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The Great Doughnut Round-up

sku May 14, 2007 07:28 AM

“In springtime, a man’s fancy turns to thoughts of doughnuts.” Johnathan Gold.

It seems like this spring, everyone has done doughnuts, from Jonathan Gold, http://www.laweekly.com/eat+drink/counter-intelligence/crullers-that-bloom-in-spring/15936/ to ChowPatty, http://eatingla.blogspot.com/2007/03/doughnut-time-with-kevin-smith.html ; maybe it has to do with the coming release of a Simpsons Movie (mmm, doughnuts).

In any case, every spring, for the last ten years, I have done a mini-doughnut tour of my favorites (usually 2-3 locations over several weeks). Inspired by all this doughnut-mania, I embarked this year on a major doughnut tour, hitting all of the fabled doughnuterias I could in this thriving doughnutropolis. Some of these were visits to my old standbys, but some were first timers. I describe them below in chronological order, starting in early April. And if you don’t want to read all of this, skip to the bottom for a summary.

I should explain that I am a raised glazed man, and my standard for best doughnut has much to do with whether you can make a raised glazed or not. However, where a doughnut shop has a particular specialty, I try to get one of those as well.

Donut Man, Glendora (first time visit).
The menu: raised glazed, strawberry, raspberry cheesecake.

Yes, I finally made the pilgrimage to Donut Man. After reading the multiple glowing reviews at Donut Man, I packed up and headed to Route 66, singing all the way (Flagstaff, Arizona, don’t forget Glendora…). I wanted to like Donut Man, heck I wanted to love the Donut Man and particularly his world famous Strawberry Doughnut, listed by Saveur Magazine as one of the ten best doughnuts in the country…but I just couldn’t work up the enthusiasm. Let’s start with the strawberry; the legendary strawberry doughnut sandwich that made Glendora famous. It’s good, but it’s stop on the way to work and pick one up good, not drive to the edge of San Bernardino County good. Much hay is made of the farm fresh strawberries, big Chandlers; maybe I’m spoiled, but I couldn’t help but think how much better this would taste with the gaviotas I get at the Hollywood Farmers’ Market. The strawberries are lacquered with a glistening red syrup. The doughnut itself is a solid yeast doughnut, and the best part is sopping up the gloppy red syrup with the doughnut shell. The raspberry cheesecake doughnut was a glazed disk covered with an enormous amount of cream cheese frosting and a dollop of raspberry jam. The frosting was good, and it’s nice to see a doughnut place put some love into the flavored icings and fillings which are so often sub-par, but it was piled so high as to overwhelm the doughnut itself. The raised glazed were fine, but nothing to write home about. If I lived in Glendora, I would no doubt happily patronize Donut Man on a regular basis, but based on my experience, I think it is held in higher esteem than merited.

Frittelli’s, Beverly Hills (first time visit).
The menu: raised glazed, heath bar cake doughnut, apple fritter.

Frittelli’s, the fancy schmancy, no trans-fat doughnut vendor to the stars, was by far the worst of all the places I tried this tour. Though laid out in aesthetically pleasing array reminiscent of the museum cum food shop style of Boule, the doughnuts were lackluster at best. The raised glazed was heavy and dry and the glaze lacked character. The Heath Bar doughnut was probably one of the worst cake doughnuts I have had. Now, I grant you, I am primarily a yeast doughnut man, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like a good cake doughnut now and then and that I don’t know one when I taste one (see Bob’s below). In my mind, the ideal cake doughnut is fried such that it has a delicate crispy crust on the outside, giving you some resistance when you bite into it, and tender cake on the inside. And it should have some real flavor. The Heath Bar doughnut was terrible. There was no difference in texture between the crust and the inside and, while it appeared to be chocolate, it had no discernable chocolate flavor. It was topped with a small bit of chocolate icing and a few crunched Heath Bars, but they were not enough to make up for this ridiculously bad (and might I say, overpriced) doughnut. The apple fritter was horribly dry, not very crispy and did not have much apple in it…the worst apple fritter I’ve ever had. Dryness was an across the board problem here.

Bob’s Doughnuts, 3rd and Fairfax Farmers’ Market
The menu: raised glazed, apple fritter, plain cake

I am convinced that Bob’s is one of the unsung heroes of Los Angeles doughnutry. It sits there, inconspicuously, between Patsy’s Pizza (another unsung hero) and the ice cream shop, surrounded by admiring pigeons and elderly regulars; it never seems to get the level of kudos reserved for Donut Man or Primo’s, but it pumps out some of the best doughnuts around. The razed glazed was one of the better I had on the tour. It was light as air, with enough but not too much glaze, but it was really the cake doughnut that shined. The cake doughnut was spectacular. Perfectly crisped on the outside, soft on the inside…only slightly sweet with a hint of nutmeg. I got the plain because they didn’t have the powdered sugar variety. The added powdered sugar would have enhanced the overall doughnut, but tasting the plain cake gave me the opportunity to taste a really well done caker, stripped to its core. The apple fritter was a flat disk, fried to an almost black color, with many nooks and crannies which increase the amount of surface area available to the deep fryer. Bob’s is somewhat famous for the apple fritter, and this one was above and beyond most fritters, but it seemed a bit burnt on some of the edges, which took away from my enjoyment.

