New sushi restaurant offers healthy fare

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NORTH BEND - In a society more concerned than ever with what it eats, David Chung thinks he has one of the best restaurants in the Valley.

As the owner of Happy Sushi and Teriyaki, David said his fresh fish and low-fat menu items are perfect for a more discriminating and healthy palette.

"We get compliments about best teriyaki in the Valley and best restaurant in North Bend," said David's wife and co-worker Annie.

David, who hails from South Korea, came to the United States in 1988. Before opening up Happy Sushi and Teriyaki, he owned a submarine sandwich shop in Milton. As he heard more about people watching what they eat, however, David thought selling sushi would be a better business. A friend told him about North Bend and after visiting the area, David decided to set up shop here.

"The area is great and the people are so nice," David said.

Two months ago, he opened the doors to Happy Sushi and Teriyaki at the Mountain Valley Center in North Bend (where the Safeway is located). David is backed by Annie in the kitchen, and behind the sushi counter is Tokyo-trained "sushi man" Tommy Choi. Part of the experience in eating fresh sushi is seeing it prepared, and Happy Sushi offers a bar where patrons can pull up a stool and watch Choi in action.

"People like to watch me prepare the food," Choi said. "They like to watch and talk, it is good for conversation."

Chung said he gets his seafood shipped twice a week to make sure it's fresh. He has an extensive menu of sushi, from albacore to geoduck, which can be accompanied by one of 26 different types of maki and roll selections.

For those not ready to try raw seafood, the restaurant offers some of the more traditional Chinese dishes like General Tao's chicken and Mongolian beef. There are also more than the common chicken teriyaki plates, with salmon and pork dishes on the menu.

Customers may also try Japanese beverages like Sapparo, a popular Japanese beer, and sake (a rice wine). Chung said the bento lunch specials are especially popular.

While running a sushi restaurant may be healthier than other restaurants, it is not easier. Chung said the menu at his sandwich shop was simpler to manage than the long list of sushi and roll combinations that make up his current selections.

But with a more health-conscious clientele now, Chung said a more diverse menu was the right decision.

"People want choices," he said.

* Happy Sushi and Teriyaki is located at 458 S.W. Mount Si Blvd. in North Bend. Contact them at (425) 831-5599.

Ben Cape can be reached at (425) 888-2311 or by e-mail at

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