805 West Manchester Blvd.
Inglewood, CA 90301
Some of my earliest memories involve donuts. Going to our local Winchell's with my dad on weekend mornings. Having that sweet smell smack you in the face when you walked in the door. All the donuts behind the glass case, and my dad letting me choose what we were going to bring back to my sleeping mom and sister. My dad has imparted a lot of wisdom to me over the years, but one of the first things I can remember him teaching me was the names of all those donuts.
I was in awe of the way he could rattle off a donut order. They had fritters, long johns, old fashioned's, buttermilk bars, devil's food, crumb donuts, and many others. Yes, I was small, and when you are small it seemed like we had endless donuts to choose from. I still run into people that don't know the names of the donuts. It kind of makes me cringe when I am behind them in line at the donut shops, and then it just makes me happy that I have a great dad who taught me the right way to order donuts.
So that's where my love of donuts stems from. That's why I'm always on the search for my next great donut. We were going to be going up the 405 Freeway to Katie's cousins birthday party in Santa Clarita, and I was always taught, (this time by my mom), not to show up to a party empty handed. I made a quick search of best donuts in Los Angeles, and found about three or four that were along our route. Not wanting to get too far from the freeway, we picked Randy's Donuts in Inglewood.
Even if you have never been to Randy's donuts, you know the place. Maybe you've seen the big donut when you were flying into LAX, or maybe you've seen the iconic donut stand in one of the many movies or TV shows it has been featured in. Once part of a 10 unit chain of donut stores owned by Russell Wendel, he sold it off in the 70's so he could focus on his Pup N' Taco restaurants. Since 1984 Randy's has been owned by the Weintraub brothers, and thrives until this day. Oh yeah, and in case you are wondering, the donut that sits on top of the building is just over 32 feet tall, and my younger 8 year old self probably thinks I could finish it all.
We arrived at Randy's just before 4pm on a Saturday afternoon, and were met by a line of approximately 15 people, and a packed drive-thru. We opted to park and wait in line. The line moved rather slowly, and I watched as people only ordered one or two donuts at a time, which I thought was odd, since they had waited in line for at least twenty minutes. Once it was our turn to order at the window, I noticed that sweet aroma of fresh donuts from my youth. We got our Two Dozen Assorted ($10.50 a dozen), and we were on our way up to Santa Clarita. Sadly, three of the donuts did not make it to the party though, as I couldn't help myself.
I'm not going to bore you all with descriptions of all the donuts I had on that trip up to the valley, but I did not have one that was a clunker. My favorite donut, the Buttermilk Bar had a great flavor, and was cooked perfectly all the way through, which is a hard trick for a lot of donut shops to replicate. Also of note, these donuts were not greasy at all. The Apple Fritter was one of the best I have had. Full of apples and cinnamon, this was a first rate apple fritter cooked perfectly, with no soft spots. The other donut I consumed rather quickly was a Cinnamon Crumb. The cake donuts at Randy's are more like cake than at other spots. A lot lighter than most, but without sacrificing stability of the donut. These donuts made the drive up to Santa Clarita way more enjoyable.
These donuts are not crazy, think outside of the box donuts, like you can get at other places. They are traditional, old school donuts that are made really well, and because there is always a demand for them, they are fresh all the time. Even if you get them at 4pm on Saturday like us. No cronuts or trendy donuts at Randy's, just good solid donuts, which brought to mind the donuts of my youth, and they were a real hit at the party.
Out of five hockey pucks, (because Inglewood is the city where I first fell in love with my favorite sport, hockey), five being best to zero being worst, Randy's Donuts gets 3.5 hockey pucks.
Randy's does not have a website, but you can find some information about them on their Yelp page, by clicking here: http://www.yelp.com/biz/randys-donuts-inglewood