Primo’s Doughnuts, National and Sawtelle.
The Menu: buttermilk bar, raised glazed, butterfly cinnamon roll

I hereby declare, even though I have openly professed my preference for the yeast variety of doughnut, that the Primo’s buttermilk bar is the supreme, ultimate best doughnut in Los Angeles! Primo’s is one of my standbys…I was first led there by this very board http://www.chowhound.com/topics/47430 and since my first taste of the crisp, sugary outer layer and the divinely buttery center, moist and yellow, melting in my mouth….I knew it was the best and I am happy to report that so it remains. There is not enough I can say about this doughnut. I was tempted to buy a dozen of these brick sized, perpetually warm bars of doughnut gold. Primo’s rocks. All of Primo’s other doughnuts are good, the butterfly cinnamon roll is particularly so, with a great balance of cinnamon, glaze and dough. Their raised glazed is good but not really special…but none of it compares to the BMB. Hail the BMB!

Grace, Beverly Blvd, west of La Brea (First visit
)The Menu: butterscotch doughnuts

Okay, one of these things is not like the other. Grace is not a doughnut shop; there are no pink boxes, no wax paper, no case or rack of glistening crullers, no table of regulars sipping coffee and they aren’t open in the morning, but Grace is much heralded for its butterscotch doughnut dessert, so I thought I’d mix things up a bit and add it to the list. The butterscotch doughnut is not really a doughnut in the traditional sense, but more of a beignet. The dough is a light, delicate beignet style dough, sprinkled with powdered sugar. The butterscotch filling is sublime, tasting of butter and slightly of caramel but really not very sweet. This is a great dessert but it’s not really fair to compare it to the other doughnut shops listed here. Plus, I think beignets tend to be easier to perfect than doughnuts, and in that sense, it might be unfair to compare these to the “true” doughnuts on the list. I have had many a bad doughnut; done improperly they can be rock hard, flavorless, greasy or overly sweet. In contrast, I don’t think I’ve ever had a bad beignet: light batter, fried quickly, sprinkling of powdered sugar - easy peasy. Still, these were well done and the butterscotch filling, in particular, was excellent; maybe next year I will do a beignet tour.

Stan’s, Westwood Village
The Menu: raised glazed, chocolate peanut butter, buttermilk bar, glazed pretzal

Stan’s was the best all-around doughnut shop I visited. The raised glazed was near perfection. It was puffy, slightly beyond normal proportions, the glaze was sweet but not overwhelming and there was a slight sour-yeasty taste to the doughnut. This visit reinforces my opinion that Stan’s is the best raised glazed in LA, at least among the one’s I’ve had. The chocolate peanut butter, or “Robbie,” seems to be somewhat of a house specialty and was wonderful. A nice sweet, peanut butter inside, more like real peanut butter than, say, Reese’s filling. It was topped with chocolate glaze and mini-chocolate chips, but the glory was in the doughnut, which, like all the Stan’s selection I had, was perfectly crisp on the outside, light and airy on the inside, which made for the perfect coating for this confection. The only disappointment was the buttermilk bar. It had a nice buttermilky flavor but the texture was not to my liking, lacking the outer crispness. Maybe cake-type doughnuts just aren’t their thing. The pretzel, a sort of cinnamon twist type doughnut, was also excellent, and again, fried perfectly. For some reason, my impression is that Stan’s is held in low esteem among the LA food intelligentsia…like the Pink’s (another of my favorites) of doughnuts. I seem to hear from people that it is overrated or has gone downhill…I have to disagree. Stan’s was on the mark and did more doughnuts better than any place I visited.

Summary:
Best Doughnut – Primo’s Buttermilk Bar
Best Raised Glazed – Stan’s
Best Cake – Bob’s
Best Specialty – Stan’s (chocolate peanut butter)
Best All Around – Stan’s

So, that’s a rap. My arteries have until next spring to unclog. And now, dear Hounds, please let me know what I’ve missed. Are there places of this caliber that should go on my list for next year. While I have been in the past, I neglected to make it out to Randy’s in Inglewood, oh thee of the big doughnut in the sky – a clear deficiency in my report. And are there doughnuts in the Valley or Orange County that I should be aware of? Let me know and I will add them to my next spring fling.

Thanks for indulging my indulgence.

www.recenteats.blogspot.com

  1. m
    migsheep Oct 23, 2011 07:02 PM

    I like your review, but it lacks an important element: how was the coffee at these shops?
    I used to frequent Cooper's during my college years and beyond, they served Apfel's coffee for like 10 cents and it was a great accompaniment to the great glazed donuts...
    Mig

    1 Reply
    1. re: migsheep
      b
      bulavinaka Oct 23, 2011 08:25 PM

      You're so right on the coffee issue - I just assume that the coffee at doughnut shops is not what I'm after and just make a separate trip to a legit coffee house or make it at home.

