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Mad for Mochiholic in Pleasanton

Once carried by Japanese farmers and samurai (a matchbox-size piece has the caloric equivalent of a bowl of rice), mochi cakes have gone global. Made from pounded and molded rice dough, mochi can now be found wrapped around ice cream, tucked into bubble waffles, and incorporated (as rice flour) into pastry batter to yield a springier and chewier texture..

Michael Chang, owner of Mochiholic Japanese Mochi Donut, first experienced mochi doughnuts at the Mister Donut chain in Japan, where he lived as a grad student. The Fremont resident wanted to bring the concept back to the East Bay, and after a test-kitchen run in his hometown, he opened a shop in Pleasanton.

A few classics are always on the menu: Dark Knight (chocolate with Oreo crumbles), Kuro (black sesame), and Ichigo (strawberry). But Chang is constantly innovating, drawing inspiration from the seasons, current events, and pop culture. He developed a banana flavor named BANANAAAAA for the release of Minions: The Rise of Gru; rose glaze with edible gold glitter and a sculpted strawberry for Mother’s Day; and Mangonada with a mango and chamoy glaze, sprinkle of Tajín, and slice of Pulparindo candy for Cinco de Mayo.

“We are celebrating culture through doughnuts,” says Chang.

While you’re there, pick up a bubble tea as well as a bag of mochi mix to try making your own doughnuts (or pancakes or waffles) at home.

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