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LA LA LA . . . D O N U T S.

“People who love to eat are always the best people.”

– JULIA C H I L D

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Guys, it’s National Donut Day. Boom. The day is officially upon us and I’m patiently waiting for LA to begin the next installment of the Museum of Ice Cream, feat. these golden lifesavers. In the meantime, I figured I’d do a quick round up of my top 5 spots to grab the classic bite in Los Angeles based on my own personal experiences.

In case the only donut run you get to today is devouring this rundown, I hope your sweet tooth’s itchin’ and we up your donut game. Not all donuts are created equal so let the sprinkles fall where they may. Without further ado, here’s the breakdown of my favorites donut joints in Los Angeles.

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(Note: I have not tried every shop discussed, nor have I sampled all their donuts, however the ones I have, I will mention along with my favorite donut I feel is worth dishin’ the dough on. Sources will be provided at the end if not my own opinion.)

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| THE OG C H A M P |

California Donuts 

My first memory of this California landmark began with a late night adventure with the kid, Mitchell. I had never tasted ye old Cali Donut and he was about to school ya girl. We rolled up at maybe 11 PM and the line was stupid long. We decided to pass but I must say, from that day on, I craved those suckers.

How can you crave something you’ve never had you say? By catching glimpses of the funky vintage sign and Lucky Charmed donuts, naturally. That did me in and I felt nostalgia instantly. This old school spot was worth the wait. I’ve since enjoyed a variety of their flavors from playful outings with friends to classic donut walls at weddings.

MAV FAV: The Fruit Loop

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| THE CREATIVE I N D I V I D U A L |

Donut Friend

I must say, there’s something truly special about Donut Friend. I’m not sure if it’s the unique flavors with DIY customization or the passion and story behind the brand. DF sets itself apart with its tongue in cheek appeal, using wit and humor to name their donuts after famous bands. On top of that, they made it all so easy to Insta the crap out of it – an equally addictive “Supermassive Black Donut Hole.” (Ha, that’s my best attempt).

Then there’s the matcha. Game over – favorite flavor in the whole wide world, hands down. When you nail it, you got me 100%. Donut Friend, you do it, you do it so well. Top that with some freeze dried raspberry dust and call it a day….

MAV FAV: Green Teagan and Sara

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| THE C R O W D PLEASER |

SK Donuts & Croissants

Ah the good ‘ol donut birthday cake. This year I was surprised with a box full of SK’s from my girls. Low-key, I wanted to try each and every one myself. I somehow found the will power to share – a huge improvement from the time I had a whole confetti b-day cake to myself circa 2006). Ya, that happened.

Besides the point, I did sample many of their flavors and must say, they’re all winners. This is definitely a great option if you have a large crowd and a variety of tastes to cater to.

MAV FAV: Blueberry Glazed 

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| THE H E A L T H NUT |

Donut Farm

Similar in name but most certainly unique, Donut Farm packs a powerful and healthy punch. Not only do they serve all vegan donuts but they’re also on the food grind too. Their dough is certified organic and is made from scratch daily. It wouldn’t be LA if they weren’t using coconut milk for their glazes, which yes they are.

When given the opportunity I am super excited to sink my teeth into that Coconut Whiteout or their Lemon Poppeyseed. I mmmmmean, probably going to indulge in both, who we kiddin’.

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| ON MY L I S T |

Sidecar

(might see me thurrrr tonight, skrttt skrrrt).

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| CREATIVE DIRECTION + STYLING |

Morgan Ryan 

Fit: Dress Shirt: J.Crew | Dress, Vans + Trench: Crossroads Trading | Tiffany & Co Rose Gold Frames from Fairfax Optical Lab

| PHOTOGRAPHY |

Jordan Zobrist

| MAKE UP |

Emily Gruen

| HAIR |

Kelly De La Cerda

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SOURCES

W H I T E KNOLL DR.

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old,
but on building the new.”
 
