9405 S Santa Monica Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90210-4604
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Fulfilled

Neighborhoods: Beverly Hills
Cuisine: Japanese, Bakeries, Breakfast

Fulfilled is a Japanese, Bakeries, and Breakfast restaurant where most Menuism users came for fun with friends and paid between $10 and $25.

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mh2mh

 Los Angeles, CA
 

unfulfilled

Nice concept. But the batter was clearly re-worked for the westside crowd. It tastes like pancake batter, which gets pretty boring after a couple of these westside imagawayakis. Don’t start imagining good pancakes. The stuff here is very dry.

The traditional batter is more heavy while still maintaining a lightness, more chewy and elastic for lack of a better term, and moist. The batter is such a crucial element to imagawayakis, and the batter used at Fulfilled falls very short, for me. So this will definitely not be a destination place for me, especially with the terrible parking situation and having to deal with beverly hills in general.

I had to downgrade this from 3 to 2 stars. The more I thought about it, the less I liked it. I only gave it an extra star before because it is a good concept. But a good concept unfulfilled. ha ha.

tastyworld photo

tastyworld

 Los Angeles, CA
 

Imagawa-yaki Beverly Hills is Delicious Good Value

There’s a good priced, cute, and really good Japanese street food joint in Beverly Hills. I am praying that they will expand to the octopus balls(takoyaki) with the grinning giant spinning neon bright octopus eagerly roasting its own kind out in front of the store. But I expect this part of my vision won’t be ‘fulfilled’ sigh

Ima(e-ma) is a street food composed of subtly sweet, eggy, and custurdy pale yellow batter with traditionally sweet filling. Fulfilled has created more creative and delicious fusion savory and sweet stuffings for the middle.

The savory imas I tasted are Green Ninja, Spicy Samurai, and Sumo Italiano. Yes, they have creative names for their imas. The Green Ninja is vegetarian with spinach, feta, and sundried tomatoes. It tastes like a spanokopita(greek spinach pie) with a custardy or wafflelike outside rather than the phylo dough. It tastes pretty good and would be a solid lunch choice.

The Sumo Italiano with prociutto di parma, smoked ham, age parmesan, and fresh basil was tasty as well but tasted mostly of ham. But the Spicy Samurai with chicken apple sausage, pepper jack cheese, fresh cilantro, and green chili was complex, spicy, and delicious. My savory favorite.

The sweet imas were all delicious but I especially liked the Sweet Geisha with azuki beans that was sweet, creamy, and gooey and went very well with the tender chewy outside. Harajuku Monkey, simply banana and nutella were perfect complement to the batter and very tasty. Karaoke Kitty with strawberry, cream cheese, white ghirardelli chocolate, and a dusting of powdered sugar was a drippy mix of fruity strawberry and chocolate cheese. It was unusual but very very irresistible. Their Azuki Green Tea Honey Latte was subtle and satisfying. It tasted like a cross between a grain drink and green tea with just the right amount of honey.

It is a small glittering modern jewel box of a simple street food palace that somehow complements the fusion style of the imas. You can appreciate the beautiful crystal drops in the ceiling with the crystal chandelier and the shiny floor and the sleek contemporary asian fusion style of the store while enjoying the creamy and artistic creations in your mouth. Oh, and the seating is also very minimal with ends of smooth logs as seating. The imas are all $2.75 except for Sweet Geish which is $1.75.

pleasurepalate photo

pleasurepalate

 Los Angeles, CA
 

Imagawa-Yaki Tasting at Fulfilled

Late last year, I got invited to a Pre-Grand Opening Party for a new shop in Beverly Hills called Fulfilled, owned and operated by Susumu Tsuchihashi. This was no ordinary shop, but that one that specialized in Japanese pastries called Imagawa-yakis or “Imas” for short. I really had no clue as to what imas were and to go visit their website to find out more. Basically, an ima is a pancake like pastry filled with sweet Azuki bean handcrafted on an aluminum grill. It originated from Tokyo in the 1800’s and are sold all over Tokyo’s shopping districts as well as during seasonal festivals all over Japan. Apparently, Fulfilled’s imas are an updated version of the more traditional Japanese imas.

