FRENCH-INSPIRED JAPANESE PASTRY

At Suzuya Patisserie, a Japanese-style pastry shop on Durango Drive, the signature strawberry shortcake is the hottest seller, and specialties include Millecrepes, a confection of dozens of crepes layered with green tea, red bean or strawberry pastry cream, and the Mont Blanc, an almond tart topped with Chantilly cream, sponge cake and chestnut cream with a hint of rum.

“Everything has a French influence,” said Misuzu Ebihara, executive pastry chef and owner. Japanese-style pastries are lighter than classic French creations, she said, with lots of fresh cream, less custard and more fruit. The cream puff shells are softer and thinner than their French counterparts.

Ebihara, a native of Japan, opened the shop in 2015. She came to Las Vegas in 2003 to attend the College of Southern Nevada, where she majored in English and pastry arts.
She also participated in the school’s competitive culinary team, and earned an internship at the now-shuttered Michelin two-star Alex at Wynn Las Vegas. She returned to Japan but was soon back to wed her sweetheart, Mike Plourde (co-owner of Paid in Full).

Difficulty finding a pastry job during the recession led to her working as a server at a sushi restaurant, and there the seeds for her business were planted. A co-worker asked her to make a Japanese-style cake, and other requests followed. Within a year she had a full-time job in the bake shop at Aria, and ran her cake-delivery business on the side.

Within two years, she was ready to leave Aria to open Suzuya (the name represents part of her first name, plus ya, which means shop). Individual servings of pastries sell for $3.95 to $4.95 (and there’s freshly ground and brewed coffee to go with them), and whole cakes are $12 and up, depending on size and complexity. Crepes can be ordered at suzuyapatisserie.com.