Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Hapa Izakaya in Vancouver

In this photo, from left to right, we have a sashimi plate, a teriyaki-glazed calamari, funkily-wrapped gyozas and a lovely beef tataki in a red sauce. Yes, we went to yet another trendy Japanese restaurant in Vancouver (gotta love this city). DW took us to Hapa Izakaya for some modern Japanese tapas (thanks D!). The ambiance here is great - everything is sleek, there's a lot of black in the decor and there are thick hardwood tables everywhere. It was also packed full with young, hip customers and a really hot wait staff.

But on to the food ... the menu here is really innovative. I think that Japanese food is hard to improve on, but there were some great dishes here and the menu was smart enough to leave most of those alone that are already perfect. Agedashi tofu (not pictured here) and beef tataki are always my litmus tests for a good Japanese restaurant - I'm happy to report that Hapa Izakaya passed on these two little appies.

The gyoza (second from the right in the back) were served in a crustless-sandwich-style wrap instead of the traditional dumpling. I thought they were good, but S wasn't keen on them. We also tried a paella-style rice dish that was very spicy and tasted good at first, but then I found it hard to finish as there were many intense flavours vying for centre-stage. It also took us a while to get the bill, but it was a busy night. All said, I would definately come back here because the ambiance was nice, the food was really good, and I love the tapas style of eating.

Hapa Izakaya
1479 Robson St.
Vancouver, B.C.


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