Due to our substantial clout in the dining community as food bloggers, Wandering Chopsticks and I were invited to a soft opening / press event at Fulfilled in Beverly Hills. [Sarcasm is so difficult to convey online!] Fulfilled specializes in little Japanese bites called Imagawa-yaki, pancake-like pastries filled with sweet Azuki bean paste.
Before plunging into the Imagawa-yaki samples, I sipped a cool Azuki Green Tea Honey Latte. The bean and coconut beverage reminded me of Vietnamese che.
Each Imagawa-yaki, or Ima as they are referred to at Fulfilled, is carefully handcrafted by an Ima artist on a cast aluminum grill. The Imas are lifted from the grill using a special chisel-like tool.
At Fulfilled, Imas come filled with traditional Japanese Azuki bean paste, as well as a number of fitting sweet and savory combinations. During the event, I tasted five different Imas including the Nutty Buddha (Ghirardelli Chocolate, Toffee, Crunchy Peanut Butter), Honey Yakuza (Goat Cheese, Mission Fig, Honey, Walnut, Cracked Black Pepper), Sumo Italiano (Prosciutto di Parma, Smoked Ham, Aged Parmesan, Fresh Basil), Spicy Samurai (Chicken Apple Sausage, Pepper Jack Cheese, Diced Chili, Fresh Cilantro) and Green Ninja (Spinach, Feta Cheese, Sun Dried Tomato). The Nutty Buddha and Honey Yakuza were two of my faves.
Since I visited the establishment before all of the grand opening kinks were fully worked out, the ratio of pancake to filling was skewed and the pancake tasted overly doughy. However, it’s been a month since the doors at Fulfilled opened for business and things are on the up and up. I personally spoke to Susumu Tsuchihashi, the mastermind behind this American riff on a Japanese classic, and was informed that the batter has since been tweaked to avoid doughy Imas and the filling in each Ima has been tripled to amplify the flavors. Ah, music to my ears.
Interestingly, I sampled a couple of Imas while traveling around Asia this past year. Both the ones in Saigon and Bangkok were served street side, which is quite a contrast to Beverley Hills, wouldn’t you say?
Fulfilled *CLOSED (catering only)*
9405 S. Santa Monica Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA 90210