Sam Butarbutar and Wenter Shyu opened Third Culture in 2016, immediately winning praise for their signature Mochi Muffin. If you’re a cynic, it might almost sound like a trend-chasing hybrid in the vein of the cronut, but it’s a brown-butter treat with a unique contrast between interior and exterior, born of an Indonesian dessert Butarbutar’s mother made him. Mochiko rice from the Central Valley is the key ingredient in nearly everything on Third Culture’s menu, from brownies to doughnuts, along with matcha-based drinks to wash it down. Muffins are one of life’s singular pleasures, and better still, everything here is carefully sourced, meaning the doughnuts are simultaneously whole foods and hole foods.
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