Column: Cut the crepe: An honest review of Black Flour Crepes


Photo credit: Lily Miro

The delicious Nutella crepe topped with blueberries, bananas and powdered sugar. This crepe was definitely my favorite and a “must try” if you venture to Black Flour Crepes.

By Lily Miro, Columnist

When you first think of the word “crepe,” what normally comes to mind are cafés in Paris, warm treats on rainy days or fancy hotel breakfasts. No one thinks of a black food truck parked in sunny Manhattan Beach with a grassy hill perfect for picnics, right? Well, if somehow the truck comes to your mind when you picture a crepe, then you have probably been to California’s best kept secret: Black Flour Crepes.

The owners of the truck, couple Marie Ravel and Jamie Young, started the truck as a way to bring the traditional buckwheat crepes of French Brittany to California, focusing on locally sourced ingredients. Ravel and Young also own Pink Flamingo Pizza, which has over six locations in Europe, and Floyd’s Bar and Grill, which New York Magazine mentioned as one of the best restaurants to try American-style barbecue in Paris. The couple’s culinary curiosity and ambition definitely shine through in their sweet and savory crepes.

Now, I can’t take any credit for my discovery of these crepes. It was actually fellow Archer senior and features editor for The Oracle, Thea Leimone, who found the truck’s website as I was struggling to decide on my next food adventure. Crepes and food trucks were an unlikely pairing to me, so I thought, why not give it a try?

After taking way too long to decide what to wear (there were some heavy decisions being made about whether a sundress in the middle of January was the way to go or not), my five friends and I headed down to Manhattan Beach.

The truck is parked on the corner of 26th St. and Manhattan Ave. every Saturday and Sunday, fitting Manhattan Beach’s vibe to a tee. It is surrounded by nice beachfront houses and sits right next to a small park where shoes are immediately discarded and picnic blankets find their way out of everyone’s bags. Unfortunately, my friends and I forgot to pack a blanket, but the grass made a perfect seat. Nevertheless, if you visit Black Flour Crepes, I recommend you come with a book, a pair of headphones and a blanket.

After piling out of the car and ordering more than 10 crepes, we finally sat down and ate. The savory crepes were definitely one-of-a-kind, as they were made with buckwheat flour, giving them a crispy texture and darker brown color. But the sweet ones were more traditional and akin to ones you may find in Paris.

I got a Nutella crepe with blueberries and banana, and it was delicious. The richness and sweetness of the Nutella mixed perfectly with the fresh fruit and the sweet crepe, sweet crepe — plus, the powdered sugar on top only added perfectly to the rich flavor.

Also, for anyone worried that there may be too much Nutella (I personally think you can never have too much Nutella), senior Faith Soriano said that the crepe actually contained a “good ratio with the Nutella, it’s not overbearing, but it’s just enough. And the ends are very crispy, which I like.”

Now, for the savory crepes. First, we ordered the “Skinny French Guy,” which is a buckwheat crepe with Paris ham and melted gruyere topped with a sunny-side-up organic egg. This proved to be one of my friends’ fan favorites. The egg was deliciously runny, and the ham and cheese complimented each other perfectly.

Next, we tried the sautéed mushrooms and cheese crepe, which was served with a delicious potato salad. The mushrooms were sautéed perfectly and the cheese definitely elicited the perfect cheese pull. While I liked the sweet crepes more, this savory one was in close competition.

Archer senior Lauren Robson ordered the avocado and cheese crepe, which I didn’t get the chance to try, but according to her, it might have had “too much cheese.” What? Too much cheese? There’s no such thing. Well, according to Robson’s review, if you are lactose intolerant or just hate cheese, don’t order this crepe.

We finished it off with senior Naya Ben-Meir’s order: a Buckwheat breakfast burrito which contained scramble eggs, cheddar and bacon. This one was definitely good but not my favorite. Ben-Meir agreed and said, “The burrito was mediocre because it doesn’t have that much flavor, but the outside is really crispy.” It seemed there was a trend of crispiness amongst all of the crepes.

Despite calling her burrito mediocre, Ben-Meir’s final comment on the burrito was “actually it’s pretty good” — but not great. Suffice to say, if you’re looking for a crepe burrito that is very crispy and will make you question its mediocrity as you take more bites, try this truck.

All in all, Black Flour Crepes is perfect for a classic sweet French crepe and gives you a beautiful view of the ocean. Its savory crepes could use some work (and maybe less cheese? I don’t know, ask Robson), but overall it’s a super fun adventure filled with great food.

  • Location
  • Food
  • Ambience
  • Enjoyment
  • Service


Black Flour Crepes is located in the heart of Manhattan Beach, right next to the perfect picnic spot and ocean view. The crepes are crispy, delicious and full of flavor. Both the sweet Nutella crepe and the mushroom and cheese crepe are phenomenal. You can not go wrong with either their sweet or savory crepes, trust me, you will not be disappointed.