Review: Quán Hapa

I recently wrote about my favorite appetizers in the area and, while I was doing my research, I happened upon Quán Hapa’s menu, which now features not one, but two of my favorite dishes from the past year. I went to Asian Food Fest at Washington Park last summer, where I got to try SPAM Musubi and Loco Moco, traditional Hawaiian dishes by Ono Grindz, a local pop-up eatery that specializes in Hawaiian street food. (Ono Grindz can also be found at Second Sunday on Main.)

Ever since, I have been on an endless quest to find more Musubi and Loco Moco — endless because there aren’t a ton of pacific-inspired restaurants in the area, but also because I just can’t get enough. I have now had Loco Moco from Ono Grindz, E+O Kitchen, and Quán Hapa (still need to get to Pacific Kitchen). A bit harder to find, however, is Musubi, but thanks to their updated menu, I got to have it this past weekend at Quán Hapa.

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SPAM Musubi (spam, rice caramelized onions, gojuchang sauce) from Quán Hapa
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BK at Quán Hapa
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Hapa Ramen (tonkotsu broth — chicken and pork, soft boiled egg, pork belly, green onions, naurtomaki, burnt garlic oil) at Quán Hapa
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Kalbi Loco Moco (marinated short ribs, garlic rice, loco moco brown gravy, fried egg, pickled carrots, bean sprouts, house-made kimchi, green onions) at Quán Hapa

And boy was it good. Seriously, I was probably as turned off as you were when I heard grilled SPAM was featured in a dish — Hawaii’s perception of this precooked, canned meat is completely different than how we feel here in the mainland, and I’m going to boldly claim that you’re completely wrong about how you once felt about it. It is fantastic in this delicacy, whether it’s fancy or not (and I’ve had both versions). The best part? It was only $6 for a pretty big portion.

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In addition to Musubi, Quán Hapa has great wings, ramen, and Okonomiyaki (Japanese pancake); the latter on special for $8 every Monday from 5–close. That’s the thing, too, is that Quán Hapa has happy hour 3–7pm daily (including drink and appetizer deals), plus wing night — half price wings from 5–close — on Tuesdays.

Looking for a good, reasonably-priced meal with a great atmosphere (a combination of indoor and outdoor seating) on Vine Street in OTR and with likely no wait? Go to Quán Hapa for their outstanding take on Asian street food.

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