Rio Hirashima opened Harajuku Crepe in Beverly Hills on September 26, specializing in organic Tokyo-style crepes, tea and coffee. Harajuku is a Tokyo neighborhood known for cutting-edge fashion and an ultra-competitive crepe scene.
Hirashima decided on Beverly Hills because he thought the neighborhood would embrace his organic, healthy and stylish approach. It also helped that the owner of the previous tenant – Fulfilled – already did the build-out, so all Hirashima had to do was resurface the counter and paint the walls lime-green. He entices passersby by having an exhibition window that displays twin crepe griddles.
Why crepes? Hirashima moved to L.A. five years ago and noticed that American crepes differed from Japanese crepes in terms of style, fillings and ingredients. “In Japan, crepes are made with fresh fruit and fresh whipped cream,” he said. At Harajuku Crepe, he outlaws preserved fruit and canned whipped cream. In Japan, crepes are also always presented in a cone shape, never on a plate, so you can grab and go. Thus the need for only a few tables.
At Harajuku Crepe, choose from three batters – original, green tea or buckwheat – then add fruit ($1 apiece), whipped cream, chocolate and/or ice cream. You’ll even find savory crepes. Here, you can see a green tea crepe loaded with adzuki beans and strawberries. CLICK HERE FOR THE MENU
To drink, Hirashima features Den’s Tea, imported from the green tea Mecca of Shizuoka, which sits at the base of Mt. Fuji. He sells black and flavored teas from the Art of Tea. He also makes Intelligentsia coffee by hand. They grind beans to order and extract cups using pour-over paper filters. Iced coffee is cold brewed.