L.A. doughnuts: A sweet, lovable tradition
Drive through any neighborhood in L.A. and you’re sure to pass at least a few neighborhood doughnut shops, said Jenn Harris in the Los Angeles Times. They often share many of the same features—fluorescent lights, “sticky primary- colored Formica,” and rows of glazed frosted treats to be packaged in “Pepto-Bismol– colored” takeout boxes. Even if the bakery’s name is Spanish, it’s likely to be run by a Southeast Asian immigrant family. Below are three standouts that carry on the tradition, each helping to maintain L.A.’s status as America’s doughnut capital.
Dad’s Donuts and BakeryBurbank • Jenny Bu, a Cambodian immigrant, has owned Dad’s since the 1980s, and her strip-mall shop makes “some of the most consistently good doughnuts in L.A. County.” The best of them might be the buttermilk bar ($1.30), whose dough has an addictive tang. 2501 W. Victory Blvd., (818) 841-1910
DK’s DonutsSanta Monica • Founded in 1980 by two Khmer refugees, DK’s is now run by their children, Sean and Mayly Tao, whose innovations include cheerful multicolored boxes (designed by Mayly) and the ube doughnut ($2.25), a cake doughnut made with purple yam and topped with purple cream cheese. It has “an almost savory quality,” and “goes especially well with coffee.” 1614 Santa Monica Blvd., (310) 829-2512
California DonutsKoreatown • This family-owned 24-hour stand looks old-fashioned but specializes in doughnuts born to be Instagrammed. Toppings include rainbow candies, Froot Loops, and fresh strawberries, and one longtime favorite combines white glaze and Oreo cookie bits to create an adorable panda face ($3). Yes, it’s a gimmick; “it’s also an excellent doughnut.” 3540 W. 3rd St., (213) 385-3318