Remembering Hapa Ramen, longtime neighborhood institution

Here’s the official Mission Mission opening-night review, by Helen Tseng, from way back in November of 2014:

After doing the farmer’s market pop-up thing for years, Richie Nakano is finally opening his long-awaited ramen shop tomorrow. The Hapa Ramen restaurant is located at 2293 Mission Street, in the former 99¢ Depot. As a long-time noodle advocate, I headed over to report from the front lines, armed with a fellow noodle-loving lady.

The opening menu features snacky small plates (ribs, a raw fish tartare, a Korean seafood pancake), steamed buns a la David Chang, and with three types of ramen. The restaurant’s namesake bowl, pictured above, is generously topped with pork slabs, nugs of fried chicken, a poached egg, and seasonal vegetables.

There’s also a full bar and cocktail menu, which includes a gin drink involving Hi-Chew tincture and Hawaiian Punch syrup (above, right) that tastes exactly like a Pixy Stix. The bourbon drink on the left contained banana, black sea salt, and cacao.

Above, two of my favorite things I ate: a savory pile of roasted baby carrots and radishes, and an adorable fried chicken-and-pickle steamed bun that, in the most flattering way possible, reminded me of the classic sandwich from my childhood favorite now-shunned fast food establishment.

Oh, and those in-progress booths we reported on awhile back cleaned up real nice:

[Booth photo by Erin Conger]

P.S. Visit Girls Love Noodles!

Funny to think about how much has changed in the Mission since the heyday of Hapa Ramen, right? Sometimes I miss the old days.

Inside Scoop has the inside scoop on the fall of Hapa here and here and here.

7 Responses to “Remembering Hapa Ramen, longtime neighborhood institution”

  1. Brian says:

    I can’t believe he sold his business for only $20K. Tough life lesson.

  2. Greg says:

    Looks tasty

  3. JohnnyL says:

    Poor business decisions. Big ego. Failure.

  4. CatMom says:

    The comments on their yelp page basically predicted this…”I feel like this is one of the trendy places in SF where everyone goes the first month and then it disappears.” – Shannon Z.

  5. CatShit says:

    ‘[...] except, you know, nothing like that ever actually happens in real life, you know, FIRST MONTH HA HA HA, but if it dii-iid…

    ‘I would be that cheerleader for failure at the sidelines!’

  6. wurple says:

    Can’t believe $14 bowls of hot water didn’t pan out.