Sister restaurant to the downtown Hapa Izakaya in the old Urban Well location. Small patio with limited seating.
Went iout for dinner with female friends before "Bard on the Beach" Nice room, usual "IRASSHAIMASSSEI...." greeting.
Food selections were solid, but not outstanding.
We ordered edamame, lotus gyoza, ebi mayo, ishi-yaki (stone-bowl rice), kalbi ribs, kabocha puree. Tried to order blow-torched mackeral, but was told it was no longer on the menu. Substitued blow-torched toro, but it was not a success.
Food was OK, but service seemed lacking. I guess we were too old and not-trendy enough.
Different "vibe" from the Robson street location.
Lot of reviewers have some negative reviews of this place but I've been here four times over the past year and it's been good each time. The food was good; especially like the mentaiko udon, stone rice bowls and gyu daikon salad. service was efficient and friendly. place is noisy but lively. I didn't really approve of the 15% gratuity added for parties of six or more (we were four adults and two kids) but luckily we would have tipped 15% anyways; but what if the service was bad? Izakaya's in Japan are usually cheap so it would be nice if these guys dropped the prices a bit.
Having been to the Robson location many times over, I sort of knew what to expect here. The ambiance was just as lively. Loud from lots of chatter. Interior decor is similar to that of the other location, lot of dark wood, low ceilings.
The service was very good on our visit. The wait staff attending to us were very polite, friendly and there when we needed something. It was nice to know that they didn't abandon us like other restaurants tend to do when the bill has a 15% gratuity already tacked on. The staff didn't have that snooty attitude that I've seen all too often at the Robson location.
Onto the food. The food was good. Not outstanding, but maybe deserves a 3.5. We tried so many things and most were as expected. But disappointments included the salmon carpaccio, yakiudon, and gindara.
In terms of value, I'm finding more and more that you don't get good value here. These are tapas, so they're small. But man, some of the items are so overpriced! For the same amount spent, I'd get so much more at Guu or Gyoza King.
A side note, parking around here is horrible.
Went here last night and tried quite a few dishes.
1- Salmon carpaccio. Absolutely amazing.
2- Salmon and avo salad, believe it or not. Very fresh and flavourful.
3- soft shell crab
4- plum sorbet (especially the roasted nuts on the side, so simple but remarkably delicious).
The seared toro was mediocre, and the mackerel sashimi (seared also) was not very exciting.
Wonderful meal, and, considering the number of drinks/dishes we ordered, the bill wasn't a total nightmare.
I've heard many good and not so good things about Hapa - but was never overwhelmingly compelled to go eat there. However, their $30 (inclusive of tax and tip) is such an incredible value, it would be a solid choice to take myself and 5 friends for a splurge.
I believe it was a 13 course menu, and the restaurant reserves the discretion to bring out whatever amount of food they feel happily satisfies the diners. 3-4 people shared each dish, and it was amply portioned. Unbelievably, we had to ask for styrofoam containers at the end of the night! Woo hoo - doggie bags just scream-out textbook value!
My very first impression was that the restaurant had a patio outside which struck me as kind of out-of-place for a mid/high end restaurant. Upon entering, I realized how roomy they restaurant was, which was surprising for a prime Kits location. Later I realized it was the old Urban Well Club - no wonder!
Ambiance: Dark, modern, zen-sleek. The music was relentless in the pumping out of "techno-fied" Top-40 pop tunes. Perhaps something more subtly hip would have melded better with their restaurant concept.
Service: The food came out for a large group at a steady pace, the servers were mildy attentive to our needs.
Food: Good value! Tons of variety in the set menu. Didn't care so much for the fried foods as a personal preference. The fish dishes were tasty enough, although they did serve farmed salmon. The sauces for the raw fish were a bit one-toned and on the sweet side - but presentation was lovely. Also it is Japanese fusion style, which again is not my preference.
Recommended if you like fusion izakaya food, but for full-on Japanese flavors try Guu!
I've been here twice, just moved into the relative neighborhood from elsewhere in Kits and I am "meh" when it comes to the place so far. Both times I have visited the restaurant there have been crying babies. This is so lame I can't even put it into words. When I go to a hip local restaurant with young chic staff and a predictable mix of fauxhawked, sandaled and v-necked youth on the patio drinking beer...the last thing I expect when I have to sit down inside (due to a wait for the patio and my rumbling stomach) is screaming babies. There are family oriented restaurants in the dozens in Kitsilano. Why do you have to lug your shrieking brats to a haven for adults to relax and enjoy good food and cocktails?
