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Category archives: Japanese

Hapa Izakaya

Vancouver is the land of good-tasting Asian food.

There are so many more options, and quality are far more superior than Seattle.

Hapa Izakaya is one of the prime examples.

We used to go to Guu, but finding its quality came down with expansion — time to venture out.

I made a reservation at 6pm for Hapa, and got quite worry when we were one of the very few tables that was occupied.


@6pm, very empty


full — midway through our meal!

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It was really sad to see that Le Zinc closed its door in Capitol Hill.

As just a patron to restaurants, I was very surprised: a place with great food, great service and atmosphere, and the experience of sister restaurant Maximillien, how could it close down?

My friend who lives in Capitol Hill managed to shed some light.

He mentioned that the restaurant scene in Capitol Hill is very competitive.

For us, 95% of the time we go to eat at Capitol Hill is on the weekends; and apparently many of these seemingly business-blooming restaruants can be empty on the weekdays.

Business is tough.

As the old goes out, new comes in; I was super excited to learn about the opening of Naka at Le Zinc’s old spot; particularly, it is the first Japanese restaurant in Seattle solely for Kaiseki – traditional multi-course Japanese dinner.

I love the simplicity of the menu: tasting menu for $75; Naka, 10-course, Kaiseki for $120 or Chef Kaiseki, 15-course, for $170.


The rest of the dinner is in the hands of chef Shota Nakajima, who has apprenticed under a Michelin star chef in Japan.

I was impressed with my Naka Kaiseki: freshly seasonal, with balance of textures and flavors, and each dish showcased the different culinary techniques of the chef, adhering to the philosophy of Kaiseki.

Not fully traditional, Nakajima-san’s kaiseki has elements of western food as well. Continue reading →


Boy!  Was it hard to find!

Last year, I was looking for a highly rated Japanese sushi place to have lunch before my sister’s flight home; I thought somewhere in International District would be convenient.

Yelp rated Tsukushinbo really high, I set my course there … and could not find it!

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