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Move Over Uncle Tetsu, There’s a New Fluffy Asian Cake Sensation Taking Over LA

Cheesetella is a certified hit at Koreatown Plaza

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Cheesetella, Koreatown
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

Consider clearing your schedule, because there’s a new Los Angeles food line worth waiting in, at none other than Cheesetella in Koreatown. If the name sound vaguely familiar, then you’ve likely spent time in Seoul, Korea, where the sponge cake brand has a much more notable following.

Thankfully they’ve spread to this side of the ocean, and — judging by the lines already starting to form at Koreatown Plaza — brought a good chunk of their fanbase with them. If you’re completely unfamiliar, that’s okay too. Just know that the name Cheesetella is a portmanteau that plays on castella, a kind of hybridized sponge cake originally popularized in Japan. It’s light, airy stuff that has a thin layer of filling inside and gets baked off in sheets. Orders are cut into big squares for takeaway dining, with filling options including cream, chocolate and, yes, cheese.

The end result is something not terribly dissimilar to Uncle Tetsu Cheesecake, the spongelike Japanese take on America’s most beloved dessert that has garnered massive international praise — including at the company’s flagship Southern California location at the Westfield Santa Anita.

Cheesetella, Koreatown

Cheesetella opened a few weeks ago at Koreatown Plaza, and is currently keeping hours from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, though to be safe it’s best to show up at 11 a.m. or noon, when the castellas are really ready to come out of the oven. Until it’s mostly coffee available, or folks queueing up like above to make sure they’re first in line for a slice.

Cheesetella at Koreatown Plaza
928 S. Western Ave.
Los Angeles, CA