DK’s Donuts

DK’s Donuts and Bakery – Santa Monica, CA

DK has been a local favorite for many years now. One of my first visits was on a beautiful summer day (which in Southern California is about 250 days out of the year) after a night out in Santa Monica. One of DK’s main appeals is its 24 hours service. There is nothing not to love about a 24 hour joint, especially when they serve hot donuts all day and night. We walked about a mile so by the time we got there we were ready to grub and get all of those calories back. It’s a small family owned shop with a very homey feel. Plastic seated benches in tacky colors are a staple to any good donut shop. My gold standard when comparing any new place is evaluating the chocolate glazed donut. DK’s did not disappoint. They not only have very solid classic options like glazed, chocolate glazed, and buttermilk but it will always have a special place in my heart because it was here that I had my first cronut experience.

To clarify, NY pastry chef Dominique Ansel has a trademark on the term “cronut” so technically DK’s version is known as the “o-nut.” Whatever they call it, my first experience with this masterpiece was nothing short of magical.

Original
Original

(Shout out to my friend and fellow fat a** Rubin of Psych Connection for helping orchestrate this beautiful visit and photo)

As you can see, the original was simply airy perfection. We called in and gave them our order of a few different flavors and they had them made fresh for us, so when we got there we were met with warm, soft, flaky wonderment. Everything that you would imagine it to be, it is. DK also offers a number of different o-nut flavor variations as well. The flavored versions involve cutting the o-nut in half and adding a cream filling and topping. Each is also finished with a touch of cinnamon sugar.

The Spread
The Spread
Strawberry, Blueberry, Passion fruit, Nutella, Boston Cream, Original (clockwise)
Strawberry, Blueberry, Passion fruit, Nutella, Boston Cream, Original (clockwise from top left)

I personally was not a fan of the cream filling (tnwss). I thought there was a little too much going on in there and much rather preferred the simplicity of the original.

Since these first few visits, DK has gained a lot of popularity and upped its social media presences tenfold. They are now selling paraphernalia of all sorts including t-shirts and bumper stickers and have one of my favorite instagram accounts to follow (@dksdonuts). They have also introduced a number of new flavors of the o-nut and have additionally developed the “wow-nut,” a waffle-donut hybrid. A lot of these flavors are very unique (taro, guava, other tropical and chocolate sorts) but the options are overwhelming and quite honestly rather exhausting. I am much more of the less is more camp and would recommend the simple original over any of these any day.

That being said, I still frequent DK whenever I’m back home in the area and opt for their humble, more traditional options. With a lot of the hype came a lot of over-saturation and many new excessive unnecessary options, but at its core DK is still a simple donut shop that has the capacity to produce a great, intelligible donut (and o-nut).

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The Donuttery

The Donuttery – Huntington Beach, CA

How can you not love a place that makes fresh donuts all day and night??

The Donuttery is synonymous with blueberry donut. And this donut is just fucking outstanding, there’s no other way to put it. I came in around 9pm on a weekday and they were finishing up making a fresh batch so 5 minutes later I had 4 hot blueberry donuts in my possession.

hot hot hot hot
hot hot hot hot

I can’t even begin to describe what happened to me next because I must have blacked out from euphoria. All I know is that this thing fresh out of the frier is as good as it gets. The glaze was perfect and not too heavy and the blueberry wasn’t too overwhelming, balancing it out so perfectly. Not to mention the donut shop bottled milk, no better complement plus nostalgia overload.

Got Milk
Got Milk

I also deemed myself the best daughter in the world because I brought some home for my parents and they told me the next morning how pleasantly surprised they were with how good they tasted. Note to self for next time I visit: buy a dozen.

Open 24 hours!

 

Hole in the Sky

Randy’s Donuts. Los Angeles, CA.

Driving by the 405 you are destined to come across this beauty. Inspired by photographer Will Deleon’s project Hole in the Sky I am reminded of my very own trip to this iconic donut shop. July 11th, 2012 was Randy’s 60th anniversary. And it was an awesome day.

With a mix of mariachi and reggaeton in the background and balloons as bright as the Southern California sun, I couldn’t think of a more perfect place to spend a Wednesday afternoon. I stood in line to get my free glazed donut with a big ass smile on my face (see below).

Happiness is this
Happiness is this

Side note: I find it funny that in almost every picture you’ll see of Randy’s you’ll also see some bird popping its silly little head in the shot. Greedy bitches don’t get enough being all up in your grill while you’re eating lunch at the park, they have to try to get at the biggest piece of “food” they see in the sky too (I really, really don’t like birds btw).

Back to the donut: fresh out of the frier and seconds after the wet, dripping glaze touched down, they were handed out to loyal patrons waiting in line. Talk about melt in your mouth delicious. Randy’s just proved that simple definitely does have its place in this city and that less is actually in fact more.

