Hapa J’s San Clemente

The sea surrounds me
Fine coral sand below me
Blue sky above me.

hapa.j.1966I miss the deep blue sky and the awesome food of the Hawaiian islands.  While there are Hawaiian restaurants in California something is missing.  I was curious to see if Hapa J’s is as good.  


hapa.j.1989I order Da Biggest Mixed Plate to sample a selection of meats.  It’s the perfect size for 2 or 3 people.  Fried rice had a sweet teriyaki sauce drizzled on it and delicious pieces of meat.  I was a bit shocked to see the Kalbi beef shorts ribs were boneles.  I prefer meat on the bone as the flavor is preferable to me.  Loved the flavor of the teriyaki glaze they put on the beef.  Really nice sweetness.  Beef was tricky to cut but quite tender to chew.  Teriyaki beef had good flavor but not as tender as I like.  Shoyu chicken was very tender and had delicious flavor.  Much better than my attempts at creating this dish.  Kalua pork was very tender and had delicious flavor.  I can make a good version of this dish if all the stars are in alignment.  Chicken katsu was chicken breast fried in panko crust.  Good flavor.  hapa.j.1993For dessert I tried the haupia.  Texture was like a thick jello.  Flavor of coconut.  Pretty good.  My gold standard is Helena’s in Oahu.  The texture was lighter and smoother.  Flavor was an explosion of coconut goodness.

You can see the sea.
You can almost see the sea.
Cool decor.
Cool decor.

Hapa J’s is solid and I’d come back if I was in the area craving Hawaiian food.  I still miss the awesome Hawaiian Gold pineapples, haupia and Imu cooked kalua pork I had in Hawaii…

Crozier Beach, Oahu

Hapa J’s
2016 S El Camino Real
San Clemente, CA 92672
(949) 276-6657

4 Replies to “Hapa J’s San Clemente”

  1. Maggie Addleman says: Reply

    We will have to go again soon! Lovely pictures!

    1. Thanks! You should ask your dad to meet us there!

  2. I swear I can eat that protein plate all by myself. I also love bones in the kalbi! I’ve never had that dessert but it looks like firm tofu. Thick jello kinda creeps me out so not sure if I could try that dessert. What did you think of the prices here?

    1. The biggest plate plus the rice was alot of food for $19.99. I find the pricing fair. It’s cheaper than Roy’s but more expensive than takeout Hawaiian like Homestyle Hawaiian.

      I really like jello. It’s thicker than standard jello. Like medium Tofu. Not as firm as firm Tofu.

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