There are not many Japanese restaurants in NYC that make mochi in-house—the sort of fresh, plush, and just chewy enough mochi that I crave. So I often find myself visiting Cha-An when said craving strikes. Their mochi is made fresh daily and comes by the set of three for $9. They offer a classic red bean version and black sesame; I prefer the latter. The soft mochi skin, dusted with potato starch, is pulled tight around a filling of ground black sesame seeds and sugar. The seeds are ground fine enough to become a thick paste, each bite with the tiniest bit of a crunch. And if you're a real black sesame fan, don't forget that Cha-An also does a worthy black sesame crème brûlée and ice cream.
About the author: Originally from Honolulu, Kathy YL Chan blogs at Kathy YL Chan, where she chronicles her eats and travel adventures between Hawai'i, New York and beyond. She firmly believes that there is always room for dessert.