Certain events in history make me feel incredibly proud of my Japanese heritage. For instance …
The moment Kurara Chibana was crowned Miss Universe Runner Up in 2006, although she should have won the title, in my humble opinion (photo courtesy of this site, thank you!) …
The day Yutaka Fukufuji became the first Japanese-born player to debut in the National Hockey League the same year with my beloved Los Angeles Kings no less (and I was there to witness this momentous occasion!) …
And the day Beard Papa came to town and changed the cream puff landscape forever. Desserts like éclairs and profiteroles used to house exclusively in fancy French patisseries, but the emergence of this Japanese-born bakery franchise made these sophisticated pate a choux desserts more accessible and less intimidating to us all. Now, that’s a history-changing event!
Beard Papa successfully replaced donut shops as the source of quick sugar rush by McDonalizing the way cream puffs are made. The assembly line is formed behind the glass-window counter to create each cream puff in flawless sequence: ① select the choux (plain or chocolate-covered), ② insert the choux with custard cream, ③ sprinkle powdered sugar, ④ place the cream puff in a yellow, logo parchment paper, and finally ⑤ carefully place it in a bag or a box. The result is a perfectly soft and airy dough filled with lightly sweetened custard cream that melts in your mouth. Boy, I love my papa!
Available flavors vary by location. The original vanilla flavor is available in all locations, but consider it your lucky day if you can get a hold of green tea (subtle yet delicious), Earl Gray tea (too good for words), or strawberry (tangy, just the way I like it), among other delicious flavors.
I frequent the one in Hollywood and Highland the most because, contrary to its busy location, the store is relatively quiet. This minimizes the wait which, in a popular location like the one in Sawtelle, can add up to a whopping 15-20 minutes. One mistake I made was to go right before the closing time and they were all out of cream puffs, so go as early as you can.
Beard Papa’s Fresh’n Natural Cream Puffs
Hollywood and Highland
6801 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90028
(Click here for list of locations)