I was definitely intrigued, but unfortunately couldn’t make it, so the next best thing was to do a “re-do” of this Pre-Grand Opening Party for my dining group. As a part of this tasting event, we sampled 3 savory imas, 4 sweet imas and also had a taste of their iced Azuki Green Tea Honey Latte. Before I talk about the food, let me give you a brief description of how the imas are made.

First, you need a flat, hot surface and on that surface, you lay open a folding “cupcake-like” holder to heat it up. Than you add the batter and your choice of fillings and let that cook for little bit. After a little bit of time, you scrape around each of the imas so they aren’t sticking to the sides as much. Finally, you fold the holder in half and again, give it some cooking time before unfolding to see the golden imas ready to be served.

As you can see, making imas can be time consuming work. Before enjoying the imas, we were all served Fulfilled’s iced Azuki Green Tea Honey Latte created by an award winning barista, Elton Tsuono. It’s an interesting drink that’s a little grainy due to the sweet red bean and wasn’t to everyone’s taste due to that texture, but I loved it. I found it very refreshing and liked how the sweetness of the red bean and honey counterbalanced the green tea, which can be a bit bitter at times. There was also a red chili pepper we could add to the drink to give it a zing, which I did add and enjoyed it even more.

Now we’ll talk imas and we started with 3 of their savory options. The first one we sampled was the Green Ninja and its ingredients were comprised of spinach, feta cheese and sun dried tomato. Of all the imas we sampled, this was my least favorite one. It was way too dry. Although I liked how the feta added the right amount of saltiness to the spinach, it doesn’t have a very good melting point and I think that’s what contributed to this ima not having much moisture.

Next was the Sumo Italiano with prosciutto di Parma, smoked ham, aged Parmesan and fresh basil. This was a vast improvement from the Green Ninja, at least melting cheese-wise. What I thought was missing was the taste of basil. I love basil and it just didn’t seem like there was enough. One thing to note though, we were served ima halves as part of this tasting, so it could have been a situation where the person who had the other half of my ima got the bulk of the basil. Also, while I loved the prosciuto and the smoked ham, this particular ima was a bit too salty because of those two ingredients.

Our last savory ima and my favorite of the three was the Spicy Samurai with chicken apple sausage, pepper jack cheese, diced chili and fresh cilantro. I love the spiciness and the bold flavors and I would order this as a snack without a question. The only thing I might change is that the chicken apple sausage is a bit too subtle because its flavor gets lost, especially when eaten with the other spicier ingredients. Personally, I’d go with a chorizo sausage instead because I think it would stand up well next to the pepper jack cheese, chili and cilantro.

With the savory imas behind us, it’s time for our sweet tooth to be taken care of. Up first was the Fuji Sunrise which had a custard creme filling. It reminded me of a way better version of a custard donut. The custard filling was absolutely delicious and I liked the lighter pancake texture of the ima as opposed to custard donut, which can be a bit heavy.

Next was the Nutty Buddha with Ghirardelli chocolate, toffee and crunchy peanut butter. Being a peanut butter fan, I was expecting to love the Nutty Buddha, but didn’t. I didn’t dislike it, but the filling was too much on the drier end. The mixture of the crunchy peanut butter and the chocolate seemed a bit pasty. I also couldn’t taste the toffee that much. Maybe, instead of the crunchy peanut butter, a creamy peanut butter could be used instead? But than a situation could come up where the chocolate and peanut butter could err on the other side and be too runny? I liked the overall flavor, but I just feel like this particular ima needs a little more work.

Our third sweet ima was the Sweet Geisha which has a traditional Japanese azuki bean filling. No need to mess with tradition. I’m a big fan of red beans and I was just as much of a fan of the Sweet Geisha.

Fourth on the rotation was the Harajuku Monkey with banana and nutella. It’s hard to go wrong with nutella and banana and Fulfilled, but I would have liked more bananas to better balance the sweetness of the nutella.

