*(BEVERLY HILLS, CA; March 2009) *concept called Fulfilled Japanese Pastries, a contemporary pastry shop serving sweet and savory versions of the traditional Japanese treat known as *imagawa-yaki.* Referred to as Ima, at Fulfilled, pronounced ē-ma, these waffle-like pastries are normally filled with sweet *azuki *bean (sweet red bean) and are Japan's version of comfort food. Still very popular today, *imagawa-yaki* originated in Tokyo in the early 1800s and are often enjoyed at various festivals that occur throughout the year in Japan.
Owner Susumu Tsuchihashi, a 29-year-old Los Angeles native of Japanese descent, is modernizing this nostalgic comfort food by creating exciting new flavor combinations that will lure the taste buds of both adults and kids alike. Tsuchihashi has always been passionate about food, particularly the blending of Japanese and American flavors, ingredients and techniques. While studying abroad in Tokyo as a student at UC San Diego he attended a private culinary academy where he was schooled in traditional Japanese and French cuisine.
Imas, made using the freshest ingredients and cooked on Japanese cast aluminum griddles are best served hot off the griddle. Ima's contain no oil, and are not deep-fried, making them a low fat alternative to cupcakes and donuts. At Fulfilled, guests can enjoy a selection of sweet and savory imas including Harajuku Monkey with banana and Nutella; Karaoke Kitty with strawberry, cream cheese and Ghirardelli white chocolate; Spicy Samurai with chicken apple sausage, pepper jack cheese, diced chili and cilantro; and Honey Yakuza with goat cheese, Mission figs, honey, walnuts and cracked pepper. Fulfilled will offer up new flavors monthly ranging from peppermint bark to cookies and cream.
At 3" in diameter and 1 1/2" thick, one ima can serve as a substantial afternoon snack or light meal. A unique Azuki Green Tea Honey Latte created by award winning barista, Eton Tsuno, and other Japanese imported beverages including juices and kid-friendly sodas in colorful bottles, pair nicely with the imas. Guests can stop in and enjoy their ima as a quick lunch or pick up a selection to take back to the office or home for dinner. Open daily from 10:30am- 8pm, Fulfilled can cater to Angelenos' cravings all day long.
*Designed by Milan Lojdl, responsible for Beverly Hills spots such as Crustacean, Theodore, Wolfgang's Steakhouse, and many high-end stores along Rodeo Dr., the 500 sq. foot store features both modern and vintage-style design elements with inspiration from Japan. Passersby are able to watch the skilled staff making imas in the large windows in the front of the store, while two large water fountains flank the entrance. More than 150 Czechoslovakian crystals hang at different lengths around a large designer Maria Teresa crystal chandelier (originally chosen by Bobby Trendy), creating a dramatic effect. Floors are covered in a unique metallic-colored tile, while mirrored walls and cabinets and black granite give the space a sleek and modern feel. Keeping with the unique combination of contemporary and traditional touches, mirrored shelves behind the counter display colorful Japanese pop culture toys as well as more traditional items like Japanese tea pots and other related items.
Fulfilled can cater any special event from a children's birthday party, to a bridal shower or corporate meeting. Imas are made in front of guests who can enjoy them directly off the griddle. . Meant to be eaten with the hands, it's the ideal party food and can also be customized to cater to kosher parties, kids menus, weddings and more. Fulfilled has catered to numerous celebrity-studded parties and is already garnering a fan-base which includes Paris Hilton, Billy Zane, Melanie Griffith, Dean McDermott and Zac Efron.
Freshly made, Imas are best enjoyed upon purchase, but customers can order to-go and re-heat them in the toaster at home and can even freeze them and enjoy them months later. The traditional Sweet Azuki red bean ima is just $1.95 and all other flavors are* *$2.95 each