Just when we were all getting used to the idea of buying sushi—really good sushi—from a truck at a gas station, Garden Sushi got booted from the Shell parking lot in Ballard when the gas station owner went out of business.
Garden Sushi owner Tsering Lama set up shop here last year, becoming a rare food truck to serve sushi in a town that takes both its trucks and its Japanese food quite seriously. Lama was born in Tibet but learned the art of sushi in New York, studying under a Japanese sushi master, eventually following a Buddhist mentor to Seattle. His truck quietly built a following in its unlikely location; last time I was there, I ran into Eric Tanaka, Tom Douglas’s business partner, one of our 50 Influential Seattleites, and a man who, I imagine, brooks no crappy sushi.
After losing his space in mid-February, Lama is now ensconced at Barnes Avenue NW and 17th Ave NW, just south of Market and across the street from Swedish Medical Center. Tsering says one of his regulars owns the property and helped him get set up there. After shutting down last month, he fielded a handful of calls and emails every day from concerned patrons, wondering where they could find him. Their concern touched him deeply.
Lama had been looking around for a lunch spot anyway, since his original location was more of a dinnertime crowd. Now he’s aiming to be open 11 to 9, Monday through Saturday. Find him on Facebook for more details.