The last ima of this tasting event was the Karaoke Kitty with strawberry, cream cheese, and Ghirardelli white chocolate. It was the perfect closer. The white chocolate could have made this ima extremely sweet, but paired with the cream cheese and the strawberry preserves, all the flavors were in synch. This was definitely one of my favorites that night.

I’ve talked primarily about the fillings, but I did want to talk about the ima pastry itself. When comparing the savory imas to the sweet imas, I definitely was more drawn to the sweet imas. The softer pancake texture really lent itself towards Fulfilled’s dessert options, but for the savory imas, that wasn’t the case. It’s probably a preference thing, but I think that the savory fillings go better with more of a flaky pastry crust, almost like an empanada, but then we’re talking another kind of food and not imas.

Also, Owner, Susumu, himself has said that his imas are not traditional Japanese imas and in fact, are more Westernized. If that’s a sticking point, Fulfilled may not be for you; however, if you can accept the imas at Fulfilled on their own terms, you may find an ima or two that you’ll enjoy just as much as their more traditional cousins. I certainly did.

Sweet Geisha at Fulfilled

Sweet Geisha

Our third sweet ima was the Sweet Geisha which has a traditional Japanese azuki bean filling. No need to mess with tradition. I’m a big fan of red beans and I was just as much of a fan of the Sweet Geisha.

Harajuku Monkey at Fulfilled

Harajuku Monkey

Fourth on the rotation was the Harajuku Monkey with banana and nutella. It’s hard to go wrong with nutella and banana and Fulfilled, but I would have liked more bananas to better balance the sweetness of the nutella.

Karaoke Kitty at Fulfilled

Karaoke Kitty

The last ima of this tasting event was the Karaoke Kitty with strawberry, cream cheese, and Ghirardelli white chocolate. It was the perfect closer. The white chocolate could have made this ima extremely sweet, but paired with the cream cheese and the strawberry preserves, all the flavors were in synch. This was definitely one of my favorites that night.

Azuki Green Tea Honey Latte

It’s an interesting drink that’s a little grainy due to the sweet red bean and wasn’t to everyone’s taste due to that texture, but I loved it. I found it very refreshing and liked how the sweetness of the red bean and honey counterbalanced the green tea, which can be a bit bitter at times. There was also a red chili pepper we could add to the drink to give it a zing, which I did add and enjoyed it even more.

Green Ninja  at Fulfilled

Green Ninja

The first one we sampled was the Green Ninja and its ingredients were comprised of spinach, feta cheese and sun dried tomato. Of all the imas we sampled, this was my least favorite one. It was way too dry. Although I liked how the feta added the right amount of saltiness to the spinach, it doesn’t have a very good melting point and I think that’s what contributed to this ima not having much moisture.

Sumo Italiano at Fulfilled

Sumo Italiano

Next was the Sumo Italiano with prosciutto di Parma, smoked ham, aged Parmesan and fresh basil. This was a vast improvement from the Green Ninja, at least melting cheese-wise. What I thought was missing was the taste of basil. I love basil and it just didn’t seem like there was enough. One thing to note though, we were served ima halves as part of this tasting, so it could have been a situation where the person who had the other half of my ima got the bulk of the basil. Also, while I loved the prosciuto and the smoked ham, this particular ima was a bit too salty because of those two ingredients.

Spicy Samurai. at Fulfilled

Spicy Samurai.

Our last savory ima and my favorite of the three was the Spicy Samurai with chicken apple sausage, pepper jack cheese, diced chili and fresh cilantro. I love the spiciness and the bold flavors and I would order this as a snack without a question. The only thing I might change is that the chicken apple sausage is a bit too subtle because its flavor gets lost, especially when eaten with the other spicier ingredients. Personally, I’d go with a chorizo sausage instead because I think it would stand up well next to the pepper jack cheese, chili and cilantro.

Fuji Sunrise at Fulfilled

Fuji Sunrise

It reminded me of a way better version of a custard donut. The custard filling was absolutely delicious and I liked the lighter pancake texture of the ima as opposed to custard donut, which can be a bit heavy.

