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Fluffy Japanese Cheesecakes and Fish-Shaped Waffles Descend on National City

Mad For Cheesecake serves up trendy Asian desserts

Assorted Japanese cheesecakes.
Assorted Japanese cheesecakes.
Mad For Cheesecake

The South Bay’s newest dessert cafe is a one-stop shop for trendy Asian sweets, from chiffon-like Japanese cheesecakes to Korean waffle cones filled with soft-serve ice cream. Mad For Cheesecake slots into Bay Plaza, the National City center anchored by Seafood City Supermarket, where it operates daily from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Owner Kevin Bang also brought the Toronto-based chain Cheese Garden to San Diego and will be changing the name of its Carmel Valley location, which opened late last year, to Mad For Cheesecake soon.

The National City store is serving all Cheese Garden’s specialties, ranging from cotton cheesecakes to double fromage cheesecakes, which stack a layer of baked cream cheese and frozen mascarpone cream cheese on a cheese sponge cake base. There’s also uji matcha tiramisu, baked cheese tarts, and yaki pudding, a combo of caramel sauce, egg pudding, and cheesecake.

Tables and a dessert counter inside a cafe.
The National City cafe.
Mad For Cheesecake

Beyond its signature dessert, Mad For Cheesecake’s menu extends to taiyaki, or Japanese fish-shaped waffles filled with Nutella, red bean, or custard, and Korean ah-boong, which uses the waffle as a cone for soft-serve ice cream in flavors like milk, matcha, and ube and strawberry swirl. The cafe also makes specialty drinks, including brown sugar milk tea, iced blended pineapple yogurt, and matcha lattes that can be enhanced with boba or sea salt cream.

Bang, who also runs all the local outposts of Bonchon Chicken as well as Korean street food chain Jaws TPK in the H Mart Balboa food court, tells Eater that he’s currently looking for a Mad For Cheesecake space in Chula Vista, where he’s aiming to open by early 2024.

Mad for Cheesecake

1420 East Plaza Boulevard, , CA 91950 (619) 773-6033