Tag Archives: donuts

Adventures in donutting: Beach City Baked Donuts in Redondo Beach

Beach City Baked Donuts had been on my donut radar for a while (yes, a donut radar, I have one!), and were tragically not represented at last year’s Donut Summit (may it forever live in infamy), so finally this weekend we trekked over to Redondo Beach to give them a try.

The donuts, as the name of the shop suggests, they are baked!  Not fried.  And the resulting donuts are tiny and cute, but not too tiny – size-wise, think in terms of a happy medium between your regular old fashioned glazed and those powdered sugar ones from the grocery store.  As with so many other little cute things, they are a Japanese innovation, and they come in very exciting flavors!  We tried four:  apricot, cinnamon sugar (which, we were told, is their best-seller), green tea, and the whimsically named bananaman, which was banana and chocolate chip.  They were all tasty, although apricot might have been my favorite.  Their texture was like a cake donut, but drier, and because of that dryness, the nice folk at Beach City recommended that we either eat them with coffee or warmed up, so we did both, and, let me tell you, warming them up made them verrrry tasty indeed.  The donuts are bit pricier than average – $1.50 for one, or $15 for a dozen, and since they’re a bit smaller, too, they aren’t exactly a deal, but they make for an interesting alternative to your everyday donut.  Beach City also touts the relative health benefits of baked donuts over conventional fried donuts, but honestly, I feel like anyone telling me that donuts are good for me is missing the point of donuts, which is that they are delicious and made out of sugar.  Also, Beach City serves this thing that they call an Affogato that is a donut with ice cream in the middle and espresso on top, which probably negate the health benefits, but DAMN IT LOOKS DELICIOUS.  All that aside, I really liked this slightly avant-garde variation on the Southern California donut shop, and, should we dare ever host Donut Summit 2:  Electric Boogaloo, I’m pretty sure they’ll give all those other boring old donuts a run for their money.

Beach City Baked Donuts is located at 501 N Pacific Coast Hwy., Redondo Beach.

Cure for a Donut Coma?

After leaving Sunday’s fabulous and famous Donut Summit, I decided to do some impromptu hiking on the trails near Griffith Observatory.  I learned a few things:

1.  Donuts do not make for great energy food for hiking.  Who knew?

2.  That bite of Stan’s peanut butter-filled donut probably saved my ass.  Not to mention that it was delicious.

3.  All that coffee was a big help too.

4.  Wrong turns = more uphills.

5.  Windy day + big hat = side trips down and up steep loose inclines to retrieve hat that inevitably blows away.
More to learn in Griffith Park, with photos, after the jump

Joz’s Virtual & Remote Submission for the Donut Summit

Woe is me! I missed the biggest donut event in L.A. because I am on vacation in Hawaii*.

In honor of the Blogging.LA Donut Summit, we (Yoshi, Scrivener, and I) decided to go malasada taste-testing in Honolulu. Malasadas (or malassadas) are Portuguese confections which consist of yeasty dough that is deep-fried in oil and coated with granulated sugar. (Sounds close enough to a donut to me!) They made their way to Hawaii with the Portuguese laborers who were working on the plantations.

We started at Leonard’s Bakery, arguably the best-known malasadas around. Here is me with the first malasada– a regular one that just came out of the deep fryer and was rolled in granulated sugar. It was warm, airy, and delicious!

in addition to the regular malasada at Leonard’s, we got a filled malasada. The guava malasada is the current flavor of the month, so naturally, that’s what I got. (This is unabashed food porn. Cover your eyes if you’re uncomfortable looking at such oozy-goodness.)

After we stopped off at Leonard’s, we went off to Champion Malasadas, which is what some locals consider the “better” malasada place. When we arrived, we were the only customers there. The owner, Joc Miw, cheerily greeted us at the cash register and wanted to know how many malasadas we wanted so he could fry them up freshly for us. Aside from being 10 cents cheaper each (60 cents at Champion’s versus 70 cents a Leonard’s), the regular malasadas at Champion were eggier than those at Leonard’s, which I liked. While still airy, the Champion malasada was slightly more dense (substantial?) than Leonard’s.

These are the malasadas from Champion:

This was the custard-filled malasada at Champion’s, which cost $1 and was pre-fried and sitting in a chilled display case, so it wasn’t warm/freshly fried. You know what? It was still good! It was admittedly different than the guava-filled one that we tried at Leonard’s, not just because the filling was a different flavor, but because this one was fried in advance, the consistency was less airy and a little more doughy.

Honestly speaking, the guava filling at Leonard’s wasn’t as good as I’d hoped and I actually liked the creamy filling at Champion better. But because the filled malasada at Leonard’s was freshly fried, the malasada dough itself was not as good at Champion. I’m going to declare this one an official tie because the filling was better at Champion and the dough was better at Leonard’s, but I’d have to have another round where BOTH were freshly fried to be able to declare a winner.

So, what’s the verdict of Leonards vs. Champion malasadas?
With regard to the regular malasadas, while they are both really good (when fresh out of the fryer), I personally have to give the slight edge to Champion over Leonard’s because I liked the eggy flavor better– some people may not like this like I do. That said, Yoshi thinks that Leonard’s is the better of the two because of the texture and taste. In the car, @Scrivener said it was a tough call because they were both good– the Leonard’s suprising him because they were better than he had remembered because he doesn’t usually have them fresh. I think @Scrivener is most accurate when he says “they are quite different. hot out of the fryer, they’re both quite wonderful.”

So I guess between us, there was no winner. My recommendation is that if you’re in Honolulu, go to both and see for yourself. If you can’t decide, flip a coin. Either way, you’re in for a treat.

When I get back to L.A., I’m doing a malasada crawl. I hope it won’t be totally disappointing.

*Thanks for indulging in my non-L.A. related post– but if you don’t know what malasadas are, now you do and you can find them in L.A., too! And when I go to next year’s Donut Summit, I know what I’m bringing!

Another National Donut Day Come and Gone

National Donut Day

On a more serious note, yesterday was National Donut Day.

I didn’t realize this until I was at work. One of my coworkers mentioned it in an offhand manner and inadvertently kicked off a noisy countdown inside my head. I clocked out, hit the gym (to bank a few points) and headed for the Burbank Krispy Kreme to pay homage to the Donut Day tradition.

This is a big deal. I’m relentless in the exclusion of sugar and flour from my diet, but the appeal of honoring the day, which has its roots in World War I and the Salvation Army was too good of an excuse to pass up. My donut (pictured above with a Padme action figure) was soft, warm and weighty with historical import.

It’s not too late to honor the “Lassies.” Grab a donut this weekend. If we actually had Dunkin Donuts in Los Angeles, I’d urge you to combat the asinine boycott. So go to Yum Yum (where anything is possible) or Randy’s (and appreciate guerrilla art.) If your powers of rationalization aren’t as robust as my own and you don’t want to actually eat a donut, track down a copy of Homer Price. It’s much better for your heart.