I admit it, I’ve become something of a donut aficionado. The best time to get a donut, of course, is in the morning, but they also make a terrific late-night snack. Cheap, accessible, and downright delicious when done right, the donut is the cupcake of the common man.
There are countless places to get a donut in Los Angeles, but perhaps none is as famous as Randy’s. With its iconic ginormous donut and drive-thru window, it’s a veritable L.A. institution. But are the donuts any good? On a recent ride back from picking up a friend at the airport I decided to find out.
I strongly considered the plain cake, but decided to go with something with a little more kick: a chocolate cake donut with chocolate icing. My friend and fellow donut head chose the coconut, and we ordered a plain cake donut with orange icing to split. The chocolate was nothing to write home about, lacking in texture, but really, how bad can a chocolate donut be? The coconut – a glazed donut coated in coconut shards – was a little more interesting but ultimately punchless as well. The plain cake with orange icing, however, was excellent. The cake struck just the right balance between crispy and soft, and the orange added a nice sweetness that didn’t become cloying.
Even though the donuts themselves were a bit disappointing, there is something to be said for the neo-noir experience of having a late-night donut at Randy’s. The parking lot is dark and a little sketchy, and the motley crew of characters that come staggering up to the window or rolling up to the drive-thru makes for some interesting people watching. Just keep an eye out for the cops. Some stereotypes are all too true.
Randy’s Donuts, 805 W. Manchester Ave, Inglewood, CA 90301. Open 24 hours.