Remember when a Du-par's donut was coated in an inch-thick raft of frosting, spread, it seemed, by a very generous hand? Neither do we, but our friends who grew up in Los Angeles do, and they still talk about it with reverence. In the absence of that, here are five of LA's classic, old-school donut shops, perfecting for celebrating today, National Donut Day.
5. Randy's Donuts (Inglewood) – Any donut shop that's good enough for Iron Man, is good enough for us. While you can't slip through Randy's hole a la Tony Stark, you can hit the drive-through on your way to or from LAX, almost any time of day or night. Recommended: cinnamon crumb.
Recommended: plain, perfect cake donuts.
3. Stan's Donuts (Westwood) – When they're not busy lining up at Diddy Riese, UCLA students have, for years, trekked down to Stan's for baroque filled donuts. Why have a PBJ sandwich when you can have a PBJ donut?
Recommended: Peanut butter and banana with chocolate chips
2. The Donut Hole (La Puente) – Randy's rooftop donut gets most of the attention, but The Donut Hole also has a great oversize donut, and you actually have to drive through it to place your order. The flavors are basic, nothing wacky here, but the quality is good.
Recommended: French cruller.
1. The Donut Man (Glendora) – Everyone waxes rhapsodic over their fresh strawberry-filled donuts and, to a lesser extent, their seasonal fresh peach donuts. But what no one ever seems to talk about are Jim Nakano's other donuts, which are great. They may not be as unique or visually thrilling or over-the-top gluttonous, but the man makes a mean tiger tail.