Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Ontario (inc. Toronto) >
Jul 17, 2012 12:31 PM

Hapa Izakaya

Exciting news... Hapa Izakaya is following the footsteps of Guu and Kingyo and moving out our way to Coco Lezzone's spot at 602 College. Targeted opening date is August. I love this place and would say I favored it over Guu just because it was more spacious and less loud.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. not sure what's better news: that, or coco lezzone finally being taken out behind the shed.*

    *blew some serious cash on an objectively awful meal there a few months ago.

    1 Reply
    1. re: EverymanJack

      haha. Was thinking the same thing about Coco Lezzone when I saw that the space was being taken over. Of course, hate that people lose their jobs/etc but hated to see people spending money there on bad meals.

    2. I like Hapa, but my favourite Vancouver izakaya is Kingyo, hopefully they find their Toronto space soon.

      5 Replies
      1. re: childofthestorm

        No place like Kingyo! Agreed! Hapa is pretty darn good though. Kingyo (spawned from Guu) is genius.

        1. re: childofthestorm

          But Hapa has the magical Shiso Mojito!

          1. re: graydyn

            Yeah for me Hapa is the "cocktail" part of the evening on a Vancouver izakaya crawl. As far as drinks menus go, they're pretty stellar.

            Now we just need a yakitori bar like Zakkushi, and a gyoza place like Gyoza King.

            1. re: childofthestorm

              yakitori bar like Zakkushi - YESSSSSSSSS!!!!!

        2. Hapa's supposedly open (Sept 6) - anyone gone yet?

          Some pics (not mine):

          3 Replies
          1. re: Wench Foraday

            Saw one on Yelp it is 5 star but skimpy on the details about the food so I am not sure its legit.

            1. re: Wench Foraday

              Went there last week. My wife and myself enjoyed the meal and service. The stand out dishes for ourselves were the burrito, pork bell and flamed mackerel. I liked the food there better than the Guu dishes (we've been to both locations) as I've found the Guu dishes more oily and heavy (it's been a couple years since being there though). Unfortunately, no Guu pics as i've only recently started taking pics.

              Black Cod, Torched Mackerel, Grilled Ika, Halibut Burrito, Pork Belly Lettuce Wrap, Tempura Shrimp and Wild Salmon Sashimi

              1. re: Yimahaji

                I went last night and fully agree. I must say, it is nice without all the yelling…please GUU stop. The Hotategai and Ebi were outstanding...and offering to deep fry the heads of the shrip after...nice indeed...

                Just have no idea where the Globe review comes from.

            2. Can anyone confirm that this place is now officially opened?

              4 Replies
              1. re: onehaehyuk

                I walked past on Monday (after visiting The Feasting Room which is almost next door).
                It was DEFINITELY open (and not too busy).

                1. re: estufarian

                  Ok good to know thanks! I will try and go this week and report back. Surprised I haven't heard too much about this place yet.

                2. re: onehaehyuk

                  Yup! Definitely open! Went and tried it out on the weekend. A bit of a rough start (staff still settling in and not sure of things service-wise) but I think that will smooth out over time. Food was good, but I think not as good as the Vancouver location.

                  1. re: bluefirefly

                    I am probably biased because I hate the college st crowd but I hated this place. hate the decor and music. staff got on my nerves (please don't grab my teacup and tilt it to see if it's empty or not. I understand they are trying to be helpful but just don't do that.

                    only tried a couple things but food was not good. mackerel was nothing special however I did like the knife skills used to cut it. Pork belly dish was dry. Best part about that was fresh Boston Bibb lettuce.
                    I know they just opened but I would not go back. I actually went there to have a full meal (I usually order way too much food) but after trying those two dishes we just wanted to leave.

                    oh yeah they have these weird high benches at the front of the restaurant that have no footrests. its extremely irritating to sit there and have your feet dangling.

                    Guu is way better.

                3. Hm I tried Hapa but still prefer Guu. I like that at Hapa you can talk to your dining companions without yelling and they seem to have a more extensive drinks menu than Guu. But I like the food better at Guu. Some of the dishes we got at Hapa were really similar to ones I've had at Guu, like the kinoko bibimbap and the seared albacore tuna with ponzu - but Guu's versions seemed more flavourful. I liked the fish burrito (taco?) but if I wanted to eat something like that I'd probably just go to one of the taco or burrito places around town. Service was pleasant and attentive though, and price was similar to Guu. Oh and we tried the pork belly dish that szw had too - same experience, I liked the lettuce but the pork seemed a bit dry. And my shiso mojito just kind of tasted like pop. I didn't hate it but nothing really made me want to go back.