Peter and I have tried all the sushi restaurants in Ballard, and lucky for us, the one closest to our house is ohttp://tomatoesontomatoes.com/wp-admin/revision.php?revision=438&action=editur favorite. Peter mostly likes Japanese restaurants for the sushi, and I mostly like them for the udon soup and yakisoba, because I can’t seem to get enough noodles. O’Shan has the best yakisoba I’ve ever tried, so recently I’ve made it my goal to always try it at any Japanese restaurant we go to, even if I know there is a strong possibility it won’t be as good and I’ll be depressed. It’s only fair to be able to claim that I have had the best. Moshi Moshi is great for the atmosphere what with their big LED cherry tree in the center, hard to miss if you’ve walked Ballard Ave after the sun has gone down, but their yakisoba does not compare (too much ginger and just not as pretty). Shiku, right next door to Moshi Moshi, has honestly not been frequented much by us. They have strange, seemingly not-at-all- authentic sake drinks on the menu, which can be fun in a way, but I feel like a fraud or something when I order them. Also, they do not have yakisoba at all, so that does me no good in my experiments. Sam’s is good for a cheap, quick fix (and I preferred their yakisoba over Moshi Moshi’s). O’Shan is very small and very blue inside. We prefer to sit in a spot that probably looks like the worst spot when first walking in – it’s straight ahead from the front door and amidst the most foot traffic, but there is an amazing view of the sushi chefs putting together plates with such grace, speed and accuracy it’s really quite mesmerizing.
We have a favorite server, and we want to ask her to be our new friend, but we’re not sure how to do that without being creepy. Peter says he can’t do it because it would be extra creepy, and then there’s me, and I’m kind of nervous for really no reason and keep downing sake in order to maybe eventually say something to get the conversation going in the right direction, which hasn’t happened. She has great food recommendations, like the Tako, something we wouldn’t have probably ordered on our own but now get all the time, which she probably did because she knows I always get the yakisoba (get it with beef, that’s the best). We also learned that on her dog’s very recent birthday, she made him a steak, which is so thoughtful, but he promptly threw it up, which is so sad (a bit too much for that little bugger). The other day we were there, I thought maybe she got in trouble because one of her patrons got up to ask for the check, but I was secretly so happy if she did because that meant she was really enjoying her conversation with us, and because she’s really good at her job, it would take really interesting people to distract her like that, right? She was talking to us about 5 Corner Market, the new restaurant in Ballard that took the place of Lombardi’s, and now that corner in Ballard no longer smells like a garlic explosion but a smoky one instead. We learned that it’s from the josper, which I thought was pronounced totally differently than she said it (the “j” is pronounced like an “h”), so she saved me from going in there and saying “we’d like that there cooked in yer JASPER” or something embarrassing like that. We also talked with her about this blog, and she said she’d read it, so here I am taking the wimpy, passive way out and writing about how great we think she is instead of just saying it. Ah. Anyway, go eat this sushi, definitely the yakisoba and possibly some octopus if you’re up for it, and give your server a hefty tip. She just may have more generous birthday gifts to cook up for her loved ones.