The fabulous justJENN's post on Beverly Hills bakeries reminded me that I have been dying to try Fulfilled, the new imagawayaki place on Little Santa Monica. My office is so close, it's criminal that I haven't been there yet. In my defense, I only go to the office three days a week, and 2.9 of those, I don't leave my desk for lunch. Anyway, as 1:30 rolled around and I decided I was starving, I picked myself up and drove (yeah, you read that right) the threeish blocks to Fulfilled. (Again, in my defense, I needed to be there and back within about 15 minutes, and driving was the only way to accomplish such speed. Other than superhero powers, and mine are limited to super-smell, and only when I'm pregnant. But I digress...)
The menu is pretty small. Traditional red bean, six or seven other sweet varieties (which I didn't look at closely since I wanted lunch), and three savory types. In the interest of giving it a fair shake, I chose red bean (Sweet Geisha), spinach/sundried tomato/feta (Green Ninja) since I love spinach and Jenn favored this one, and apple-chicken sausage/cilantro/pepper jack/chili (Spicy Samurai). I was least enamored of the Spicy Samurai. The innards felt gloppy. The cilantro didn't overpower, which was good because I'm not a fan, but I think the cheese made it too runny. The taste of the Green Ninja filling was delicious, though it seemed a little out of place paired with Japanese-style pancakes. And the Sweet Geisha was also very good. I could actually distinguish the beans - they weren't totally mashed - which I'm not sure is traditional or not - I'm probably thinking of the dim sum application where it really is a paste.
The pancakes themselves were kind of underwhelming, mostly because I expected them to stay firmer and drier, and they got soggy very quickly. I started eating my first one within minutes, and it was already soggy. I feel like the ones I've had in Japantown stay crisp, longer.
All told, it was a fun treat - certainly more exciting than instant oatmeal - and I would go back and try some of the other flavors. Thanks, Jenn, for getting me motivated!
Oh, but I forgot to tell you the best part! As the pancakes were cooking, the woman behind the counter told me it would be a few minutes, so I ran to the BofA on the corner. I saw a woman who was clearly famous - based on the paparazzo desperately trying to snap her picture - entering the building adjoining the bank. She was young, blond, and skinny, well-dressed in a suit and heels, and it actually looked like Paris Hilton (though the people waiting for the light with me disagreed. Because they said she's taller. Because they'd know that from across the street from the vast amount of time they spend being BFFs with Paris.). Anyway, I have no idea who it was, but just as this was happening, an open-air tour bus came cruising down Little Santa Monica past the whole scene. All I could think was that this kind of sighting is the sole reason people take tours like those, so I sure hope they were watching!
One more PS - the woman at the store said you can call ahead to place your order if you don't want to wait...