Nutty Buddha at Fulfilled

Nutty Buddha

Next was the Nutty Buddha with Ghirardelli chocolate, toffee and crunchy peanut butter. Being a peanut butter fan, I was expecting to love the Nutty Buddha, but didn’t. I didn’t dislike it, but the filling was too much on the drier end. The mixture of the crunchy peanut butter and the chocolate seemed a bit pasty. I also couldn’t taste the toffee that much. Maybe, instead of the crunchy peanut butter, a creamy peanut butter could be used instead? But than a situation could come up where the chocolate and peanut butter could err on the other side and be too runny? I liked the overall flavor, but I just feel like this particular ima needs a little more work.

tinajean photo

tinajean

 Burbank, CA
 

Lost in Translation

Ima(e-ma) is Japanese dessert often found at festivals. Its America’s equivalent to funnel cake made of batter in a special pan similar to a waffle iron but without the honeycomb pattern. It’s filled with sweet azuki bean paste although it is becoming increasingly popular to use a wider variety of fillings. At Fulfilled, they have just that: a variety of dessert ones such as Sweet Geisha, Harajuku Monkey, Nutty Buddha, Karaoke Kitty, Honey yakuza and Fuji Sunrise. On the Savory side, they have Sumo Italiano, spicy Samurai and Green Ninja. The best way I can describe an Ima is to call it a stuffed pancake. The concept is good but there is something lost in translation here. When speaking with owner Susumu Tsuchihashi he said that in order for him to be able to market these hot little items he had to westernize it. Bec ause this was a special event the owner closed the place so we were served everything fresh and hot. Even though the mood was nice the flavors were kind of bland for me and at time the ima was not fully cooked and doughy. The sweets were just too sweet and the savory lacked flavor as I need a little salt now and then.

Honey Yakuza

Goat cheese, mission fig, honey, walnut, cracked black pepper

Fuji Sunrise at Fulfilled

Fuji Sunrise

Specialty custard crème. Nice and creamy

Sumo Italiano at Fulfilled

Sumo Italiano

prosciutto, smoked ham, aged parmesean and fresh basil

Green Ninja  at Fulfilled

Green Ninja

Spinach, Feta cheese and sundried tomato

Sweet Geisha at Fulfilled

Sweet Geisha

Azuki bean too sweet for my taste.

Harajuku Monkey at Fulfilled

Harajuku Monkey

banana and nutella was good I like a little more bannana

Nutty Buddha at Fulfilled

Nutty Buddha

Ghiradelli chocolate toffee, crunchy peanut butter not my taste

Karaoke Kitty at Fulfilled

Karaoke Kitty

Cute name Strawberry cream cheese. Ghiradelli whitechocolate

RJHemedes photo

RJHemedes

 Los Angeles, CA
 

An Affordable Japanese Fusion Snack in Beverly Hills

Last night, I attended another Pleasure Palate foodie event. This time held at Fulfilled, whose claim to fame are its special spin on Imagawa-Yaki (Ima for short), which are basically Japanese pastries. Ima are traditionally sold in Japan during festivals and fairs. The difference here is Fulfilled decided to do a ‘fusion’ approach to the traditional treat and added non traditional ingredients like spinach and chocolate.

For those of you that have never tried Ima, think of a crepe, but shaped like a stuffed donut. Its also prepared similar to a crepe – the batter is similar. The taste testing menu consisted of every savory and sweet Ima on the menu, except the Honey Yakuza one. The cost of most of the Imas are $2.95 each.

The taste testing involved trying out all the savory Imas, followed by the sweet ones. The owner had us try the Green Ninja first, which consists of spinach, feta cheese, and sun dried tomato. I thought it was okay for a veggie offering, but nothing I would kill for.

Then we tried the second savory Ima called Sumo Italiano. This one is stuffed with prosciutto di parma, smoked ham, aged Parmesan and fresh basil. Again, it was okay, but not to die for. I had had two samples of this one. The first sample, I could barely taste the basil, but the second time, I could taste the basil and I think some of the green chili from the 3rd item got mixed in, because it had spicy kick to it. I actually preferred the 2nd sample over the 1st one, since I found it to be more flavorful between the basil and the spice.

