Turning Japanese

Harajuku brings Asian-style crepes to Beverly Hills

When you order a crêpe at Harajuku Crepe in Beverly Hills, you can ask for a knife and fork, but chances are you won't get one. Owner Rio Hirashima is set on broadening your crêpe horizons.

Named for the hip Tokyo neighborhood where crêpes are king, Harajuku's start out like the more familiar French-style crêpes: large and thin, with slightly crisped edges.

But these get a slight chewiness from mochi flour, and once filled, they're rolled up and served as neat handheld cones. No plates or silverware are needed.

Flavors go beyond the norm, too. Matcha adds an intense color and distinct green-tea flavor; get them filled with sweet azuki beans or a scoop of strawberry ice cream ($5). Hirashima custom-grinds tea leaves for the subtly flavored Earl Grey crêpe; the aroma really shines through with a simple butter-and-sugar filling ($5). The fried egg, ham and cheese combo ($6.50) goes best with the buckwheat crêpe's nutty, earthy flavor–it's a perfect on-the-go breakfast.

There's also an original-flavor crêpe that you can stuff with strawberries, Nutella and real whipped cream ($5.50). You know, for you traditionalists.

Harajuku Crepe, 9405 S. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills; 310-285-3946 or harajukucrepe.us