Richie Nakano along with 2-3 part-time employees
Richie has spent several years developing the ultimate broth recipe. He started Hapa as a pop-up restaurant, serving the food in bars and coffee shops (the two met at NOPA, where Richie was a sous chef from 2008-2010 and Kitty still works as a bartender). The goal was to make all the elements of this Japanese noodle soup from scratch, including the noodles, using the most sustainable ingredients possible. Richie, who is part Japanese and has family from Hawaii, likes the way the Hawaiian word “Hapa” sums up his goal with the project. Generally used in the islands to mean “of mixed race” he says the name also reflects his interest in combining traditional Asian techniques with modern Western ones.
Hapa's broth is made with dashi, a traditional Japanese soup base, made using kombu seaweed he sources from Tomales Bay. Pork bones come from Becker Lane or Long and Bailey. Chicken comes from a co-op in the Central Valley. The noodles are hand-made. Seasonal vegetables come from local farms including Iacopi Farm, Catalán Family Farm, and Dirty Girl Produce.