    2. p
      pasadenalady Jun 14, 2007 04:43 PM

      Glendora is not on the edge of the Inland Empire or anywhere near San Bernardino. It's only a 20 minute drive East from Pasadena. (not during rush hour though!)

      1. Dyspepsia May 23, 2007 04:19 PM

        Hello FDFs (fellow donut fanciers) here's a post to combine my fondness for donuts and Le Pain Quotidien. I hadn't been there for a while so I forgot about the decadent "French Cream Donut." It looks like a giant clam filled with white cream. They're probably not for everyone but they're really good. LPQ always uses really high quality ingredients so go try one (for research purposes.) See photo.

         
        3 Replies
        1. re: Dyspepsia
          b
          bulavinaka May 23, 2007 04:28 PM

          AHHHHHHHHH! Get into my belly!!! Do all of their places carry those? I'd be afraid to set one of those by my 5 year-old - if she tripped and fell in, I'd never find her until she ate her way out! It may not be for everyone, but I think, no I know it's for me!

          1. re: bulavinaka
            Dyspepsia May 23, 2007 05:44 PM

            Apparently, although I haven't tested it, LPQ is known for the international consistency of its restaurants. Each one should have the french cream donut unless it's sold out. Keep an eye on your daughter -these donuts are quite large.

            http://www.painquotidien.com/

            1. re: Dyspepsia
              h
              hazelnutty May 23, 2007 05:59 PM

              All the locations I've been to have the donut (B.H. S.M. Weho Rob. Blvd). I would suggest you go early though. With these donuts you really want to get them fresh otherwise the dough part tastes a bit stale. The cream is good. Come to think of it I haven't seen them lately--hmmm.

              Maybe I'll get that tomorrow for breakfast and a little coffee....

        2. b
          broncosaurus May 20, 2007 09:29 PM

          I hate to see Donut Man sold short here. I'm not much of a fan of strawberry donuts so it's not an issue I can comment on, but those Bismarks, those creme-filled chocolate donuts...man, they're deadlier than the namesake. Just fantastic, and they don't skimp on the wonderful custard cream. Worth a long drive just for a few of these, I think.

          10 Replies
          1. re: broncosaurus
            b
            bulavinaka May 20, 2007 09:59 PM

            Bronc, I'm still trying to figure out a reason to go out there - it's a long way from the Westside - just hoping that maybe some day soon my son will have a sports tournament in the general direction... I think the Donut Man is a long way from being sold short - his reputation was cast in gold by Huell Hauser long ago. And the donuts keep flying out of that place from what I hear...

            1. re: bulavinaka
              b
              broncosaurus May 20, 2007 10:19 PM

              It's a real haul I'll grant, and you're doin' the 10 freeway in the completely wrong direction at dinner time as I'm sure you're aware. 40 miles might be a tad excessive for a donut so I recommend this double play: Go to Domenico's in Monrovia for their fantastic thin-rolled pizza (formerly first but now second in my heart to Rosario's in Carson) and then head a few miles east on Route 66 and enjoy your Bismarck kicks.

              1. re: broncosaurus
                b
                bulavinaka May 20, 2007 11:18 PM

                Thanks for the double-play rec - very efficient way to get some serious return on driving through LA and I love a great pizza, no matter what kind. And I remember reading your rec on Rosario's - I really need to check out this place. Thanks again...

                1. re: bulavinaka
                  j
                  JeetJet May 21, 2007 01:23 PM

                  Huell Howser is cool. This is my double play and I have done it several times. Maybe come from the 134 to the 210 using Diamond lanes. From the 210 exit at Citrus Ave. and go north to W. Alosta and turn right. Alosta turns into West Route 66 and you will then find Petrillo's Pizza on the right. Request a thin crust and “pie cut”. IMO this beats even Veto’s. Best pizza crust, sauce, cheese, pepperoni, and sausage in L.A. Also, the amount of cheese, pepperoni, and sausage is maybe there times over Veto’s and a higher quality. Just like Veto’s the leftover slices are great cold the next morning for breakfast. Then keep heading East on Route 66 until you find Donut Man on the left. If you want strawberry maybe call ahead and request they save you some. But if they are sold out – no big deal because those Bismarks (Long Johns) and long maple bars are the best around. Pass on the crullers, and in my opinion the buttermilk bars, because they are a little dry. To get back to the Westside either backtrack or maybe keep going East just a little more on Route 66 until you can jump onto the 57 going south to the 60 toward LA.

                  Petrillo's Pizza Restaurant
                  750 W Rte 66 Ste A
                  Glendora, CA 91740-4163
                  (626) 335-1289

                  Donut Man
                  915 E Route 66
                  Glendora, CA 91740-3608
                  (626) 335-9111
                  East of S. Grand Ave., Cross Street: Elwood Avenue.

