Happy Birthday Dinner at Hapa Izakaya

Hapa Izakaya in Kitslano is one of my favorite restaurants.

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It was a 3 restaurant Kitsilano weekend, last week for my birthday.  On Friday we went to Sunset Grill, 2204 York Ave.  On Saturday we watched the hockey game and had Slum Dog Pizza at Hell's Kitchen 2041 4th Ave. West.  But for the “Big Day” we suggested some names… and eagrely decided to go to Hapa Izakaya 1416 Yew St.

Everytime we go there, the first bite of each dish is either “Wow” or “yummmmmm.”  A few months ago, we took a friend from Ottawa to Hapa Izakaya in Kitsilano for his birthday.  Good choice!  It's a cozy atmosphere with lots of wood, as opposed to the more high-tech “clubby” feel of the Robson St. location.  Modeled after Japanese bistros in Tokyo, owner Jason Ault returned from Japan to open up Hapa Izakaya with a fusion twist.  As sushi was supposedly invented as finger food to eat while playing games, Izakaya bistros appeared as cheap places to eat and drink after work – but Hapa Izakaya takes it to another level.  It creates a tapas style menu, with a cultural fusion twist, and sets in a glossy upscale setting.  The Robson Street location is always buzzing, while the Kitsilano location is more laid back – but the food is great in both locations.

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We started with King Crab roll. “Yum” – Deb's favorite!

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Smoked Tuna Macaroni with Ume/Seiso sauce. “Wow!”

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Dynamite roll with spicy mango sauce “Yow!”

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Creme Brule topped off the evening!

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