So after our delicious gelato, Laurie and I met up with three other old JET friends who also taught in Osaka. Mich, Danny, and Rick met up with us for our mini-JET reunion at a great Tokyo-style izakaya called Hapa Izakaya. "Hapa" in Hawaiian, means "half Japanese." (Sidenote: There's a Hapa exhibit going on at the Japanese American National Museum in J-town: 100% Hapa. Check it out.) Anyways, like the owner, Justin Ault, a half-Japanese, half-Haole boy, the food is a mixture of both traditional Japanese dishes and new Western touches. Inside, Hapa Izakaya is a beautiful smooth lounge-type izakaya in minimalist black. It's where Darth Vader would kick it if he was a Canuck.
Once you walk inside, you'll be greeted by the cooks as they attack you with your standard slurred, "Irashaiiimaaaase~!"
We ordrered TONS of dishes. I'm just going to highlight some of my favorites.The Buta no Kakuni (braised pork belly)
The Buta no Kakuni was exremely tender, sweet, and wonderfully tasty. The dish also came with steamed bao's to make your own kakuni sandwiches. Too bad I don't eat all the fat. My mom would of hit me across the head for wasting the "junk parts" which she would of devoured without any hesitation.
The Teba-saki (chicken wings) were also very oishii! The wings were perfectly sweetened, crispy, and juuuuicy! We only ordered one plate of these bad boys. I think I could of gnawed on a bucket of them! So super oishii!
The beef carpaccio was ok. I don't really remember much. I think I got really hungry at this point, so my stomach was just interested in dishes that would fill me up. Dang, needed more of those teba-saki's!
The karaage was on point. I looooooooooooove karaage. Now, because I eat like a squirrel, I like things bite sized. Karaage is perfect for squirrels like me.
Dinner at Hapa Izakaya made all of us feel like we were back in our irresponsible mid-20's days hanging out in Osaka again. Oishii grub, good friends, Osaka stories, and catching up makes for a perfect reunion!
After Hapa Izakaya, we strolled around Coal Harbour, a soothing water walkway perfect for our after-dinner frumpiness. One thing that I truly enjoyed about Vancouver was their long summer days. While walking, I thought it was 7 o'clock until I looked at my watch. "What, it's already 9PM???"