                  Cal Gold
                  http://www.calgold.com/

                  1. re: JeetJet
                    b
                    bulavinaka May 21, 2007 01:28 PM

                    Jeet and Bronc, you guys are great... my dream would be to drive out there, and catch the two of you yackin' it up with Huell and the Donut Man himself, comparing notes and giving Heull tips on where to head next... of course each of you have your shirts stained with pizza sauce and dribbling strawberry filling on your chins!

                    Thanks for the great tips, folks...

                    1. re: bulavinaka
                      Dyspepsia May 21, 2007 02:14 PM

                      "of course each of you have your shirts stained with pizza sauce and dribbling strawberry filling on your chins!"

                      Don't forget to invite Homer Simpson.

                      1. re: Dyspepsia
                        b
                        bulavinaka May 21, 2007 02:22 PM

                        "Dear Homer, IOU one emergency donut. Signed Homer. Bastard! He's always one step ahead." -- Homer Simpson - my hero! :)

                        1. re: bulavinaka
                          Dyspepsia May 21, 2007 03:00 PM

                          "Donuts... is there anything they can't do?"

                          Homer Simpson

                          1. re: Dyspepsia
                            j
                            JeetJet May 23, 2007 11:42 AM

                            Ya, I hear you both. Homer Simpson is one of my favorite actors also. There is good reason why he likes donuts. Donuts and Pizza are both multi-sensory experiences. Think about it. There are only a couple of multi-sensory experiences in life and they are both worth traveling for -- far and wide. When you get a tip for a good multi-sensory experience, you owe it to yourself to go-for-it! JeetJet?

                            To the West

                            Vito’s Pizza
                            846 N.La Cienega Blvd.
                            Los Angeles, CA
                            (310) 652-6859
                            http://www.vitopizza.com/

                            Primo's Doughnuts (Glazed and buttermilk
                            )2918 Sawtelle Blvd.
                            Los Angeles CA 90064
                            Cross National. South of 10, West of 405

                            To the East

                            Petrillo's Pizza Restaurant (Request thin crust and pie cut)
                            750 W Rte 66 Ste A
                            Glendora, CA 91740-4163
                            (626) 335-1289

                            Donut Man (Strawberry, mapple bars)
                            915 E Route 66
                            Glendora, CA 91740-3608
                            (626) 335-9111
                            East of S. Grand Ave., Cross Street: Elwood Avenue.

                            To the South

                            The Pizza Bakery
                            1741 Westcliff Drive
                            Newport Beach, CA
                            (949) 631-1166
                            North of PCH -- Between Irvine and Dover

                            Scott's Donuts (Glazed and fritters)
                            27500 Marguerite Pkwy Ste 3
                            Mission Viejo CA
                            92692
                            (949) 364-2263

                            1. re: JeetJet
                              ozzygee May 23, 2007 04:04 PM

                              I'd have to throw in good bbq to the mix.

                              Yet another reason to go to Azusa:
                              Canyon City Barbecue.
                              347 N San Gabriel Ave
                              Azusa, CA 91702

                              w/ Donut Man for dessert, natch.

          2. l
            Life is too short for bad food May 20, 2007 01:56 PM

            I'br been a big fan of Bob's, Stan's, and the Donutman. Based on this thread, I made a first trek last week to Primo's to try the BMB.

            OMG. The BMB is outstanding and I can't wait for an excuse to get back up there. I also had a glazed twist. I don't know that I would make a special trip for the twist, but it was very good. I don't know if it was clearly the best, but I can't say I had a better glazed donut.

            Thanks for leading me to Primo's!

            13 Replies
            1. re: Life is too short for bad food
              b
              bulavinaka May 20, 2007 05:19 PM

              So glad you liked it... Now that you've tried their BMB, you won't be surprised that folks walk in and order a dozen or two at a time... I had a day-old this morning and unlike most donuts it was still very good...

              1. re: bulavinaka
                Dyspepsia May 20, 2007 06:29 PM

                Primo's... my current favorite. This donut thread has re-ignited my donut habit. I hope I regain control soon. I did try Royal Donuts and their glazed raised donuts were really delicious. At the end of the day though I'm all about the cake donuts. I've had a Primo's BMB and it was great but my favorite is the humble cake donut with chocolate frosting. When it's fresh, it's so good I actually close my eyes during the first bite.

                1. re: Dyspepsia
                  b
                  bulavinaka May 20, 2007 06:49 PM

                  I'm envisioning your first bite for you...since your eyes were closed... ;) Either place is good for me, but I still can't shake Primo's BMB's...

                2. re: bulavinaka
                  p
                  phant0omx May 20, 2007 07:40 PM

                  does Primo's not have the BMB all day? i was passing by yesterday at about 2:30pm and I decided to stop. they didn't have any at all, only a tray of glazed twists.

