For years, Southern Humboldt residents have enjoyed shopping at Chautauqua Natural Foods for organic food and supplements. In June of 2018, the owners of Chautauqua Natural Foods opened Souji House, an "Asian soul food" restaurant offering colorful lunch dishes, organic soft serve, Japanese sweets, beer, wine and sake.

Peg Anderson started Chautauqua Natural Foods 35 years ago and today her children Rio and Sophia help her run the business along with Souji House. They have all lived in Southern Humboldt for decades and a sense of community is reflected in the décor and menu of their most recent business endeavor.

The inside of Souji House is bright and the dishes that come out of the open kitchen are bursting with color from the farm fresh vegetables. The elegant tables are cut in loose S shapes so they fit together like puzzle pieces to accommodate larger groups. The restaurant is located right across the street from the town square and the patio with outdoor seating is an excellent place to soak up the sun and people watch during the farmers market on Fridays in the summer.

click to enlarge Homemade chicken pho. - ZACH LATHOURIS
  • Zach Lathouris
  • Homemade chicken pho.

Souji House combines international flavors with locally sourced ingredients to create dishes that are exciting and comforting at the same time. Employees and regulars swear by the cauliflower "wings" ($10) served with house made dipping sauces, including a vegan garlic aioli. For an entrée, the chicken phở ($12) made with rice noodles and spinach is hearty and satisfying, and the aromatic broth recalls picking fresh herbs out of the garden in your own backyard.

The menu caters to a range of palates and diets, like the gluten-free Thai chicken curry ($14) and vegan pad thai ($13). Eager to inspire the next generation of Humboldt foodies, kid-friendly options include the chicken katsu nuggets with marinated cucumber and white or brown rice ($13). Meanwhile, adults can pair their meals with a glass of wine from Briceland Vineyards, located just down the road in Redway.

Besides the regular menu, Souji House also offers daily specials, including hand-crafted sushi rolls. If you're looking for a sweet nibble to finish off your meal, try the organic soft serve ($6). With simple toppings like chocolate sauce and nuts, it's the perfect way to finish off a wholesome and delicious meal.

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About The Author

Stella Girkins

Stella Girkins

Stella Girkins is a freelance writer from Garberville, CA. Since graduating from Columbia University in 2015, she’s enjoyed traveling while working on a variety of projects, including successfully submitting an NEH grant for Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello and, most recently, working with KMUD News.
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