Maguro & Petrol at Garden Sushi"/>
The Truck: Garden Sushi, located outside the Shell Gas Station on 72nd and 15th in Ballard.
The Fare: Sushi
The Stop: There is something original, adventurous and all around wacky about eating sushi from a food truck, especially one parked by a gas station.
It would be a mistake for this truck's location to deter you from experiencing Tsering (Leon) Lama's Japanese creations. Once you step into Garden Sushi's covered tent with fresh roses, hanging flower pots and Asian murals with faint music playing in the background, you will be rewarded with a restaurant-like dining experience.Like a traditional sushi restaurant, the 30 year old chef starts off by running through the list of what's uber fresh for the day: $4 salmon and avocado roll, $2 Maguro (tuna) nigiri, and a $4.50 spicy tuna roll. After ordering all of the chef's recommendations, I also supplement with an eel roll (Chef Lama barbecues it on the spot for you) and a one dollar cup of miso soup.
I take a seat and start to feel relaxed with the music in the background and the breeze flowing through the tent. It is the type of place you could be tempted to bring a book and stay for a while.
Lama originally hails from Tibet, but has spent the past 10 years working at sushi restaurants in NYC and Las Vegas. The amicable chef has lived in Seattle since 2006 and always wanted to open up shop in Ballard, knowing it is a community-centric food-loving neighborhood.
The food is a serious hit. My favorite is the salmon and avocado roll, topped with an edible flower made from cucumber slices and ginger, although long, generous slabs of brightly colored maguro quickly make their way into my belly. The eel is spot-on with a soy-based sauce that is the perfect combination of sweet and salty. The rice could be slightly firmer, but I hardly notice as the freshness and extreme low cost trump any other consideration.
Still not convinced to try Seattle's first sushi truck? Fine, ease into it by trying one of the four vegetarian rolls. The kampyo roll with marinated sweet gourd is next on my list.
Oh, and by the way, Tom Douglas' rockin' executive chef Eric Tanaka eats here with his son. So when you are driving home from work thinking about how your stomach, tank and wallet are empty, get yourself to one of the newest trucks to hit Seattle and treat yourself to a four dollar roll.
Call in your to-go order or eat at one of the two tables adorned with fresh cut flowers underneath the tent. Who knew you could find your own little slice of Zen at a gas station?