Anyway...the service really really needs to be addressed here. Servers do not appear to have tables. Everyone serves everyone. We had three or four different servers both times we came here. The problem with this is that there were several instances of immense delay between courses and cocktails, as well as when we wanted to leave. Nonetheless, patrons on the patio received constant attention from several waitresses while we went over fifteen minutes without a server in our section of four tables, for example. Our food was quick in some instances but severely delayed in others with no explanation. We discovered that standing and flagging servers got us quicker service but that is ridiculous. They need a better system.
The food is fresh, delicious and well priced. We tried several rolls, edamame, bulgogi, some sushi, some sashimi, anyway a good cross section of the menu, and everything was well presented, delicious and fresh. It was not timely and the food came at odd intervals. The maki (rolls) took absolutely forever to arrive but they were delicious, and we ordered the real crab roll which was $11 or $12 so we were ready to wait. It was worth it. The beer and cocktails are priced just within the umbrella of "are you kidding me?"
This Japanese izakaya might seem expensive, but in the end, the quality of the food, presentation and taste far outstrip any other Japanese takeout restaurant or sit-down restaurant in the vicinity. All I have to say is, please improve your small table service (I have been to the Robson location with a huge party and received excellent service, but it is the two-top that makes or breaks the restaurant as everyone knows).
I live nearby, had only been to the Robson location and thought I'd try this shortly after it had been converted from the Urban Well. I was very impressed - the food is really amazing, and good value for your money. The service is decent, not outstanding, but good enough. The decor is very funky and the atmosphere is noisy and fun. Would definitely give it a try if you are looking for something fun and different!
I've been to Hapa in Kits three times now, and all 3 times were excellent. I had a different server each time, and the first was a 5/5, the second was a 4/5, the third was a 3/5 hence my rating of 4/5 for service...all the servers are quite good looking here, so if you want some eye candy its a good place to go.
The food was great, modern japanese food, and everything complimented well with its ingredients (unlike some other fusion places that seem to just throw things together....there was thought in this).
The place itself is typical low light trendy looking place...nothing stellar, but pretty nice...
And for the money, you are getting some good food...if you want to take your date out, or get some nice food with some nice servers without hurting your pocket, this is the place to go!
A few of us went there for dinner on Friday. The place was packed so we decided to sit in the lounge. The food was great, the King Crab Roll is definitely recommended! The food was a little slow but seeing how busy it was you can't really fault them on that. I am glad that we did end up sitting in the lounge as when the main restaurant was incredibly noisy! All in all, the food was fantastic and the service was good.
Sat at the bar with a couple of friends, and had a fun night. We had a nice selection of food, but watching it prepared kinda put me off some of the things (funny, since I'm a food-nut). Prawns were good, cones were nice (it was a special of some sort), blow-torched fish had good flavour but a not super-fresh (not bad either) texture. The salad was average, and dessert could have been skipped. They were nice though, as we didn't mind ordering a few drinks, though some of things we wanted, which were on the menu were no longer available. Since when is alcohol seasonal?
This was my final Dine Out Vancouver restaurant pick. I'd been to the one on Robson a few years back and it was good, but I'd heard this one had a different feel. I would agree. It has much more of a laid back feel than the one downtown. The servers still do the shouting greeting though. It's also pretty loud in there with the music so it's not the type of place if you want an intimate dinner. The inside of the restaurant is very spacious and modern - think clean lines with an Asian influence.
The Dine Out menu was a bit confusing as there was a separate seafood, meat, and vegetarian menu, each with 3 choices per category. I liked it though as it offered more variety and I had already made up my mind that I would go for the seafood one. It included a starter, a small and a large plate for the main, and a dessert. My favourite of all the courses was my starter, for which I chose the scallop sashimi. It was good and spicy and kind of reminded me of ceviche. My mains were not as exciting but were good nonetheless. By dessert I was full, but not overly stuffed. For dessert, I had a cheesecake, which was good but not very original.
Service was somewhat indifferent. Our meals were brought to us quickly but service was rather impersonal. This is a tapas place, and the portions and prices reflected that. It was good but I'm not rushing to go back.
