While we’re on the topic of doughnuts and “Best of…” lists, any roundup of Los Angeles’ best would be remiss to exclude Primo’s Westdale Donuts. Celia and Ralph Primo purchased this failing doughnut shop on a whim for $2,000 back in 1956. The impulsive decision turned out to be a perfect fit for the couple, who nursed the shop back to health and transformed it into a doughnut destination.
Today, deep-fried dough seekers, like me and my girl Stassi, descend upon this homey mom and pop shop to fill up on the city’s best buttermilk bars and cake doughnuts. Thank goodness for serendipitous business ventures!
Though Primo’s hours aren’t as limited as those of Chicago’s Doughnut Vault, it’s important to show up on the early side to avoid any disappointment. Doughnuts are only made once a day—once they’re gone, you’re out of luck.
When The Astronomer, Stassi, and I arrived at the shop sometime before noon, the selection was still intact. Whew! Cake Donuts are priced at $0.80 each, while “Fancy” doughnuts go for $0.95.
After a lot of hemming and hawing, we finally settled on a crumb-dusted cinnamon roll (The Astronomer’s pick), a maple bar (my pick), a maple-glazed cake doughnut (a unanimous must), and an old-fashioned buttermilk bar (another unanimous must). While the yeast-risen specimens weren’t light and airy enough for our liking and were a touch too oily, the cake doughnut and buttermilk bar really kicked some serious butt.
In addition to the maple-iced variety, Primo’s cake doughnuts are also available plain and glazed in chocolate and cherry. The doughnut’s texture was magnificent—sensationally moist and hardly bogged down by oil. Stassi and I agreed that this was definitely one of the very best cake doughnuts that we’ve ever encountered in our fair city.
Besting the cake doughnut was the old-fashioned buttermilk bar, a dense fist-sized puck full of crags and brushed with a sweet glaze. Magically balancing heft and lightness, the buttermilk bar won our hearts this morning.
Primo’s Westdale Donuts
2918 Sawtelle Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90064
One year ago: Red Curry Peanut Noodles
Two years ago: Pearl’s Restaurant – Monterey Park
Three years ago: Nickel Diner – Los Angeles (Downtowwn)
Four years ago: Animal – Los Angeles
Five years ago: Eating in Nha Trang III
Six years ago: Crepêrie Beau Monde – Philadelphia