Sherman's Food Adventures: Late Night @ Hapa Izakaya (Yaletown)

Late Night @ Hapa Izakaya (Yaletown)

Despite the complete revamping of the food and beverage services at Rogers Arena, it is still a pricey proposition.  Grace and I were at their mercy while watching a Canucks game and I just had to get something to eat.  I did the boring thing and had Triple O's despite the array of new options.  Yet, I saved a bit of room for after-the-game eats as we made our way to Hapa Yaletown.  Being late night, they were only serving their late night menu.  It became even more limited when we were informed that they had run out of ramen.

No matter, as we ordered everything else beginning with the Corn Karaage.  This was an interesting dish as the aroma of the fried corn was pretty intoxicating.  In terms of texture, it was a little tough on the outside.  However, beyond that, there was sweet pulp underneath that was accented by the light seasoning.  Thinly sliced and completely rare other than the thin outer ring, the Beef Tataki was fairly tender and buttery.  As much as the chili sauce added some spice and sweetness, I would've preferred the usual ponzu instead.

Onto the Dry Ribs, these were lightly crispy on the outside while mildly salted.  The meat itself was rather chewy with a rebound texture. I found the pieces that were attached to actual bone were meaty and relatively easy to eat.  However, the ones that featured more cartilage and fat were not that pleasing.  Back to the raw food, we had the Negitoro served with crostinis.  The small amount of tuna was fairly buttery and soft.  There was a balanced amount of scallions mixed in while the amount of seasoning was a little heavy.  It was on the saltier side, but not too bad.

With an interlude of sorts, we got the Assorted Pickles with Shibazuki, Takuan and Kyurizuke.  My favourite of the bunch were the yellow takuan (usually found in oshinko rolls).  It was crunchy with the usual tartness.  The other 2 were also good and did not seem out of sorts.  Arriving in a brown paper bag, the appropriately named Paper Bag Prawns were fried until crispy.  With a squeeze of charred lemon, the whole thing, shell and all, were crunchy and lightly coated and salted.  Although they were a touch greasy, the paper bag helped absorb it. Inside, the prawns were meaty and naturally sweet.  These went well with my Asahi.

For no other reason that the 2 ramens were sold out, we ordered the Kimchi.  Normally, we wouldn't get this but there was nothing else to choose from!  This was okay with a pleasant crunch and slight spice.  There was a tang, but for me at least, it wasn't "seafoody" enough (if that makes sense).  Lastly, we had the Lobster Roll which featured nori on the outside and fried tempura-style.  Although we could see the lobster, there wasn't a whole lot of flavour.  The roll was fine though with chewy rice and a crispy exterior.  So by now, if you were wondering why my descriptions were "blah", it directly reflects the late night menu items we tried.  They were mostly fine, but it made us long for the regular menu (which we love).

The Good:
- Reasonable prices considering food and location
- Decent service

The Bad:
- Limited late night menu 

Hapa Izakaya Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato