BiXi Beer

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First, the name. It’s not “Bicks-e.” It’s “Bee-shee” — one of the nine sons of the dragon king in Chinese mythology. A hulking Bixi — a dragon outfitted with a turtle shell — is painted behind the restaurant’s first floor bar, set against the Chicago skyline. Second: Bixi Beer is a fascinating brewpub. From the space to the food to the beer, nothing is quite what we expect from a brewpub. It’s more ambitious and more adventurous, but don’t mistake it as a sibling to another lofty brewpub, Michelin-starred Band of Bohemia. Bixi Beer delves into various corners of the Asian continent with dishes familiar to a Chicago audience (pot stickers, egg rolls, scallion pancakes) and some less so, such as ssam — a Korean take on lettuce-wrapped pork — or wide belt noodles prepared “Yibin-style,” with mustard greens, black beans and walnuts tossed in hot Sichuan pepper.