There is a new bakery in Beverly Hills called Fulfilled, which was opened and is run by the charming Susumu Tsuchihashi, a native Angeleno with Japanese parents and an affinity for contemporary Japanese culture.
After chucking a career in consulting, he decided that his real passion was culinary, so he studied Japanese cuisine before deciding to open his own imagawa-yaki shop. Imagawa-yaki are traditional Japanese waffle-like buns that are usually filled with sweet red bean paste (like mochi) and then baked. Susumu's innovation was to stuff them with all sorts of different ingredients like banana and nutella, goat cheese and honey and figs, and chorizo and peppers. He's also given them awesome menu names like Karaoke Kitty and Honey Yakuza (my favorite). The other great think about them is that they don't contain oil, and they're not fried, so they're relatively low fat. Plus, they all ring up under $4, so they make an inexpensive little lunch or snack.
Finally, a pastry to knock those darn cupcakes off their celebrity dessert pedestal!
Take a look at the video I made during my visit, where Susumu explains what led him to open up his own ima shop, and what new recipes he's working on.