It's officially a trend, because another food truck is making the leap into a permanent restaurant.
This time around it’s Sushi Fix. Owner Enkhbileg (“Billy”) Tserenbat just signed a lease on the downtown Wayzata storefront that was most recently home to Black’s Ford (682 E. Lake St.).
“I’m so excited and happy that I don’t know where to begin,” he said.
The restaurant, scheduled for a January opening, will feature a 10-seat sushi bar and table seating for 25.
Tserenbat chose Wayzata because he already has a built-in customer base, created from private catering events in the area.
“I’m there all the time anyway, so now I won’t have to drive back and forth,” he said with a laugh. “And so many people know me in the area, and have given me such exceptionally great support.”
At first glance, Tserenbat’s story might fall under the Overnight Success category: He launched Sushi Fix earlier this summer -- the first in the Midwest -- and it quickly became a major crowd magnet on the Marquette Avenue food truck court in downtown Minneapolis.
But the tale stretches back several decades. He was born in Mongolia, and spent his teenage years in San Francisco. A classmate’s father owned a sushi bar, “and that’s where we hung out, and that’s where I decided that it would be cool to be a sushi chef,” he said. He moved to Minnesota nearly 12 years ago, becoming a familiar face among sushi aficianados at places ranging from Fuji Ya in Minneapolis to Yumi’s Sushi Bar in Excelsior.
Sushi Fix-ers know firsthand that Tserenbat is a stickler for quality and freshness (and not to worry, downtowners: he's keeping the truck). He sources his seafood directly from purveyors and markets in Hawaii and Japan, working his contacts every afternoon over the phone before placing his overnight order. His day starts with a 5:30 a.m. airport run, when he picks up his shipment, heads to his commercial kitchen in the Midtown Global Market, pulls out his knives and starts preparing that day’s menu.
“It has been an amazing journey,” he said. “When I came here, there weren’t very many people eating sushi, and now people are eating sushi out of a truck without hesitation. That’s an incredible thing.”