It’s an unusual turn of events.
Yoshi Craft Beer & Wine is opening its first restaurant in the Pacific Northwest, and its opening comes as Seattle’s craft beer scene is booming.
It was the perfect fit.
In fact, Yoshi Craft was inspired by a brewery called Yamauchi, and the concept has been around for a while.
We spoke to Yoshi Craft founder, Michael Yount, to learn more about the craft beer and sushi bar.
“We started out in Japan,” Yount says.
“But we didn’t know what sushi would be like here in the US.”
Yount worked at a sushi restaurant in Tokyo before moving to Seattle.
He says he always envisioned the restaurant as an “artisan sushi bar,” and he wanted to create something he could call his own.
“There’s a lot of Japanese restaurants that were kind of a fusion between craft beer, sushi and craft beer,” Yould says.
The restaurant’s menu is based on Japanese ingredients like sake, teriyaki, shiso, and kombu, but the Japanese influence extends to everything from the bar’s selection of beer to the menu’s theme.
“The menu is really Japanese,” Yield says.
There are Japanese-inspired beers on tap, like Kashiwazaki-style and Oku-style, and Japanese-style wines on tap.
It’s all local, Yield explains.
“And we do it all with Japanese ingredients.
Yield describes the Japanese influences as a “symbolic element” in his menu, but he says he’s trying to capture the “authenticity” of Japanese culture. “
So there’s a ton of Japanese ingredients on the menu.”
Yield describes the Japanese influences as a “symbolic element” in his menu, but he says he’s trying to capture the “authenticity” of Japanese culture.
“Japanese food is very Japanese-esque,” he says.
It started when Yield was in Japan studying Japanese and studying Japanese culture, but it was during his time at Yamauchis tasting room that he decided to explore the cuisine in the States.
He started by tasting the food at the Japanese restaurant.
“I’ve always wanted to go back and taste Japanese food in a different way,” Yousse says.
In Japan, he says, “it’s the only way to taste something really good.”
“I really love sushi and sushi food, so that’s where the inspiration for the menu came from,” Yild says.
He explains that the Japanese influenced food at Yoshi Craft is similar to a Japanese version of the classic sushi bar, but this is a more upscale version.
“Yoshi Craft is really not like a traditional sushi restaurant,” Youss says.
Yield and Yoshi Craft are not the only sushi chefs who have experimented with the Japanese menu, as chef-owner, chef-consultant and sushi chef John Bunch explains.
He also served at Yoshi craft in Japan.
Bunch says Japanese cuisine is very different than the American one.
“Japan is very traditional, and it’s very traditional to have a chef’s dinner,” he explains.
Bouchard says the American sushi chef-owners are not as familiar with Japanese food as the Japanese sushi chefs are.
“They are not really familiar with sushi as much as they should be,” Bouchards says.
Boudreau is the author of The Complete Guide to Japanese Cooking, and he says the Japanese-influenced cuisine at Yoshi is more than just sushi.
“This is really the essence of Japanese cuisine,” Boudres says.
But what makes Yoshi Craft special?
Boudréis explains that Yoshi Craft takes a very traditional approach to its food.
The menu is designed to be the same for everyone, from the sushi chef to the server.
“You’re getting a Japanese food experience,” Broussard says.
For the Japanese, it’s important to get a meal that is really authentic.
“It’s about having a meal where the chef really has to really bring it home,” Boussard explains.
And Boudrecs sous chef is a big proponent of that.
“If you’re not Japanese, and you’re in the restaurant and you don’t understand the way sushi works, you’re going to be really disappointed,” Boutrecs says.
And that’s why Boudretches sous, a Japanese chef and sushi master, is involved.
“He’s the person who is going to do the sushi,” Bouts says.
As for what is Yoshi Crafts signature dish, Boudrey says the best Japanese-American dishes are the ones with the kabuki cast.
“In Japan, we call that the konbu,” BOUSSERES says.
Yoshi craft sous is one of the most popular dishes in the menu, and Boudroy says the kenbu is his favorite dish.
The konbo is made of pork belly and fish stock, and served with an oyster