then I would highly recommend coming by for the all you can eat sushi deal or just a nice sit down dinner featuring all the other available cuisine. This is a place I will be recommending to anyone looking for delicious sushi with a great vibe. And if you cannot dine-in, then you can certainly order for pickup. Plenty of options for you to get a taste of this wonderful spot in Crystal Lake!
Check Out My Reviews!
- Nourished Festival 2023: Gluten-Free & Allergen Friendly Expo
- 2021 Seattle Food Guide (Gluten-Free Options Included)
- Big Jones (Chicago) – Gluten Friendly Southern Cooking
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