                  1. re: phant0omx
                    b
                    bulavinaka May 20, 2007 09:56 PM

                    I couldn't tell you about their availability. I've only been there relatively early - say before 8AM - and just about everything is warm, if not hot out of the fryer...
                    Alot of donut shops around here start to shut down their kitchens after lunch - the demand for donuts obviously falls off pretty fast in the afternoon. Since Primo's closes around 4:30PM (I think), they might just assume that by 1 or 2PM, it's time to sell what's left in the case... I don't know if it's feasible for you, but going early obviously has its rewards here... and they are closed on Sundays...

                    1. re: phant0omx
                      hch_nguyen May 21, 2007 07:32 AM

                      I've had bmb's at Primo's at various hours in the day. It's kind of the luck of the draw. I showed up one afternoon and Mrs. Primo (I believe) was happy to tell the fryer guy to throw two fresh ones into the fryer for me and I waited about 5 minutes for piping hot bmb's. She was really sweet and wanted me to have the bmb's. As I waited, Mr. Primo (I believe) asked with concern if I'd been helped. I've also been there earlier when they didn't have any left to sell or fry.

                      Whenever Primo's is out, I pop into Royal (on Palms and Sepulveda) and pick up a cinnamon roll, which hits the spot in a totally different yet equally satisfying way IMO. I've had the crumb, raised glaze, and cinn roll at Royal and the cinn roll is the definite standout (in the way that the bmb is the standout at Primo's)

                      1. re: hch_nguyen
                        tony michaels May 21, 2007 08:07 AM

                        I can't recall if you said you found the big cinn roll at Primo's, or only the flat round one which is pale in color with while icing? The big cinn rolls, which were there this past Sat. at 7 a.m. are dark brown in color and much higher than the other ones. If you ever see them grab one and give it a try.

                        1. re: tony michaels
                          hch_nguyen May 21, 2007 09:18 AM

                          I had what I believe is called a big "butterfly" cinnamon roll at Primo's??? It was at the top of the case and IIRC, it had crumbs on top or something resembling crumbs but not icing for sure. Definitely not as good as Royal's big cinn roll rendition, which is also dark brown in color.

                          1. re: hch_nguyen
                            tony michaels May 21, 2007 09:31 AM

                            The cinn butterfly is another type. The big very dark brown ones that look like classic cinn rolls are normally not in the case, but rather are sitting on a baking sheet on the table to the left of the cash register as you face the register and the case.

                            1. re: tony michaels
                              hch_nguyen May 21, 2007 09:49 AM

                              Thank! I never noticed those. I'll give them a try next time and see how they compare to Royal's...

                  2. re: Life is too short for bad food
                    h
                    hazelnutty May 20, 2007 07:13 PM

                    Does this Primo have anything else that is as good as the buttermilk??? I don't like buttermilk donuts. I'm not driving there if only the buttermilk is divine....honesty please???

                    1. re: hazelnutty
                      Dyspepsia May 20, 2007 07:28 PM

                      I don't seek out the BMB either. The quality of all the donuts is very high. I haven't tried the raised donuts because I love the cake ones so much but a lot of people come in and order them. Go in and see what varieties appeal to you. It's worth the trip. If you do, please report back.

                      1. re: Dyspepsia
                        h
                        hazelnutty May 20, 2007 07:34 PM

                        You know I will. If I ever buy "my" digital camera, I'll post some pictures...
                        Now I WANT a donut!!! I want something sweet...where to go...I should have baked something...that's not gona happen

                  3. r
                    RSMBob May 16, 2007 10:11 AM

                    Excellent excellent report, sku. I'm still looking for a great donut shop down here in south OC, but I do remember when I lived in the SFV more than a decade ago, "the" place for donuts was Blinkie's in Woodland Hills, on Topanga about a mile S of Ventura Blvd. I would encourage you to give them a try and see how it stacks up against your top places.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: RSMBob
                      j
                      JeetJet May 16, 2007 10:16 AM

                      It has been a while for me but what about Scott's?

                      Scott's Donuts
                      27500 Marguerite Pkwy Ste 3
                      Mission Viejo CA
                      92692
                      (949) 364-2263

                    2. h
                      haydn1796 May 16, 2007 08:40 AM

                      Outstanding work1 FYI Grace currently has DOUGHNUT Night on Wednsedays. A little to far away but far, far superior to Donut Man is Upland donuts. Start with the glazed and then work your way through. Donuts.....fresh (drool)!

                      Upland Donuts
                      1627 N Mountain Av
                      Upland , CA 91786
                      (from the SB county inspection site, most recent score a 98, have even had a 100)

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: haydn1796
                        j
                        JeetJet May 16, 2007 08:47 AM

                        Do you recall whether Upland Donuts has French Crullers? If so have you tried them? My Thanks, ..

                        1. re: JeetJet
                          h
                          haydn1796 May 21, 2007 01:27 PM

                          I have to admit to not liking crullers so the answer is I don't know. Sorry!!!

