The trajectory seems natural enough. Billy Tserenbat of sushi powerhouse Sushi Fix started with a street food truck, graduated to a restaurant on Wayzata's Lake Street, is back rolling fish but this time into burrito form with his new food truck Bibuta, and now, another restaurant is on the way.
He's calling it Baja Haus, Mexican but with a heavy seafood bent.
"I looked up "haus" in the Urban Dictionary and it says it means 'guys who do things in really cool ways,' so I like it even more!"
Actually, the UD definition is:
1) A term given to a person who is amazing in all aspects of life.
2) To be really really riddiculously [sic] good at something.
Sushi Fix currently exists in the foodiescape as the best sushi to be had around here so yeah — haus, dude!
Anyway, the space is just a couple of storefronts down from Sushi Fix, so Wayzata dwellers will finally be able to get some Mexican when they return from that Caribbean vacation.
"People around here want this food, and they can't have it!"
Now they can have it. The space is currently raw (it was a boxing gym for nine short months) but construction begins any day. The target opening date is before January.
The opening comes on the heels of the news that big-time restaurateurs Gavin Kaysen (Spoon & Stable) and Ryan Burnet (Burch, Barrio, Eastside) are also in the throes of opening new restaurants in the tony 'burb.
Tserenbat won't divulge any menu peeks, "because the kitchen has to be built first, otherwise it's a disaster," but his partner in the project, Josh Friedt, a longtime Wayzata bar manager coming from Cov and Blue Point before that says they're aiming for something really approachable, straightforward, and "somewhat family friendly."
So, no craft cocktails at the bar, but really excellent scratch margaritas, some hard-to-find tequilas, a good wine list, and icy-cold beers.
"We want people to be able to come in here after a hard day and feel comfortable."
Approaching the menu with a Baja bent seemed like the only way to go for Tserenbat. "Like Chinese food, Mexican food is too huge. I didn't want anyone calling me out on this! I know Baja because of the fish, so I think I can handle that."
He does plan to hire a second chef to assist with the kitchen, but that person has not yet been named.
Baja Haus will be full-service and medium-sized with 50 to 70 seats and a big center bar anchoring the dining room.
They've also got some surprises up their sleeves but can't divulge them just yet for legal reasons.
Tserenbat also says he thinks he found a space for a permanent Bibuta restaurant in downtown Minneapolis as well, but the ink is not on the lease just yet.
He was recently invited to participate in the World Sushi Cup in Tokyo, a huge honor where the best sushi chefs around the globe gather to compete. He had to turn down the invitation because his first child is due in nine days. It's just as well. Sounds like he's got plenty to do as it is.
Watch for Baja Haus around January.
830 Lake Street E., Wayzata