Free donuts are always awesome, but this one was particularly amazing. The atmosphere was full of not only celebration for this iconic donut shop but the day also felt like a celebration of the city of Los Angeles. LA is mixed with so many different types of people from so many different backgrounds. That day Randy’s became a haven bridging social economic gaps to bring everyone together for the common good (aka a great donut).

60th Anniversay 7/11/12
60th Anniversay 7/11/12
From Larry and Ron
From Larry and Ron

Simmzy’s Long Beach

Gastropub and donuts. Not typically a combination that you would expect.

Some of the best donuts that I’ve had have actually come from a number restaurants. The apple filled donut at Simmzy’s in Belmont Shore Long Beach, CA is a perfect example.

Simmzy’s is one of my favorite place in Long Beach to have a good drink and eat some good food. All of the beers are unique, delicious, and super high in alcohol content,  and all of the entrees/appetizers I’ve ever had have all been great. The communal style benches also make for a very fun, inviting, social environment. Not only is all this awesome but to top it off they have one of the best desserts ever.

Simmzy's Apple Filled Donut
Simmzy’s Apple Filled Donut

This beauty is adorned with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, caramel sauce , and pistachios.  Sort of like an apple pie but with a much better dough exterior, crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. There’s an awesome subtle cinnamon flavor and the caramel sauce tops everything off perfectly. Definitely, definitely worth it to journey over here to have a few beers with friends and share this hidden gem with them (if they’re good friends they will be very, very thankful).

I am personally extremely thankful for friends like Rachel (check out http://www.awhisperedwish.com/) for introducing me to such an amazing creation and to the novel concept of bar dough.

I’m also thankful for the Dodgers for beating the Giants this summer because winning bets are awesome. Especially awesome is winning bets where donuts are on the line. So, I am dedicating this donut to the 2012-2013 Long Beach VA Blind Rehab Center Residents Matt and Phil. You guys taught me a lot in the short month that we were together and you set me up for a very strong start to my clinical rotations. I’m so thankful for the chance to meet such great, talented guys and I’ll be looking forward to getting more food (and eyeball) tips from you both in the future!

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Happy Father’s Day!

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!

Anaheim, CA. Not only is it the home of the Happiest Place on Earth but it also hosts some fabulously hot blueberry donuts.

After my dad got off work at Disneyland, we met him for a father’s day dinner in the area. My brother and I then decided to check out M&M donuts a few streets down. The hours for M&M are pretty unique and I even had to call and check their yelp page to verify. Open 9pm-11:30am. Which is actually pretty perfect and super smart for some after Disney hours marketing. Lucky for us we finished dinner around 8pm so my brother and I then took a short 5 minute drive from Disneyland to wait until opening. The small shop is located in a pretty ghetto strip mall that smells like someone went fishing and forgot to shower for 6 days, but you would never think you even left Disneyland with the line that started up about half an hour after we got there. We secured our spot in the drive thru line and just watched as cars and cars lined up behind us and groups of people stood outside.

2013-06-16 21.03.02

Finally 9pm came. It took us about 30 minutes from that time to get our dozen blueberry donuts being the 3rd car in line. On the outside the line seemed to be moving a lot faster but we figured out that once they take everyone’s orders, they are given a number and then the waiting continues. While there are a number of other donuts to choose from, the go-to is definitely the blueberry. They have a 2 dozen blueberry max ($9 per dozen) to help with the wait but when they’re making these little guys fresh it’s inevitable that a lot of standing around (and gangster rap car listening in our case) is going to be going down.

Finally here they are!

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Huh? Wait for it…

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That’s what I’m talking about. I’ve always said that there are very few things better than a hot donut, and this helps prove my point. These gems have a nice muffin consistency but are fried and crispy on the edges. And the glaze is perfect, not too sweet and ample coverage. I also chucked at the pizza box. Ghetto fab.

Was it worth the wait? Eh. For us, we spent about an hour and a half in total just sitting around waiting. My brother is decent company and we were jammin to a very fine mix of Common and Michael Jackson on KDAY 93.5 so I really didn’t mind. And while these donuts are absolutely delicious and melt in your mouth orgasmic in the middle of the night when they first come out of their glaze bath, I have to say it’s very similar to drunk night in a frat house; you’re reallllly into it that night but not so interested after waking up to it cold and hard the morning after. These are definitely best enjoyed fresh. Even if you microwave them the next day, it’s just not as good. A toaster oven would probably be the next best thing, but even then you’ll long for the hot grease and glaze of the night before.

That being said, it was definitely worth the experience to see this guy’s face when we finally came home a few hours later. Happy Father’s Day Dad!

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