We recently visited one of our favorite local restaurants — Hapa Japanese Cuisine.
Last October, a YOwasso reader had told us about Hapa, encouraging to give them a try. We did and we’ve been eating there pretty frequently ever since then.
From the first visit, the staff left such a great impression on us that we simply can’t stop raving about them.
So we popped in for dinner, snapped a few pictures, and enjoyed some excellent Japanese fusion food.
It Was Time For Dinner
A lot of times, these little trips to Hapa start with a “Hapa?” text from my wife, sometime in the 4 or 5 o’clock hour. I like to imagine this happens to other people in Owasso.
We loaded up our daughter — sometimes a process in itself — and headed towards Hapa, which is on 86th St N east of 129th E Ave about a half mile, right across the street from Owasso Eighth Grade Center (and in the same strip center as Butcher Brothers and the Boomerang Diner.)
Listen — Hapa’s appetizers are so good that order them as a main course sometimes (another thing I hope that other Owassons do sometimes.) The only thing I would warn other diners about their appetizers is this: if you order one, you’re going to want to order it or another appetizer every time you eat there. At least that’s our habit, now.
This time, we ordered the shrimp carpaccio, which we’d never had before. We usually order a similar appetizer to this — the beef carpaccio — but Liz and I mentioned that we’d both thought about trying this before. No disappointments here.
This boiled shrimp platter’s flavor is colored by scallions, fried onions, ponzu, sriracha, and garnished with cilantro. Served in a ring around a small bed of a miniature salad, this appetizer is just excellent across the board, from its careful presentation to its bold flavor.
The Main Course
I saw a post on Hapa’s Facebook page where they mentioned a new roll called The Force Awakens. Had to try it.
One of my favorite thing about Hapa’s food is the amount of careful attention paid to make a good presentation of the dish. A nice, thoughtful approach to that doesn’t go unnoticed by anyone.
The Force Awakens roll wasn’t on the menu yet when we ate at Hapa recently, but I do know that this roll is skillfully put together with avocado, roasted sesame, crab salad, jalapeno, cucumber, and super fresh tuna.
It has a little kick, but just enough to not be disagreeable to people who dislike spicy foods.
Needless to say, this roll is going to be one to add to the stable of go-to rolls that I currently like to switch between when we eat at Hapa.
The Ghost In The Shell roll (pictured above) is one of my original favorites that I order. The thin slices of lemon are a really unique spin on an otherwise classic type of dish, although they aren’t the only part of this roll that makes it unique.
You can bet on chef Daisuke Tanaka’s ideas when it comes to unique food — he never misses.
Here’s a picture of another Hapa appetizer, called Pork Gyoza. There little pork dumpling are fried — either pan-fried or deep-fried, per the customer’s preference. We usually order them for our daughter, who is pretty young but has definitely developed a taste for them. I always steal one.
The Philly roll and the Spicy Shrimp roll, respectively, are a great addition to any meal, as well.
The cream cheese in the Philly is is a staple on sushi bar menus, but as always, Hapa makes their own and does it well.
The Spicy Shrimp is delectable in its own rite and being covered with fried onions doesn’t hurt it. It’s not super hot, but like the Force Awakens roll, it has just enough to kick to make the flavor a little more interesting.
Good stuff, no doubt.
We didn’t order dessert (we usually do, but did we… had quite a bit of food already). If you’re hungry for something sweet after your meal, their plum wine ice cream is amazing (request the addition of cashews for bonus flavor points) and the fried cheesecake rolls… I mean, do I really need to describe how good that is just from the what it’s called?
Meet Mr. Ido
As always, co-owner Masataka Ido stops by to chat for a minute, which is always fun.
If you’ve eaten at Hapa before, you’ve met him. You can tell that he is genuinely interested in the quality experience of his customers, but beyond that, he is just simply very pleasant and nice.
One other thing that we’ve noted about Hapa is the quality of experience in dealing with the rest of the staff. This group is well-trained, they know the menu, and they are down to earth.
Most of the time, we get the same server — she’s a real delight!
Hapa is doing things right. After some recent high praise from the Tulsa World, you can tell that business has picked up quite a bit, and rightly so: they make the effort and effort often pays off.
If you haven’t yet, stop in for dinner one evening and you’ll see what we’re talking about.