The third and last savory Ima was Spicy Samurai. This one has chicken apple sausage, pepper jack cheese, green chili, and fresh cilantro. Here’s the thing, I normally don’t like spicy foods and I detest cilantro, but this was my fave savory Ima out of the 3. The spice level was not scorching – it was just enough to contrast with the taste of the other ingredients. The cilantro wasn’t overpowering either.

Then we moved on to the sweet Imas, which is the reason why I came. Our first sweet item to sample was called Fuji Sunrise. Its filled with just custard cream. It reminded me of a custard filled donut or a vanilla flavored Beard Papa’s cream puff. Not bad, but I wanted something a little more memorable.

The next item was the Sweet Geisha, which is the traditional one served with red mung bean. If you like mung bean desserts, then you’ll probably like this one. I didn’t find the texture of the mung bean to compliment the dough of the pastry. It just wasn’t my cup of tea. I prefer the Chinese/Filipino snack hopia, which is filled with mung bean paste. I haven’t tried the traditional Ima offered at another place Little Tokyo, so I can’t make any comparisons on which one is better tasting between the two establishments.

The next Ima we got to taste was the Nutty Buddha. They told us this was the most popular flavor with kids that aren’t allergic to nuts. Its made with Ghirardeli chocolate, toffee, and crunchy peanut butter. I liked the dark chocolate flavor, but I didn’t like the crunchy bits of almonds and peanuts. I didn’t think the crunchiness complimented the soft dough of the pastry.

The next one was the Harajuku Monkey. Mmmm… this one was my second fave flavor. You can’t go wrong with nutella. I thought this flavor reminded me of eating traditional sweet crepes the most.

Finally, they served the best for last, the Karaoke Kitty, which is also their most popular flavor. This Ima is filled with strawberry, cream cheese and Ghirardelli white chocolate. Divine!

They also served us their house specialty drink called Lil Misa’s Tea. Its served either hot or cold, but we were served the cold version. It consists of mung bean, green tea, honey, cream/milk, and a dash of Japanese peppers that resembled paprika. I didn’t like the gritty after feel of the mung bean paste, which tends to settle at the bottom of the drink.

Its a good thing I ate very little that day, because most of the other people
in my group were too full to eat the the final items. They were taking them home to eat later instead, which I thought would compromise how the Ima would taste later. Supposedly you can stick it in the microwave for 20 seconds and then place it in a toaster or oven to make it ‘fresh’ again, but I strongly doubt it would taste as good as when its freshly served hot from the aluminum cast grill.

So did I find Contentment at Fulfilled? Yes, but I’m withholding 1 star because I think they can actually come up with even better flavors. The place has only been open for 2 months and if they survive and prosper, I expect better offerings from them in the future.

The busiest times of this place is during the week, during lunchtime and right after typical office hours. They also only make the item after you order it. So if you don’t want to pay for parking and wait in a long line, visit between 6 PM and 8 PM on Sundays when parking across the street is free.

Green Ninja  at Fulfilled

Green Ninja

Consists of spinach, feta cheese, and sun dried tomato. I thought it was okay for a veggie offering, but nothing I would kill for.

Sumo Italiano at Fulfilled

Sumo Italiano

This one is stuffed with prosciutto di parma, smoked ham, aged Parmesan and fresh basil. Again, it was okay, but not to die for.

Spicy Samurai. at Fulfilled

Spicy Samurai.

This one has chicken apple sausage, pepper jack cheese, green chili, and fresh cilantro. Here’s the thing, I normally don’t like spicy foods and I detest cilantro, but this was my fave savory Ima out of the 3. The spice level was not scorching – it was just enough to contrast with the taste of the other ingredients. The cilantro wasn’t overpowering either.

Karaoke Kitty at Fulfilled

Karaoke Kitty

This Ima is filled with strawberry, cream cheese and Ghirardelli white chocolate. Divine!

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Fulfilled is located near the cities of London, Century City, Beverly Hills Ca, Mound, and Little Ethiopia.
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