                      2. j
                        JeetJet May 14, 2007 08:04 PM

                        For your hard work you get one "At-a-Boy" award. Ten At-a-Boys = one Job-Well-Done.
                        Now, I disagree about your thoughs that Primo's "raised glazed is good but not really special." IMO, that glazed is very special and so much so that it should not be compaired to a traditional galzed. I am saying it is in a league of it's own. Sort of a cross between a raised and a cake. I had only one other like it and that was 3,000 miles away at the best place in Boston.

                        Now, you like a traditional raised glased. I have been looking myself for several years and in a number of states. I tried the places you mentioned. IMO the best one is at A.M. Donuts in Arcadia. These guys take such pride in their raised glaze that they not only make them big and round but also square. Now, I know that once an At-a-Boy is earned for donuts that it will be a long time before you even want to think of a donut again. But maybe someday....

                        A.M. Donuts (Glazed both round and square, Cinnamon Crumb on Cinnamon Twist)
                        34 W. Las Tunas Dr.
                        Arcadia, CA 91007
                        (626) 574-0160
                        One Block West of Santa Anita Ave. Across the street form Rite Aid / Coco’s

                        1. Emme May 14, 2007 07:56 PM

                          Wow, great report and fun to read. Thanks for making the sacrifice. I personally have never had a good tasting donut at Bob's; everyone I've had has been chewy and stale. Then again, my doughnut of preference is the Glazed Old-Fashioned and I'm very particular about the required crispiness of the outside edge/glazed portion and the fluffiness of the interior, plus the taste of the glaze is key.

                          As for dyspep above, try my favorite place (that should also be added to FUTURE ROUND-UPS!) is K's Donut Emporium at Bev Glen and Ventura. They have THE BEST GLAZED OLD-FASHIONED IMO, apple fritter, as well as chocolate chip and blueberry muffins that are dense and cakey... a decadent indulgence... Love those old-fashioneds mmmmm....

                          1. Dyspepsia May 14, 2007 05:37 PM

                            Thank you sku. I love donuts and I love round-ups. You did a great job. I wish I had a donut this instant. I have decided that for me, Bob's is hitting the mark the most. I guess because lately I really prefer cake donuts. I don't enjoy navigating through what the Farmer's Market has become in order to get to the donuts though. Two thoughts to throw out there to anyone: What about Randy's Donuts -the place near LAX with the Giant Donut on the roof? I like them. I was pleasantly surprised by their donuts. I also find it difficult to ignore the beckoning lure of the giant donut. My second thought will probably invalidate me for life to serious donut afficionados -here's my dark horse favorite -white cream-filled yeast donuts (not custard which is sometimes referred to as cream) and I find that good old Krispy Kreme has a really good one. They're hard to find anywhere anymore. Has anyone else tried them at K. Kreme or are they being made for only me? Does anyone have any leads for where else I might locate this variety? If so, I've got my car keys in hand and I'm out the door.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Dyspepsia
                              g
                              GK in SO May 14, 2007 09:36 PM

                              I used to get a kind of those at Spudnuts (pretty good), and at the Donut Hole in Burbank (is it still there?). DH's were amazing - buttercream, not that goopy custardy stuff.

                              OK, Dyspepsia, I'll be on the lookout too! Hopefully in the Valley, though.

                              Has anyone tried USA Donuts on Kester and Burbank? They have amazingly good, yeasty glazed raised, plus a "chocolate chip roll" that is out of this world. Good cinnamon rolls, too. I have given their donuts to clients, all of whom have gone crazy for them!

                              GK in SO

                              1. re: GK in SO
                                Das Ubergeek May 16, 2007 08:34 PM

                                Yes, the Doughn-t Hole ("The only thing missing is U!") is still in Burbank.

                                USA Donuts and Dad's Donuts (Victory/Buena Vista) are my votes in the East Valley.

                            2. Dommy May 14, 2007 12:05 PM

                              THanks for the review! We hit Primos this weekend and sadly they were out of BMB!! :P I did get a nice twist. But Royal continues to be tops in Crumb Donuts for me. :D

                              -Dommy!

                              1. v
                                Vegasbuff May 14, 2007 12:05 PM

                                Along with the chocolate peanut butter donut, the blueberry buttermilk is also very good at Stan's.

                                1. b
                                  banjoboy May 14, 2007 10:59 AM

                                  Spectacular review, Sku. Primo's is my local fave, but I think I have to agree with you about Stan's, which I don't visit often enough. Last time I was there, Stan was talking about the pleasures of Calvados in apple pie. The man is an artist -- his medium happens to be donuts.

                                  1. Arthur May 14, 2007 10:47 AM

                                    Thanks for all the hard work you put into this fantastic report!

                                    If you loved Stan's chocolate peanut butter donut, you might go ga-ga over his chocolate peanut butter BANANA entry. The giddy addition of fresh banana chunks is one that would have done Elvis proud, and it's certainly among the most unique donuts I've ever tasted.

                                    I tried Frittelli's once and thought it was OK. The donut I had, a Boston Creme, was very fresh (not dry, as the OP found) and light. I found that it had a mildly pleasing, unusual delicacy to it. That may not appeal to traditional donut mavens, but it could satisfy the local Beverly Hills boutique crowd. Unfortunately, I think Frittelli's has arrived on the scene about five years too late for the fad followers.

