Mini-Review: Hapa Izakaya

Hapa Izakaya is beautiful. Black and sleek with tables where you sit Japanese style with your shoes off, bar seating for those who are fascinated by the chaos of activity in a restaurant kitchen and regular tables.

It's not a place for a quiet meal; but then again it's not too loud. As we said in our writeup about our first visit; it's like a more sophisticated version of Guu.

The food at Hapa is polished, down home Japanese cooking plus more grownup touches like martinis and cool cocktails like Cassis with Grapefruit (my personal favourite $4.50). And sake served in tall bamboo tumblers is also a popular choice.

Two of the many standouts from the regular menu include kobocha and walnut salad ($4.50 pumpkin puree with melba toast mmmm!) and the Ishi-Yaki ($7.50 for a bowl of crispy crunchy rice with kimchi). No sushi; just simple, tasty hearty dishes that are ideal for sharing.

And there is a separate rotating special menu. We lucked out on our second visit with teriyaki squid. Tender and tasty and not overcooked. Check out our photos from Hapa Izakaya to get more of an idea of what the food is like.

Go with a group that doesn't mind sharing and go crazy. In the unlikely event you pick something that you ALL don't like, it won't matter since most everything is under $10. We paid about $60 after tax but before tip for a filling dinner for three people consisting of three drinks and five or six sharing plates on each of our two visits. I bet you'll like almost everything you try! Highly Recommended!

Hapa Izakaya, 1479 Robson Street at Nicola, 604 689-4272