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Bay Area Mochi Muffin Maker Enters Expansion Mode

Plus uni udon, a bar closure, and more intel

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Third Culture Bakery [Official Photo]

Denver is getting in on the mochi action

Third Culture Bakery is expanding across state lines for the first time. The Berkeley bakery known for its chewy mochi muffins, mochi donuts, and custard cakes featuring flavors like matcha and ube, will open its 2,300-square-foot second location in downtown Aurora. The new Denver area spot will mirror the original, with both a commercial kitchen and retail storefront selling pastries, matcha drinks, and coffee — but unlike the Berkeley location, the more spacious Colorado bakery will offer seating. Why Colorado? Third Culture’s CFO Rachel Taber is a Rocky Mountain State native and recently moved back there, not to mention Denver’s growing food scene and increased appetite for Asian ingredients.

Uni, udon, and more

Taro San Japanese Noodle Bar opened last month in Palo Alto’s Stanford Shopping Center with a brief menu of creative dishes featuring freshly made udon. Now, the restaurant has unveiled its full menu, with almost twice as many izakaya-style small plates and some new udon creations, including a vegan curry udon. The standout, though, is likely the udon with uni mentaiko cream sauce, ikura, and fresh uni on top. See the new menu below.

A few more days to say farewell

Honcho Bar is closing this week after three years in Los Gatos. The bar was known for serving unique beers, wines, and low-ABV cocktails in addition to sake, sangria, coffee, and tea with a focus on small producers. The owner cited the “cost of doing business in the Bay Area” for Honcho’s demise. Its last day will be Thursday, February 14.

Ghost pizzas

Berkeleyside investigated what’s going on at the former Lanesplitter’s spot on Lake Park Avenue in Oakland. It’s now churning out pizzas from six different companies — including DJ Steve Aoki’s Pizzaoki — that are all only available through third-party delivery apps. That will eventually change though: The space will open as Lorenzo’s of New York for walk-in customers while also maintaining the six delivery businesses.

Taro San Menu by on Scribd

Taro San Japanese Noodle Bar

717 Stanford Shopping Ctr, Palo Alto, CA 94304 (650) 815-2700 Visit Website

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