BIZNOTE: Happy Lemon replacing Vatsana’s Thai at Westwood Village

A city permit filing says the international tea-shop chain Happy Lemon is moving into the Westwood Village space long occupied by Vatsana’s Thai Restaurant. Before we could follow up on that discovery, we learned the restaurant has apparently already closed. A reader says a Vatsana’s staff member reported that employees were told on Christmas Eve. We went over yesterday and found only this note on the door:

We went back today to check again and the restaurant remains locked, with workers inside who appear to be dismantling fixtures. We sent inquiries both to the posted email address and to Happy Lemon corporate HQ; our note to the former just got a reply promising a “reply in the near future.” Meantime, Happy Lemon’s website says it has more than 2,000 locations in 20+ countries, with 14 in the Puget Sound metro area, nearest ones in Columbia City, South Lake Union, U-District, and Tukwila. Happy Lemon’s menu shows tea drinks featuring a variety of ingredients from boba to salted cheese, plus smoothies. This will be the second international tea chain to open in West Seattle, after Sharetea‘s Jefferson Square arrival a year and a half ago.

36 Replies to "BIZNOTE: Happy Lemon replacing Vatsana's Thai at Westwood Village"

  • Jim P. December 30, 2022 (2:24 pm)

    Well, drat.  That was a decent place to grab some Pad Thai.Westwood is running out of actual sit down restaurants.

  • Matt December 30, 2022 (2:27 pm)

    WHAT! Vatsanas is gone!? I loved that place! Do we know why they closed?

  • miws December 30, 2022 (2:54 pm)

    That’s sad about Vatsana. I don’t recall if I ever made it in there, but had meant to, having walked by there many times over the years. (I used to visit Toshi’s monthly pre-pandemic). I do have to say, though, It’s nice that they have a notice on how to get refunds for their gift certificates, as a common complaint when a restaurant/other business suddenly closes down is that people have gift cards, and no way to get them refunded… —Mike  

  • K December 30, 2022 (3:00 pm)

    Young’s Restaurant on 16th in White Center has AMAZING Thai food, for those looking for local sit-down Thai.  :)

    • waikikigirl December 30, 2022 (3:22 pm)

      My Mother in law likes Young’s but said the Family sold it recently and the food is no longer the same. ??? Sorry that Vatsana’s left, we’d order every once in awhile and if you can believe this we’d only order 1 item because their take out orders were way too big!As for the Happy Lemon here’s a little tidbit on the salted cheese tea’s they serve. I had to look it up, never heard of it.

      • K December 30, 2022 (5:22 pm)

        The family that bought it added the Thai food to the menu…  it was Chinese and American before.  Almost all of the food that was there before is still there and still delicious.  Mr. Young spent 6 months teaching the new owner all of his recipes.  New owners are super nice, so I’m still definitely recommending them, for the great Thai food, and everything else they have to offer!

  • Anw December 30, 2022 (3:15 pm)

    For Thai takeout, we love Ka Pow Thai on Delridge. They have gluten free options, too! No affiliation, just think they’re great!

    • winniegirl December 30, 2022 (8:54 pm)

      Ka Pow has delicious food and the owners are literally the sweetest people.  

  • Wsresident December 30, 2022 (3:46 pm)

    Yay for happy lemon! Great news! 

    • waikikigirl December 30, 2022 (4:02 pm)

      WSRESIDENT, You say YAY can you tell me what you order/like, we walk by their Tukwila location and I have always wanted to try but never have? OH and their sidewalk out front of the store is always sticky… is that good or bad?  LOL!

      • Wsresident December 31, 2022 (5:53 am)

        I’m boring and purist when it comes to tea. I like hot traditional milk tea,  black and half sugar no boba. The menus are very overwhelming, I just love the string tea with milk and sugar. My kiddo likes the fruity teas, with jellie and boba.

      • L January 3, 2023 (10:25 am)

        It’s almost like the salted cold foam on top of cold brew at Starbucks. it’s just adds a creaminess to the tea, doesnt seem like it makes a whole difference to me but I drink boba tea like every other week. Happy Lemon have other tea series and blended drinks that is doesnt have cheese topping.

  • Sue H December 30, 2022 (4:01 pm)

    I’m sorry to hear Vatsana closed – loved their panang curry. Class act in posting a way to refund gift cards. 

  • Alki resident December 30, 2022 (4:42 pm)

    This is devastating. We’ve eaten there for 9 years. Our waitress knew our family so well too. 

  • Sarah December 30, 2022 (5:03 pm)

    Im so sad. This was my favorite reliable Thai place and I loved the workers there. So long Vatsanas! 😢🤗 I’ve been going  there since I moved to West Seattle 17 years ago! 

    • Marisol January 1, 2023 (1:14 pm)

      Buddha Ruksahas good food. West seattle. 