                                    Finally, as I've noted on other threads, I take issue with repeated complaints I've seen on this site about Frittelli's prices. Reality check: The overwhelming majority of the donuts and cake slices there are $1.25-$1.50. Compare that to $3.00 for a cupcake at Sprinkles, $3.00 for a plain cheese slice at Mulberry Street Pizza, $2.50 for an untopped small yogurt at any Pinkberry franchise, and so forth. Yes, the other donut joints reviewed by the OP are a tad less expensive, but none of those are quaiint gourmet shops in the heart of Beverly Hills's most exclusive high-rent shopping district. If you're a cost-conscious Donuthound, that would definitely be the wrong ZIP code to visit.

                                    15 Replies
                                    1. re: Arthur
                                      h
                                      hazelnutty May 14, 2007 11:12 AM

                                      I don't get that either Arthur-I believe Fritrelli's is like 10cents more expensive if that--get real sku!

                                      Stan's used to be good when Westwood Village used to be cool...Stan's donuts are too heavy.

                                      I really liked Frittelli when they first opened, but now it's changed somehow...

                                      Grace's donuts are or were great--I haven't been back so that could have changed as well. They were actually donuts sku...I don't know what you had.

                                      Most donut shops are dirty, use cheap ingredients and I have no patience for that crap anymore.

                                      1. re: hazelnutty
                                        tony michaels May 14, 2007 11:18 AM

                                        If an incredible lightness of donuts is something you are seeking then Primo's should be on your radar scope. Lightest donuts, (helium filled?) I have ever eaten.

                                        1. re: tony michaels
                                          h
                                          hazelnutty May 14, 2007 05:01 PM

                                          Okay I'll try it. But first I must lose 10 /15 pounds...hehehe

                                          But are they flavorful?

                                          I like the chocolate covered or the plain.

                                          1. re: hazelnutty
                                            tony michaels May 14, 2007 05:12 PM

                                            I love the flavor, but YMMV. If they have the chocolate covered "pretzel" shaped donuts (with dark cake) they are great. But all of their cake donuts seem wonderful to me. Also if they have the ones that look sort of like a crown of thorns - get one of those. Just add the donut calorie tally to your final needed "loss" total and go now in order to avoid the dreaded "regain". ;-D

                                            1. re: tony michaels
                                              b
                                              bulavinaka May 14, 2007 08:44 PM

                                              Hey Tony, your presence on this post is almost mandatory. You are the one who turned me back on to Primo's after about a ten year hiatus. I think one of the major factors which makes Primo's so special is the oil. First off, I think they must be using a high quality oil. Second, my impression is they don't keep reusing the same oil until it turns into something resembling and smelling like boiled linseed oil. They probably swap out their oil on a much more frequent basis than other places as their donuts have a pure donut flavor - not a rancid oily taste/smell like so many other places. The raised donuts taste light and yeasty. The cake donuts taste of cake. And the precious buttermilk - as the OP has offered praises of wonderment, these bars might as well be made of gold, as that is what they are worth compared to any other that I've tried.

                                              1. re: bulavinaka
                                                tony michaels May 14, 2007 08:48 PM

                                                That's what 50 years of donut making gets you - a better mouth trap. ;-D

                                                1. re: tony michaels
                                                  b
                                                  bulavinaka May 14, 2007 08:56 PM

                                                  That's a good one... 50 years with great care and pride...

                                                2. re: bulavinaka
                                                  h
                                                  hazelnutty May 14, 2007 09:14 PM

                                                  They have other donuts besides the buttermilk, right??? I like chocolate glazed and plain.

                                                  1. re: hazelnutty
                                                    b
                                                    bulavinaka May 14, 2007 09:27 PM

                                                    They have mostly traditional donuts and some other goodies, like scones, muffins, cinnamon rolls, etc. But I personally prefer their donuts. And one can get awfully spoiled there as the hot donuts keep rolling out frequently in the morning. On my first visit back after about 10 years, I just randomly ordered. On my subsequent visits, I'd ask what was still warm or just stand back for a few to watch what was being brought out of the kitchen. I personally prefer their buttermilk (obviously) and cake, but as Tony mentioned, their raised are quite good as well. I'm not big on raised as I like my donuts to have more substance to it, but I must say, I do find their buttermilk to be lighter and fluffier in a good way - not like the bricks that one can find just about anywhere else.

                                                    1. re: bulavinaka
                                                      t
                                                      tdo ca May 16, 2007 02:00 PM

                                                      "In the morning" being operative phrase - go late (i.e., at or after lunch) and the selection wanes considerably... GO EARLY AND CHOW DOWN :-) Their cinnamon sugar cake are some of the best I've had on the west coast.

                                                      1. re: tdo ca
                                                        b
                                                        bulavinaka May 16, 2007 07:37 PM

                                                        Cinnamon sugar cake... what have I been missing? Will ask for it the next time...ummmm... thanks for the great tip!

