When a new neighborhood eatery pops up like a wild rose in a cornfield, the happy residents are elated. When said eatery provides wonderful wines and beers at beyond reasonable process, a cigar humidor and fantastic food, the neighborhood stands, applauds and eats there often. Our wild rose in 5-Cities is the new Hapy place for all. Hapy’s Eatery (not a spelling error, but a water and fertility god who was popular throughout Ancient Egypt) is the newest bistro on the block with a few twists.
My first visit there was during their soft opening and seated at the bar were several of my neighbors. I was impressed with wine on draft, a Chamisal Chardonnay, a Trouble Maker red blend. My neighbor was waxing poetically about the huge selection of over 300 craft beers in the wall long cooler, a plethora of 20 draft beers. But the focus was on the new humidor stuffed with an exciting selection of cigars. The owner, Nabil Fadel (who introduced himself as “Not Sam”) watched over us and answered questions; I was struck by how nice this man was. He really cared if your food was good and was open to opinions. Explaining that was the reason for the “soft opening” phase, that they were open to suggestions.
I tired the Lamb Burger with a mixture of lamb and beef topped with feta cheese, sliced red onions and a cumin mayonnaise. It was as impressive as the Vegas like bar and as nice as the owners who were waiting on everyone behind the bar. The fries are house cut and fried crisp. I loved the exciting new flavors of this typically American treat. Gary had the Moussaka a dish that we both love and seldom see on a menu. Moussaka is an eggplant and ground meat dish that is one of the cuisines of the countries of the former Ottoman Empire. The layers of sautéed slices of eggplant are flavored with tomatoes and onion and covered with a mustard sauce and then sprinkled with grated cheese. It was heavenly, so I asked about the chef. Emerging from the back was Gustavo Nunez, who had a kind smile and told us a few secrets from the kitchen. He is also the head chef at Petros in Los Olivos, so he introduced his sous chef, Sami who did the day to day cooking and prepping using Fadel Family recipes. At this point we met the Manager/Bartender Sam Moses and the other owner Samir Fadel. That is when all came into focus for me. A family running a restaurant, using accent recipes adapting a customer service only seen when visiting someone’s home and most of the talent was named some version of Sam.
I came back with girlfriends to purchases wines from the extensive collection and try the appetizers. We loved we could grab a bottle of our favorite wine (at ridiculously low prices) and drink it with our food. We started with the Bacon Wrapped Dates that are stuffed with almonds. This salty, sweet, crunchy delectable dish was an instant favorite. We shared with cheese plate that was distinctive. Exotic and creamy cheeses like Kafalotyri, Kefalograviera, Manouri, Kasseri and Feta (all made from Greek sheep or goat milk) accompanied with dried figs, olives and pita bread. We also shared the Steak Bites and Button Mushrooms that was tender and flavorful.
We returned that Thursday night (and I have been every Thursday night since) with a group. The boys came because they heard you could buy cigars and smoke them in the back patio and because of the beer. Quotes were “a real mans selection of beer” and the “best beer cooler on the central coast”. They scored a Padron Anniversary Reserve and we sat out back to share the Family Platter. These heaping piles of goodness include beef, chicken and kefta shish kabob skewers, hummus, grilled vegetables and Tzatziki sauce. Served with pita bread and a big salad, this was enough delicious food for six of us. I loved the Kefta, which is a seasoned minced beef and lamp mixture. But the tzatziki blew my mind. Tzatziki is a Greek sauce served with grilled meats as a dip. This tzatziki is made of strained yogurt mixed with cucumbers, garlic, salt, olive oil, red wine vinegar, and dill. This was the best I have had. After the boys blew smoke rings and told each other lies while the girls finished off a bottle of Clesi Cabernet Sauvignon.
I am now a regular, eating there often, as the bar is welcoming place to dine by your self or have class of wine or beer after work. I am happy Hapy came to our neighborhood. Hapy Eatery is located at 821 N Oak Park Blvd (in the OSH and Ross shopping center) in Pismo Beach. The phone number is (805) 270-4327; they are open everyday from 11:00am to 10:00pm.