May 2013

Primo’s Westdale Donuts – Los Angeles (Westdale)

Primo's Westdale Donuts - Westdale - Los Angeles

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!

Primo's Westdale Donuts - Westdale - Los Angeles

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.

Primo's Westdale Donuts - Westdale - Los Angeles

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.

Primo's Westdale Donuts - Westdale - Los Angeles

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.

Primo's Westdale Donuts - Westdale - Los Angeles

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. Recognize.

Primo’s Westdale Donuts
2918 Sawtelle Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90064
Phone: 310-478-6930

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

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8 thoughts on “Primo’s Westdale Donuts – Los Angeles (Westdale)

  1. Your doughnut posts are killing me! Buttermilk bars have a very special place in my heart. My sister and I would get dropped off very early during our freshman year in high school since we were still not licensed to drive and my parents both worked. There was one food truck on site, and Clare and I would put our change together to buy one buttermilk bar which we shared with Styrofoam cups of bland, Lipton tea. We lived for those hefty blocks of sugar and semi-wet dough, and I can’t say I’ve had one since. Next time Clare comes for a visit, we might have to hit this place up, take a couple of bags of Lipton tea and relive old memories.

    PS: You and Stass are doing the Lord’s work.

  2. sad thing is i grew up next to that and didn’t discover it until high school. My mom got winchell’s instead =/

  3. My biggest regret from working at Hearst was never making the five minute drive to Primo’s for doughnuts. Something tells me I may not have been as quick to leave if I’d tasted that maple cake doughnut… 😉

  4. Esi – And I appreciate your reading!

    Anne – Awww…Thanks for sharing such an awesome memory! And this, “You and Stass are doing the Lord’s work,” made me smile HUGE.

    SamK – Saddest story I’ve heard all day 😉 I hope you’re making up for lost time on every visit back home!

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