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Monday, September 26, 2016

Savoring a classic – hold the bacon – donut? Then head to Hermon

Photo by Valentina Silva

By Valentina Silva

A decent donut is a fairly easy find, but a stellar one? That can be an enigma unless you’re willing to drive to Inglewood or Glendora, which is quite a commitment to quench one little donut craving. It’s not like there’s a shortage of donut shops on this side of town. They’re as ubiquitous in this corner as any other in Los Angeles—just pull into any strip mall, and you can probably emerge with a bearclaw or cruller in seconds. No sweat. But, let’s be honest: it will most likely be just so-so, all kinds of ho-hum, a little waxy, on the dry side, too dense, or just plain eh.

You deserve better.

That’s why I’m letting you in on the best kept donut secret in Hermon. If you passed by it, you wouldn’t even give it a second glance. There’s no gigantic, beacon-like donut sign to reel you in, no buzz to spark your curiosity… nothing.

Just a plain old shop that looks like this:

But, don’t let the missing “s” fool you. Monterey Donuts is a gem. The glazed donuts, which are somehow always just made and warm, are some of the best I’ve ever had. I usually wouldn’t even give a second thought to a plain old glaze, but the light, fluffy, super-soft texture of this one is pretty showstopping.

My favorite, the cinnamon donut, with it’s classic cake texture and a crumbly cinnamon exterior, also goes above and beyond expectation. Seriously, your index finger will be working overtime trying to pick up ever last sweetly spiced crumb.

Don’t even get me started on the chocolate twist! Or the apple fritter. Or the maple bar.

These days, for a donut to get any credit, it has to boast some sort of wow factor, be it bacon-encrusting, green tea-infusion or some sort of vegan preparation. It’s just a casualty of living in a food age marked by nuance and newfangledness. However, even in the midst of all that’s spectacular, there’s something to be said for an honest-to-goodness classic done well.

That’s what you’ll get at Monterey Donuts. Just your average donut shop – not really.

–Valentina

Thanks to my friend Tyler for introducing me to this great place.

Monterey Donuts
5930 Monterey Rd
Los Angeles, CA 90042

Valentina Silva writes about food and restaurants. You can also find Valentina’s reviews and stories on her blog, Eastside Food Bites.



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16 comments

  1. I want to go to there.

  2. Several year ago now (maybe 4-5), Channel 9 news used to run around the L.A. area compiling lists of “9 Best in L.A.” . . . whatevers (9 best sushi restaurants, 9 best car washes, etc.). They awarded Monterey Donuts the #8 spot for all of the greater L.A. area. Every few months, I take a dozen to work for co-workers on the westside, and they always say “where did you get these donuts; they’re the best I’ve ever had.” And, I tell them, “they’re ‘imported’ — from Hermon.” “Lee” — the owner, is also something like tri- (or quadra?) lingual, easily switching from English to Spanish to a Chinese dialect (or two?) depending on who she’s waiting on.

  3. @Joseph, that’s funny because my co-worker introduced me to these donuts. We both worked in Santa Monica but live in NELA. I couldn’t believe it when he told me these donuts were just minutes from my house. Our whole office was obsessed with the glazed!

    And yes, the owners are great!

  4. (And to think, we almost lost that whole shopping mall to a condo development 7 or 8 years ago).

  5. OH, and for another excellent & affordable food choice, there’s the Aki Japanese restaurant on the opposite corner of that same building in the Monterey Plaza.

  6. I’ve been going here for 16 years! I’ve watched the owner’s children grow with the business. Excellent donuts.

  7. Can’t wait to try these! Thanks for sharing — and including the address!

  8. Now the Bourgeois Proletariat on Red Hill can take Home a Box of Cake Donuts, and eat them with a Cup of Mexican Hot Cocoa Too !

  9. I gave up donuts a long time ago, this is one of the worst treat you can give a child, or yourself! But, I’m not saying they taste bad…

  10. Can’t wait to try these! I can appriciate a good donut once and a while.
    Oh and yes, Aki Sushi & Roll is awesome! I’m a regular, Cheap + Fresh = great!

  11. My obsession started with their white powdered sugar cake donuts and then grew to include the crumb cake donuts. Now, I can never choose between so I just give in and buy one of each for that moment when I simply fall off the “eating healthy wagon” for a day.

    Lee has my donut heart… Valentine’s Day is coming up folks!

  12. Looks good, but nothing remotely near my beloved Voodoo Doughnuts Bacon Maple bar…

  13. Crossaints. Don’t be late, they will sell out.

  14. That shopping center makes me sad. It is 1) ugly 2) half empty 3) totally car centric. Is there anyway to open it up to the corner more? When you’re walking there, you have to walk half way past the corner just to enter the parking lot. Fresco, Aki, Thai Fantasy, and Donuts are all amazing, but the center is just about as bad as it gets. Now that a different kind of person in moving in to the area, you’d hope they totally redesign that shopping center.

  15. Where is this place (yes too lazy to mapquest it).

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