I don’t remember now how exactly it got started, but a group of friends of mine and I started this a year or so ago. We called it “Sushi Detox” after a few of us were traveling and eating too many meals of easy-to-find-but-full-of-oil-and-salt foods. Somehow we decided that sushi would be the perfect way to get together for a Welcome Back Home meal that wasn’t deep fried. Well, it made sense at the time anyway. We still gather for a Sushi Detox on an irregular basis, even though our original group has almost shrunk by half now.
For our latest Sushi Detox, we met at the newly opened Billy Beach Sushi & Bar in Ballard. I had not been to this location since before Mr. Spot’s Chai House closed. To be honest, I half expected to see a lonely group of hippies and weirdos still hanging around the place. There were none that I could see though. In fact, it appears all remnants of the chai house have been long erased from the space. The room is now very clean and open, with a lot of dark paint and soft wood tones everywhere. A nice atmosphere for a sushi joint.
As a somewhat newly converted vegan, sushi restaurants can be a little hard to gauge. The last thing I want is to have to sit there eating as many edamame as I can while everyone else pops delicious looking sushi rolls. But this is the internet age, and after a quick glance at the menu, it appeared there were at least a couple of rolls that were vegan friendly. In fact, there ended up being 4 rolls and a salad that I could eat! The really affordable $1 side salad with a light miso dressing was a perfect starter along with my Whisky Punch Revival cocktail.
Next came the rolls! I really enjoyed the selections; a tempura sweet potato roll (I was assured the tempura was vegan, but I suspect they left that part off anyway), a veggie roll, a traditional cucumber roll, and an amazing edamame hummus roll with steamed tofu (pictured at the top). This was seriously delicious sushi and blew away my expectations. The rice was perfect, the rolls were neat, and the fillings were fresh and unique. If I was forced to come up with something to gripe about, I suppose it would have to be the selection for non-fish eaters. Maybe a couple more rolls with tofu in them or something. But I’m not really complaining. 4 rolls and a salad were a good sized meal for sure.
After the meal, I realized I had not paid much attention to the prices. When the bill came, I was very much surprised by what it all cost. Each roll was only $4, the salad was $1, and the edamame was $2. My cocktail was by far the priciest item at $9. Clearly, the prices for my rolls were fairly modest due to the lack of pricy fish, but I’m not going to complain. I would come back here again for sure.
I’ll leave you with a final photo of the sweet potato roll!