                                          2. re: hazelnutty
                                            b
                                            Burger Boy May 14, 2007 11:55 AM

                                            Was at Fritellis last week, i do not get it. They make a good donut, but nothing I would drive across town for!

                                            1. re: Burger Boy
                                              Arthur May 14, 2007 12:21 PM

                                              I basically agree, Burger Boy. But I don't think the market for Frittelli's is old-school donut lovers or Chowhounds who would drive across town for a buttermilk bar. Frittelli's aura of gourmet appeal is a lot more narrowly aimed at Beverly Hills offices (e.g., law firms, talent agencies), boutique shoppers, tourists and local residents - just like most of the distinctly Beverly Hills establishments. And by that standard, IMHO they are a unique, welcome addition to the neighborhood.

                                              1. re: Arthur
                                                h
                                                hazelnutty May 14, 2007 04:59 PM

                                                Arthur,

                                                Don't you find that Fritelli's has changed since they first opened? I found them more flavorful before, maybe they should put the transfat back in.....hehehe

                                                1. re: hazelnutty
                                                  Arthur May 14, 2007 07:38 PM

                                                  hazelnutty, I'm sorry but I can't answer that question because, like I said above, I've only been to Frittelli's one time. My comments so far on this page have mostly been about Frittelli's prices and clientele.

                                                  For anyone interested, here's the link to Frittelli's website: http://www.frittelli.com/

                                        2. David Kahn May 14, 2007 10:41 AM

                                          Great report, and I agree with you right down the line.

                                          1. k
                                            kjs May 14, 2007 09:24 AM

                                            great report !! I'm curious, how long has stan's been around ? 20+ years ago, i remember taking a road trip with some buddies from palmdale to westwood to check out the "scene" and we ended the evening munching on some donuts - my fav was the chocolate peanut butter ( it was so good, i actually made a trip back down to westwood for the donuts ! ) and it was made similarly to how you describe stan's donut...is it possibly the same place ? if so, i really need to try it again....not only for the enjoyment of the donut but for nostalgia !

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: kjs
                                              b
                                              Burger Boy May 14, 2007 11:54 AM

                                              I am guessing closer to 30 years.

                                            2. s
                                              silence9 May 14, 2007 09:20 AM

                                              Bravo! If there was an Order of chowish knighthood, your deeds would well recommend you, Sir Glaze-alot. Your zeal for the good and great (donuts, in this case) raise the bar for us all. Keep up the good work...

                                              1. tony michaels May 14, 2007 07:52 AM

                                                Great Houndly reporting. You were in a (donut) hole and ate your way to freedom. My local donut place is Primos, but now you have given me the inspiration to get over to Stan's one of these mornings and sample their wares. Primos makes at least 3 different types of buttermilk bars that I have seen / tried. The glazed (my fav) the plain and the chocolate topped. Have you ever given Primos chocolate covered pretzel's a try? They are donuts in a pretzel shape. I love all of Mr. Primos donuts simply because they taste so light by comparison to other places. Donuts are like pizza to me, some are other worldly wonders, some are great, some are good, but none of them are bad.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: tony michaels
                                                  b
                                                  Burger Boy May 14, 2007 08:28 AM

                                                  Stan's is the BOMB! Donut Man is great, but the strawberries are not as ripe as I think they should be, that would make them ubber special, remember peach season for Donut Man starts after the 4th of July, call first. Bob's is also good. Coopers Donuts, no longer with us, used to make the best raised glazed, we would sell them at my high school for senior class fund raisers, I am sure they would not allow that on campus now with all the politically correct nutrition stuff goin on. Is that why i am 5'2" and weigh 526lbs...........................

                                                2. hch_nguyen May 14, 2007 07:47 AM

                                                  Great report! I'm like you. I'm all about the raised glazed....but I do dig Primo's bmb, although I don't know if it's the best just yet. I'm still on the search for a "primo" raised, glazed in L.A. Based on your report, I'm gonna try Stan's.

                                                  I actually think Royal's Donuts on Palms and Sepulveda in the Wells Fargo shopping stip does a mean cinnamon roll, and let me say I generally DO NOT like cinnamon rolls at all. They've always been take or leave it in my book, but Royal's over-sized version boasts crispy rims with subtle hints of sugary glazed cinnamon. They're just 5 minutes from Primo's. I have also heard great things about Royal's crumb donuts but have yet to try them. I'm starting another new bad habit of grabbing a bmb at Primo's and then stopping by Royal for a cinnamon roll on my way home. I figure I should do it these days while my metabolism is still cranking on high.

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: hch_nguyen
                                                    sku May 15, 2007 10:55 AM

                                                    Okay! I'm definitely going to try Royal's. Thanks.

                                                    1. re: sku
                                                      Dommy May 15, 2007 11:12 AM

                                                      Yes please! I still have dreams about that Crumb Donut... Hmmmmmmm....

                                                      --Dommy!

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