No other food blogger in LA talks about doughnuts more than Cathy Chaplin. She founded GastronomyBlog.com in 2006, and while it's a well-known resource for Vietnamese cooking and eating -- Anthony Bourdain famously visited The Lunch Lady in Saigon after reading Chaplin's review -- the thoughtful food blogger cannot stop herself from discussing -- what else? -- but the bliss rendered from perfectly fried dough.
Consider doughnuts the Gastronomer's rapture.
Every year, America celebrates National Doughnut Day on the first Friday in June, and for this fried ‘n’ forgiving holiday, Chaplin talks to us about her doughnut love and picks her favorite five in LA. (Story continues after slideshow.)
All photos courtesy of GastronomyBlog.com
The Gastronomer says: "The trio of poofed-out orbs are served hot from the fryer and drenched in a gooey caramel sauce. The doughnut's impossibly light texture, coupled with the sticky sweet sauce, is the most winning of combinations. Make these a menu mainstay, Vinny and Jon!" Animal, 435 North Fairfax Avenue, at Oakwood Avenue (323-782-9225 or animalrestaurant.com)
The Gastronomer says: "A list of LA's top doughnuts wouldn't be complete without an appearance by Glendora's Donut Man. Imagine a simple glazed doughnut, butterflied a la Pacman, and stuffed with a heap of ripe, sweet, and lightly glazed strawberries. Beginning in early spring and continuing through the fall, this doughnut is king in LA." Donut Man, 915 East Route 66, at South Elwood Avenue (626-335-9111 or Facebook)
The Gastronomer says: "Most people go gaga for Nickel's bacon doughnut, but for me, it's always been the red velvet number. Whereas the former is sadly limp and not nearly as sexy, the latter brings oomph and intrigue. It's the crunchy crust of red velvet cake crumbs and tangy cream cheese frosting that gets me every time." Nickel Diner, 524 South Main Street, at West Fifth Street (213-623-8301 or nickeldiner.com)
The Gastronomer says: "This old-school doughnut shop has been around for decades and is most famously known for a chocolate and peanut butter creation called The Huell. While The Huell is pretty great, it's the Custard Puff that makes the trek across town totally worth it. The cool, smooth, and vanilla-tinged custard pairs extraordinarily well with the yeast-risen dough. Best of all, the innards don't spurt out from all angles at first bite." Stan's Donuts, 10948 Weyburn Avenue, at Broxton Avenue (310-208-8660 or stansdoughnuts.com)
The Gastronomer says: "These sugar-coated, custard-filled doughnuts share the spotlight with Scarpetta's famous spaghetti every Sunday morning at brunch. Crafted by Chef Richard Ruskell, every ball of goodness gushes with cream and is encased by a fluffy and light dough." Scarpetta, 225 North Canon Drive, at Clifton Way (310-860-7970 or montagebeverlyhills.com/beverly-hills-restaurants)
When did you first fall in love with the doughnut?
I’ve always had a soft spot for fried dough, but didn’t fall head over heels until a trip to Seattle a few years back. My passion was inspired by the folks at Top Pot Doughnuts and Frost Doughnuts. So far, the doughnut to beat is the bacon maple bar at Frost.
"Doughnut" or "Donut"?
Doughnut because the batter is what it's all about.
How many doughnuts can you eat in one sitting?
The most I’ve ever eaten in one sitting is four. Actually, it was more like a "running" than a sitting. It was back in college at the 4xDonut, the greatest foot race in all of the land. Four laps around the track paired with four Dunkin Donuts. Memories for a lifetime.
On a scale of one to 10, how excited and/or intrigued are you by the forthcoming Fonuts by Waylynn Lucas (the former pastry chef at The Bazaar)?
Let’s say a solid 5.5. I’m stoked that someone in LA is finally stepping up to the plate and opening up a gourmet doughnut shop. However, I have my doubts about doughnuts that are steamed and baked. I can't even begin to explain how silly the concept of "healthy" doughnuts is. What’s wrong with deep-frying? It’s the way God intended doughnuts to be made!
Please list the following in order of highest priority to lowest priority:
A. Eating doughnuts
B. Learning astronomy (your husband's preferred hobby)
C. Eating at the hot new restaurant in LA and blogging about it immediately
D. Cooking savory foods
E. Baking sweets
F. Washing your hair
Answer: A, D, E, F, C, B