-Socrates
 
Photographed by Evan Woods, Ace Hotel DTLA
When I first moved to Chinatown, I was curiously drawn to a large hill on White Knoll Dr. As I ascended, the familiar flow of Jay-Z and Kanye flooded my mind, “Made a right on 79th, I’m coming down South Shore Drive (I remain Chi-Town) Brooklyn ‘til I die.” Only in my case, Chi was short for Chinatown not Chicago, and, well, Brooklyn was close enough to my NY upbringing I suppose. If you’re unfamiliar with the reference, you best get up on your rap game. |Gotta Have It|.
Following my inner gut, I set out to tackle the steepest hill I had ever encountered; a surprising game changer ensued. I found a great view of Downtown Los Angeles including an abundance of accumulated litter. McDonalds wrappers and styrofoam cups adorned the pavement and grassy knolls by my feet. It was at this exact moment a thought ran through my mind and created an impactful wave of consciousness.

// We over-produce, over-consume, and as a result, over-pollute //

One thing was for sure, we need a change. But with change, I realized the first place to start is with yourself. I began to look within and make major amends to my lifestyle. I wanted to create positive and progressive habits for my future self. That same week I came across an article that emphasized the importance of creating a monthly focus and goal. Each month I would hold myself accountable for 31 days or longer, until it formed into an innate habit of everyday life. When I reached a point where I no longer had to think twice, I knew it had become muscle memory, much like memorizing a routine back in my dance days.

Last months focus was body image. This included all aspects such as fitness, my perception of my body, and my eating habits. Prior to setting this goal, my eating routine was heavily influenced by the typical Los Angeles “vegan stereotype.” This didn’t do much for my body, and I was often lethargic. So I took it up notch, tailoring it in a different direction more suitable to my lifestyle and body. Everyone is different. I am very active so I focused on a protein and veggie “diet.”

I say “diet” because I really dislike the word to be honest. When I hear diet I think of deprivation. Much on the contrary, this couldn’t be farther from the truth when it came to my new eating pattern. I began eating more from the earth, which meant less processed foods and I began reading labels.

I wanted to know what I was putting in my body solely out of curiosity. Like what the hell is maltodextrin, for real though? I realized unless you’re buying fresh foods, you’re most likely eating processed food. This then forced me to start from scratch and prepare and cook my own meals.

Green Machine Salad with Quinoa, Mushrooms & Hazelnuts

 

Mix it up

 

I saw this as another artistic outlet to express my creativity. I can honestly say I have never felt stronger, healthier and more connected to nature ever since. My body has noticeably transformed in a matter of one month, more lean muscle and less fat. I am excited to see and feel the continued benefits.

It seems things have a way of having perfect timing. A week ago marked the 3rd annual Food Revolution Day. This global action focuses on getting the youth excited about healthy food, teaching them cooking skills and raising worldwide awareness on the importance of better food education. I guess this is just another form of validation from the universe that I am on the right path. Others are taking note of the same need for a health shift in terms of the food we eat as well as in its production.
These are the things that deserve to be talked about, not Kim K’s extravagant wedding. Food is essential in our overall health and well-being. I know we need a transition, and I believe all aspects of our lives need to move towards a more holistic lifestyle. But first we need to begin with the most prominent, our eating habits.
Shrimp Lettuce Wraps Gingergrass in Silverlake
.  .  .
When was the last time you entirely sat down with company (without your cellphone in your hand) and entirely enjoyed a meal? No not enjoyed, thoroughly tasted the ingredients within the food. Did you pause to notice how the sweet taste of mint complimented the tang of the coconut sauce? Or did you just scarf it down in order to move onto whatever was next on your agenda?
Try using chopsticks next time you dine. It will help you slow your pace of eating as it forces you to consume slowly. (Like I said, Chi-town till I die). In addition, you’ll become a chopstick boss so the next time you’re awkwardly stuffing a whole roll in your mouth in front of your date, at least you can impress them with your technique while looking like a cute chipmunk.

That day on White Knoll Dr. taught me an important piece of advice. Nourish your body with the correct foods and re-learn your ability to taste.

// This is the key to avoiding gluttony and guilt //

No deprivation here, just a keen believer in listening to your body. Plus I’ve always been one to leave room to live a little. Dessert or cocktail? Yes please.

For more tips and insights on my fitness, health/diet and recipes contact me to set up a wellness consultation, msmorganryan@gmail.com

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