Saturday, May 2, 2009
Japanese Sweet Tooth
LA.com reports on a new shop in Beverly Hills that’s set to give the cupcake phenomenon some competition. Fulfilled sells imagawayaki, a Japanese pastry often found in Japan at street fairs, which is traditionally filled with sweet adzuki beans. Japanese-American proprietor, Susumu Tsuchihashi, has turned this on its head by making imagawayaki with names like Karaoke Kitty and Harajuku Monkey and filling them with delights like white chocolate, nutella, and banana. A savory treat is the Spicy Samurai, filled with pepper jack cheese, cilantro, chicken apple sausage, and green chili.
These aren’t to be confused with the amazing crepes I first had in Harajuku back in the day and which have found their way to a few places in the U.S. When I mentioned imagawayaki to my husband he said that it was basically taiyaki, a pastry made to look like a fish that we’ve been able to get for years at May’s Coffee Shop in San Francisco’s Japantown. Downtown San Mateo also boasts its own post-modern taiyaki place called Sweet Breams, which specializes in chibi (mini) taiyaki.
I’m an o-manju girl myself, but I’d like to try this imagawayaki the next time I’m in LA—right after I finish downing a Sprinkles cupcake.