Yapa is an immersive izakaya serving Nikkei fare in Little Tokyo in Los Angeles. Helmed by bar maven and a Peruvian born chef, the name means that little bit extra. The project is a natural, earthy and playful enclave of urban refuge in downtown LA. It plays on a mid-century aspect, that is very of Los Angeles. It has the sparseness, typical to an izakaya, and a Latin bent in texture and color. Like the cuisine it plates, it is a fusion of Japanese and Latin culture, and occurs with a blended, historically, Japanese-American neighborhood.
The restaurant is organized seasonally. Throughout the restaurant, tabletops and floor are tinted to amplify that this is a seasonal, chef driven eating drinking house. The patio enclave represents the beginning of spring in all its shades of green, a growing patio of trailing vines and edible plants, used in menu. Hanging racks of dried plants and herbs are visited by kitchen staff throughout the evening for kitchen and bar trimmings. Terra cotta walls and tiles bind warmth and togetherness in the space.
The tiles are actually kitchen floor quarry cove tiles mounted backwards, a fun nod to our restaurant community. The deepest part of the restaurant represents the harvest, an autumnal vibe and a big picture window to the kitchen, complete with haiku in Spanish. It’s all about that little bit of extra to celebrate our blending in this world of hospitality that we love.