I was surprised reading the other reviews of Hapa Izakaya. Went in tonight on a whim and took a seat at the bar near the kitchen. I've never seen the kind of camaraderie in a workplace that the staff seemed to have and it's some of the best service I've had where dinner is <$100 for 2 people. The food was creative and decent - everything was fresh and presented well. It wasn't the best food on the planet, but it was a good price and interesting to check out. Based on this visit, I highly recommend it. I'll be going back and will update if my experience changes to be more of what these other reviewers have experienced.
Hapa was my friends 2nd choice for where to have her birthday party. They seemed a little more accomadating than Guu but we were wrong. Happa told her that there is a set dinner available and that they would "prefer" if people would order that. We had a party of around 30 people. When we got there we were told that we "HAD" to pay the $30 for a set menu. Some people had just showed up to have a few drinks. My friend tried to talk to the manager and she said that was their policy on large parties. My friend was never told that everyone had to have the set menu. After a few friends again talked to the manager she finally told us that 20 people of the 30 had to order from the set menu. That forced my boyfriend and I who weren't even hungry to pay the $30 each for food that was ok but had way too many salads in it. They ended up charging the people who didn't even eat $18. In the end it was just too much hassell and it ended up ruining some people's nights.. oh another thing.. the drinks too waaay to long to arrive.
I've tried both locations and prefer the one in Kits. It's roomier, nicer and not as loud as the one on Robson.
Great dishes to choose from. I personally like the food here compared to the other location. Our friends enjoyed great selection of cocktails as well. The duck is amazing, same with the tataki dish.
If you like japanese tapas, this is the one to go too!
We went to Hapa Izakaya for dinner last night for my mom's birthday.
The service was disappointing. We ordered more sashimi while we were eating and that took over 20 minutes to arrive and tasted like it had been sitting in the pass-through for too long. Also, we had to ask for extra wasabi three times before we finally got some more. Finally, if that wasn't enough, auto-gratuity was added to our bill for our "party" of 6 people.
I have been forced to go to this place 3 times by group decision. We ordered 12 different items and every single one was terrible. From a completey oversauced beef carpaccio ( how do screw taht up) to the most disappointing sablefish in all of Canada the food was sooooo bad. I am not kidding. Even my friend who doesnt eat fish settled on the karage chicken and couldnt eat it it was so bad. Oh wait I just got a text from my buddy who says that he cant get off the toliet and my girlfriend has an upset stomach too.
I can on and on about how bad this place is...bottom line is dont go and dont let anyone you know go. Friends dont let friends eat at Hapa Izakaya.
Two friends and I went here on a Wednesday night and it was still pretty busy. My appy came out first and was placed in front of me by a server who didn't take our order. The next dish was brought out shortly after and was place in front of one of my friends. The mains came out next, at which point my other friend asked that her appy order be cancelled only to be told that it had already come out, and that it had been plated with the other appetizer, which was now finished and she'd had none of it. After some back and forth, we asked to speak to the manager who spoke to us in a condesending manner, implying that it was weird that we didn't notice that there were two dishes on one plate, since they were 'two different tastes and textures' and, afterall, this was a tapas lounge and it was expected that dishes were for sharing.
Portions are small, but the food is quite tasty. The beef skewers were very tender, and the fried potstickers were light and flavourful. Ambiance is nothing special, but nice.
Because on the unfortunate customer service, I doubt I'd go back but it's worth a try.
I really enjoyed a recent supper at Hapa. There was a large group of us, but the wait staff were really attentive with keeping our water glasses full and delivering food as it came up. My own avocado and shrimp salad made me think about sesame oil in a whole new way. The ambiance was enjoyable because it was young and exciting without being too loud or flashy. I was thoroughly satisfied and would recommend this place.
I have never left this place disappointed! The food is soo good, I get cravings for it all the time, especially the stonebowl...yum, even thinking about it makes my mouth water...
The service is soo good and friendly, everybody is concerned about the customers, and seems to GENUINELY care!
I defineitely love going to Hapa and sharing food, it is so much fun!!!
so reading those review my frd and i were a bit hesitant, but we thought, we've never been there how can we be so sure
and service there was really good, servers were funny and attentive, food was really good too. the beef tataki and croquette salad was delicious, we had 2 orders of unagi maki cuz they were just that good. all the food we had that night did not diappoint us, and we had about 6, 7 dishes