Two Zurers on the Westside: Don's Donuts, Guelagetza, La Gelato, Wabisabi
- Mike Zurer
My father was in Anaheim for a conference and swung through town for a few bites and some quality time with second son.
First stop was a Don's Donuts in Venice on Washington just west of where it splits. I think the place may have opened recently - it is on my morning commute. Dad and I stopped for a latish breakfast. Vagueries of mood had kept me from the actual donuts on prior visits. The apple fritter was confirmed as good, if a touch sweet, the buttermilk glazed as good, if vaguely coconutty, and the chocolate old-fashioned deemed a solidly good example of form. This may sound like damning with faint praise, but is not intended as such - They taste like donuts ought to. I have since sampled some others: The donut holes, which were delicious pops of gazed air - A slightly weightier Krispy Kreme with character; The cruller, which was a moist and light mouthful, more pastry than donut; And a glazed old-fashioned, which was exemplary - moist, crumbly, not overly sweet. I have even enjoyed the croissant, although a more discriminating palate than mine may find fault.
After a trip to some local sites of personal interest and a stroll on the beach, we headed over to the Palms Guelagetza branch. My father was excited to try this place out, after having read about it here. We had the Tamal Oaxacanena with chicken and dark mole, a goat taco, and a green chicken mole empenada. he tamal was great - rich, tasty, complex. I found the mole a little sweet, but well balanced with the actual tamal. The taco was delicious, if luke-warm. The green mole itself was interesting, but the chicken was a little tough, and given the overall mass of food in front of the two of us, was somewhat negelected. Service was inatentive, which is usually not that big a deal in a down-home place. I thought at first it was a language issue, but when an older spanish-spekaing couple sat down and tried in vain to get attention from the waitron, we shared exasperated rollings of the eyes. Another cross-cultural connection made over food.
Off to Griffith Park. Very nice.
And then back to the matters at hand - I suggested some gelato at a place I once tried on Robertson. I had to kind of intuit the cross, which I can't recall, but it is somewhere south of Wilshire. Pretty sure it is called La Gelato. I had chocolate/hazel nut, dad went for a mix of lemon and blackberry. Not exactly the same texture as gelato in italy, but very tasty all around.
And for a light snack we went to Wabasabi on Abbot Kinney before Dad's flight out. A bunch of sushi consumed with relish. Certainly not cheap, but fresh and tasty.
Until my next meal...
The gelateria you speak of is Al Gelato at 806 S. Robertson, a block south of Wilshire. Tasty stuff.
At various times in my life I have had an excessive apple fritter habit, and your message called up scary images of a Chowhound apple fritter tasting. Hopefully if I think about Shanghai braised fish long enough the image will go away.
--next time you're donut hunting on the Westside, GO TO PRIMO'S, Sawtelle just north of National. they are so busy on w/end mornings there's always something hot; same with most w/day mornings. fantastic little cinnamon roll donuts. everything good. 'nuff said
--it's Al Gelato and i 2nd the reccomendation.