A Customized Experience At House Of Yoshida
House of Yoshida, 25 Grassy Plain Street in Bethel, has been operating since 2002. The restaurant serves up traditional Japanese cuisine as well as dishes that are mixed with European flair.
Connecticut Magazine named House of Yoshida in its Best Restaurants edition, where it won Best Sushi, Best Hidden Gem, Best Japanese Restaurant, and Best Overall Value in Connecticut for 2022.
Owner Aki Arai grew up in Japan and learned how to make sushi while working at his uncle’s restaurant in Tokyo. He continues to visit Japan often and always posts about his trips, along with House of Yoshida’s weekly specials, on the restaurant’s social media pages.
He likes to keep the sushi bar authentic to how items would be prepared in Japan, but he has more flexibility in the kitchen because of his love for European food.
As a chef at House of Yoshida, Arai is always accommodating customers’ requests. If there are specific dietary needs or preferences, he can make ingredient substitutions for customers and even create completely new dishes that are off the menu.
“As long as we have ingredients, we can make it,” he said with a smile.
His laid-back, pleasant attitude and culinary skills are what draw customers to frequent House of Yoshida. Many regulars can be found striking up a conversation with the owner.
Arai explains that the atmosphere at his restaurant is casual, saying, “It’s a very comfortable place. I’m friends with everybody.”
The restaurant currently seats 30 guests in the dining area. The walls have traditional Japanese artwork and paper cranes hanging from the ceiling by the back tables.
Instead of using single-use plastic bags, House of Yoshida now has custom reusable bags available as an eco-friendly receptacle for those looking to pick up takeout orders. The white House of Yoshida bag is printed with a picture of a fish along with the restaurant’s address and telephone number.
Catering options are also available for all occasions by calling 203-798-8128.
Sample Of The Menu
Soups: House of Yoshida offers a variety of soups, including Spicy Seafood Bouillabaisse made of mussels, shrimp, salmon, clams, and cod in a creamy red miso broth.
Appetizers: A popular seafood appetizer is the Mini Fish Tacos with fried cod and Asian slaw. Another well-liked dish is Grilled Pork Belly, composed of thinly sliced pork belly with chopped jalapeño peppers and jalapeño soy sauce.
Salads: There are more than ten different salad options available on the menu. The Salmon Tartare and Avocado is a standout item, made with thinly sliced fresh Scottish salmon in an avocado cup and served with a creamy garlic vinaigrette.
Specials: Every week, House of Yoshida posts its latest specials menu on its social media accounts with photos and a brief description of the dish.
Main Courses: Among the different items made from the kitchen, House of Yoshida offers three tempura options: shrimp, vegetable, and fish, each dipped in tempura batter and deep fried until light and crispy.
Sushi: The three top-selling sushi items are tuna, king salmon, and yellowtail. The sushi is fresh, sliced, and served over seasoned rice.
Fried Rice: One of Arai’s personal recommendations, noted on the menu, is the Hoisin Duck Fried Rice, made with slow-cooked duck and a duck egg.
Japanese Fondue: Groups can share the Shabu Shabu, with thinly sliced sirloin steak, vegetables, and noodles served raw to be cooked by diners in a savory broth. Sesame and ponzu dipping sauce comes on the side.
Desserts: In 2016, House of Yoshida brought in a pastry chef who creates items such as fried cheesecake with raspberry sauce.
Drinks: House of Yoshida offers an assortment of wine, beer, cocktails, sparkling water, and sake. The latter comes in cold, hot, and specialty varieties.
House of Yoshida is open Monday through Thursday, from 4 to 10 pm; Friday and Saturday, from noon to 11 pm; and Sunday, from noon to 10 pm. Takeout, catering, and seating reservations are accepted by calling 203-798-8128. For more information about the restaurant and Aki Arai’s trips to Japan, visit house-of-yoshida.com and the restaurant’s Facebook and Instagram pages.