Thursday, May 15, 2008

King of Cinnamon Rolls: Royal Donuts

In spring, I eat doughnuts, lots and lots of doughnuts. Each spring I go by some of my old standbys, but also try to venture out to a few new places.

This was my first stop at Royal Donuts in West LA, situated in a strip mall at the southeastern corner of Sepulveda and Palms, right across the street from the West LA Guelaguetza. Royal is known most for their cinnamon rolls and their crumb doughnuts (pictured above).

The cinnamon roll at Royal is a beautiful thing. A giant disc of nicely fried dough, crisp on the outside and chewy within; it has a nice balance of cinnamon and glaze. I'm not a cinnamon roll connoisseur, but this was certainly one of the better rolls I've had, though my favorite such treat is still the cinnamon pretzel from Stan's.

I was less impressed with the crumb doughnut, a traditional, though large, raised glazed smothered in crumbs. The raised glazed, while fine, was nothing to write home about, and I wasn't too excited about the crumbs. Enormous apple fritters were too dry and Boston cream was good with solid custard, but nothing too special.

My other favorite doughnut at Royal was the glazed old fashioned. It had the perfect crispy crust and nice, moist cake. The cake had an extra, intriguing flavor I couldn't identify. I actually thought it was rosewater, though others in my party thought it was lemon. Whatever it was, it made for a tasty old fashioned that differed from the run of the mill version.

Royal is a solid second-tier doughnuttery that I'd recommend for the cinnamon roll and the old fashioned. The problem is that it's very close to Primo's, and unless I had a major cinnamon roll craving, I think the gravitational pull of Primo's would just be too great to allow me to get to Royal.

Royal Donuts
11138 Palms Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90034
(310) 390-0840

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