Address: 1516 Yew St, Vancouver B.C. Tel: 604-738-4272
Hours: 5:30 pm- 12:00 am, Monday-Friday; 4:00pm-1:00:am, Saturday and Sunday
ABOUT THE FOOD
Hapa Izakaya is recognized as Vancouver’s first modern izakaya, a word composed of three kanji (Japanese characters): “i” (stay), “zaka” (alcohol), and “ya” (shop or place). Put together, the characters roughly mean “a liquor shop where one can stay and have a drink.”
Launched in January 2003 by visionaries Justin and Lea Ault, Hapa Izakaya has become known for its lively atmosphere, ever-changing Japanese tapas, adventurous chefs, inventive cocktails and premium sake list, not to mention the resto’s stylish decor.
The owners of Hapa give their chefs at each location creative liberty to invent a daily fresh sheet of unique Japanese small plates inspired not only by their imagination, but also by global trends and cultures. The result is an exciting list of Japanese pub dishes. Here is a mouth-watering sample of what you might find:
Quail Teriyaki (pan roasted quail with house teriyaki sauce and quail eggs)
Spicy Jerk Salmon (local coho salmon, house made jerk sauce, crispy fingerling potatoes)
Original Ebi Mayo (tempura prawns, tossed in a spicy mayonnaise sauce)
Saba (marinated mackerel sashimi, seared table-side)
about the drinks
Given that izakaya translates roughly into “a liquor shop where one can stay and have a drink, you can be sure Hapa’s drinks list was curated with care.
Hapa’s premium wine and sake list was designed with the assistance of a sommelier and sake expert friends of the restaurant. With the installation of its Le Verre de Vin wine preservation system, Hapa will be able to provide an expanded sake list with over 20 premium sakes available by the glass, a first for Vancouver.
Hapa serves inventive cocktails, like Yuzu slush, where Yuzu (Japanese citrus) is blended with Japanese vodka and served by the glass or by the jug— a perfect drink for sipping on the Hapa patio. Naturally, there’s also a wide selection of Japanese and international beer.
MORE ABOUT HAPA
Head Chef: Daiji Tanaka, Kitsilano location
Seating capacity: 95 (120 including patio)
Ownership: Privately held. Owners are Justin and Lea Ault.
Years in business: 8 (as of January 2011)
Interesting fact #1: Both Justin and Lea have Japanese-Canadian mothers who are third- generation Canadians.
Interesting fact #2: Both Justin and Lea completed an extensive apprenticeship in one of the largest izakaya chains in Tokyo, Japan.
April 2010, Georgia Straight, GOLDEN PLATE AWARDS 2ND PLACE, JAPANESE