Izakaya 1215 is a 10!

If you haven’t been to one of the joints that are a part of Vancouver’s burgeoning Izakaya scene, now is the time. They’re not just for homesick Japanese exchange students anymore…

Hapa Izakaya is a favourite with the IBC crowd, and I tried to make a last minute reservation a while back, but they couldn’t fit us in to their understandably crowded room until 11:00. Dammit. I’m a big fan of both Gyoza King and Guu as well, but I’ve been to both places a lot lately, and we wanted an encounter with the less familiar.

The MFK (my better half) had heard of a place up at 1215 Davie that was supposed to be really good, though – the chef from Hapa Izakaya had departed to start his own place, and this was it! After we were comfortably seated and had a few beer, we asked our waiter if Chef Toyoshige would be willing to kick it omakase style for us, and shortly after we agreed on a price for the food, it came on. Beef carpaccio blowtorched at the table, amazing crispy chicken, prosciutto and tofu salad, crab croquettes that were crispy on the outside and deliciously squishy in the middle, and veal tongue as good as I’ve had anywhere were the highlights before we had to tap out. The dishes would have kept coming, but our budget ($40.00 per person for the food) far outstripped our very, umm, healthy appetites. Next time, I’m not missing the squid or the mussels that we had to pass on this time around, and that next time is going to be very soon. Highly recommended. Let me know what you think!

Hapa Izakaya (Robson) is located 1479 Robson Street in Vancouver, BC; (604) 689-4272;

1215 on Urbanspoon


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