  • Rob December 30, 2022 (5:09 pm)

    Ok I’m sorry but I’m just not upset. They’ve been going downhill at breakneck speeds since the pandemic started. I’m happy another restaurant is going to move in and give it a go.

  • Max December 30, 2022 (5:12 pm)

    Ugh.  We went to Vatsana all the time.   So sad about this.

  • Als December 30, 2022 (7:40 pm)


  • Julie December 30, 2022 (8:01 pm)

    Yay for Happy Lemon! Nice to have a dedicated boba tea place in our area.

  • Auntie December 30, 2022 (9:33 pm)

    Wahhh! I love their food. I do not need boba tea, but thanks anyway.  Another fail for westwood village. 

    • MercyMoi December 31, 2022 (9:56 am)

      May not be your thing but they should do VERY well with the neighborhood teens, especially being so close to two secondary schools. Currently, kids living in the Westwood and High Point area come all the way to Jefferson Square for ShareTea. Happy Lemon will be a welcome addition to WWV I predict.

  • Maya December 30, 2022 (10:56 pm)

    I used to love Vatsanas but in recent years I felt the quality went down and we were regularly overcharged. Has anyone tried the Thai food at K for W Mart? I saw a banner for it go up recently and haven’t yet been able to try it out yet.

    • momosmom December 31, 2022 (7:35 am)

      We saw that banner too (K for W Mart) and just scratched our heads.  I guess just keep an eye on their Dept. of Health sign if you’re going to try their food and then let us know! ;>). Unlike the Hung Long a block over, their DOH sign has the sad face. One day I was in there to get some Thai Basil and saw a meat dept. worker throw a slab of meat in a plastic bag onto the floor and then stomp on it . I guess trying to break it apart but WOW just WOW! Personally I would never purchase meat there even if I hadn’t seen that.

      • foop December 31, 2022 (11:18 am)

        This is how we know it’s going to be delicious.

      • Maya December 31, 2022 (5:56 pm)

        Thanks for the heads up! That sounded shocking so I went to the Health Department website and looked up records for both of those establishments. I were fully judging by the health inspection records, I don’t think I’d pass over K for W for Hung Long…. or Vatsana for that matter.

  • Rhonda December 31, 2022 (3:00 pm)

    The Toshi’s owner bought Vatsana’s several years ago and I think she’s simply been overwhelmed running both businesses simultaneously. 

  • Ryan Subica December 31, 2022 (5:25 pm)

    This is the best news ever!  I love Happy Lemon and now there will be one in our backyard! 

  • Julie Rowe December 31, 2022 (7:47 pm)

    That’s awful. We love Vatsana’s. Mee at the counter was so great. She always remembered everything and was so sweet. The food was delicious and always a treat.

  • Sarah December 31, 2022 (8:32 pm)

    Vatsanas had the best peanut sauce recipe anywhere, ever!! (They kept it – thankfully – from the Thai place they took over.) Please, can we now get the recipe? I’ll pay!! Seriously. I’m in mourning.

    • Nummy January 1, 2023 (11:27 am)

      We said the same thing last night! Loved the Angel Salad – that peanut sauce is the BEST!  

  • Anders January 1, 2023 (8:49 pm)

    Regardless of if you liked Vatsana’s or not, (we did), Is anyone else disturbed by the fact that we have lost yet another local business  +  another biz at Westwood Village disappears + loss of another neighborhood place that serves actual food  in a part of WS already starved of them? Replaced by a solid menu of $6-$9  foofoo drinks.   And, replaced not just by one more chain /  national corporation , but by an international franchise  – apparently based in London.  When it comes to building community and creating places where people want to live and thrive, big corporations have a rather dismal track record especially when they’re based elsewhere.  It’s the small or local businesses that create place, variety, desirability, and add most to the local economy – not the “big box businesses”. It is local biz  that distinguish us from any other generic suburb in the country.  For example,  take a quick look at the list of sponsors on this page (as I think we can agree WSB has become essential and the heartbeat of our community) . Take note of how many are local biz and how many big chains or corporations?  It absolutely matters who owns the businesses we support and patronize if we want to be supported as a community in return.

    • The Earl January 2, 2023 (3:15 pm)

      thank you .. a voice of reason

  • Sad WS Resident January 2, 2023 (11:56 am)

    Let’s pour one out boyz </3 rip local businesses </3 

  • Josh Hosler January 2, 2023 (5:41 pm)

    This makes me so, so sad. My wife and I have been eating there since we first moved to West Seattle in 2002. I can’t imagine never tasting Evil Jungle Noodle again.Westwood Village is swiftly becoming useless. What can turn this around?

  • Scott January 3, 2023 (11:19 pm)

    The place in K and W is I went in the other night but left without ordering because they only offered chicken or Tofu and I just wasn’t in the mood for either.  The place looked okay but is basically just an old cafeteria set up in the back of the store across from the fresh fish.Really sucks about Vatsana’s.  I am new to the area and was really happy to have a Thai place across the street from me.

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