First there was the donut craze.
This is Krispy Kreme’s in Shinjuku, Tokyo a few months ago on a weekday. There was a 40 minute wait to get into the store. On weekends, the wait time becomes 2 hours long and the line winds around to the bridge that connects to the Takashimaya department store. Seriously, there’s something wrong about these Japanese people who would wait in line for 2 hours in 30 degree weather just for a donut.
Then there was the cupcake craze. Joan’s on Third, Bluebird bakery, Dainties (which has since closed and reopened as a burger joint), and Sprinkles.
These cupcakes aren’t from any of the stores that I just mentioned, but it was the only photo of cupcakes that I could find in my archives. Aren’t they cute?
And now there may be a new pastry craze in town. A Japanese imagawa-yaki pastry shop called Fulfilled opened a few months ago in Beverly Hills, ironically and courageously, just down the street from Sprinkles on Little Santa Monica Boulevard.
Japanese-American owner Susumu Tsuchihashi quit his consulting job to fulfill his dream of opening up a food business. And boy are we glad. Until now, the only place where one could get imagawa-yaki in Los Angeles was in Little Tokyo.
Imagawa-yaki 今川焼 is a Japanese pastry made with a pancake like batter filled with sweet red azuki bean paste. They are best eaten hot, fresh off the griddle. Imagawa-yaki dates back to the 1700’s and is said to have originated in Tokyo. Azuki beans are small Asian burgundy colored beans that are cooked and made into a paste for use in cakes, ice creams, or beverages.
The imagawa-yaki at Fulfilled takes a new twist on this traditional Japanese pastry. There are numerous sweet versions with cute names such as my favorite Harajuku Monkey (bananas and Nutella), Nutty Buddha (crunchy peanut butter, Ghirardelli chocolate, toffee), and Karaoke Kitty (strawberries, cream cheese, Ghirardelli white chocolate).
Of course they have the traditional imagawa-yaki with red bean filling. It’s called the Sweet Geisha.
They have numerous savory imagawa-yaki, such as the Spicy Samurai (chicken apple sausage, pepper jack cheese, diced chili and cilantro), and the Green Ninja (spinach, feta cheese, sundried tomatoes).
Come and try these delicious hot snacks and feel fulfilled.
Random trivia: Did you know that Starbucks released an Azuki Frappucino for a limited time only in Tokyo, Bangkok, Singapore and Jakarta? Why not LA?!