Oka-San, which translates to “mother” in Japanese, is a Japanese-Hawaiian fusion restaurant that serves up a mix of classic comforting Japanese dishes and tasty Hawaiian foods like spam and poké. Located in Fraserhood, Oka-san is situated alongside notable restaurants like Les Faux Bourgeois, Savio Volpe, Jethro’s, and the recently opened Bells and Whistles. From what I remember, Oka-San has been around for about two years or so now and have gained quite a following for their famous poke bowls. I believe they were one of the first ones to introduce the trend of poké to Vancouverites!
Menu: You won’t find any sushi here but rather a good variety of rice plates, curries, noodles to choose from. They’re quite famous for their spam musubi, a popular Hawaiian snack, so I decided to check it out with my friends on a Sunday afternoon for some lunch.
Many people stick with the Momma’s Plate ($14.95-16.95) that allows you to choose one main, salad, and side. If you’re a big eater, this option will definitely fill you up!
Miso Soup (complimentary) Despite the restaurant being relatively empty, it took a while for our food to come out. The waitress was smart enough to cue in and give us some complimentary miso soup while we waited for our food to arrive. It was pretty standard. Not too salty.
Spam Musubi (2 pcs: $6.95) Spam, tamago, rice. Spam musubi is a popular Hawaiian snack composed of grilled spam and rice wrapped around seaweed. The addition of the tamago balanced out the saltiness of spam nicely. I’ve never been to Hawaii before to try the real deal, but I found these overpriced and underwhelming.
Carbonara Udon ($12.95) with side salad. Mark wasn’t feeling too adventurous so he settled with the carbonara udon. I had a bite of his dish- wasn’t anything special but I do appreciate the amount of bacon they incorporated! The seaweed added a nice Japanese flare.
Hawaiian Loco Moco ($15.95) with salad and macaroni salad. Having visited Hawaii before, James was curious to see their take on Loco Moco, a contemporary Hawaiian cuisine consisting of fried hamburger patties, mushroom gravy, and fried egg on a bed of white rice. He expressed that it didn’t resemble the ones he had back in Hawaii and thought it was just okay!
Masago Spaghetti ($12.95) I’m a huge fan of Cafe de L’Orangerie‘s Masago de Creamy Spaghetti so I was quite excited to see this on the menu! Portion size and ingredients were plenty, but it was missing that umami flavour and creamy component as the sauce was watery and bland.
Perhaps the dishes we ordered were a little too unconventional for a place that specializes in Japanese comfort food. I’d definitely give this place another try if I’m ever in the area again, but there are much better options out there in the existing neighbourhood that I probably won’t be revisiting any time soon.
3578 Fraser St