It's almost rare to find a strip mall in Los Angeles that doesn't have some sort of doughnut place tucked away, around the corner. Sometimes they're prominently displayed, with humming lights and flashy pictures that attempt to entice the early morning commuter crowd. Others are quieter, more subtle affairs, relying on a steady income from bands of seemingly unemployed old men who sit around buying each other apple fritters and arguing over who gets to pay the $2 coffee bill. Doughnut shops are a way of life in Los Angeles, and they're an absolutely integral part of strip mall culture. Long live the strip mall doughnut.
Just west of the Burbank Airport on the corner of Vineland and Victory in North Hollywood, you can find such an L.A. doughnut classic. It's called Foster's Donuts, and every detail about the place is exactly as you'd expect, from the cash only sign down to the empty mid-afternoon booths and congenial old man running the register. They even sell cigarettes behind the counter, should you find yourself in the middle of a sweet tooth / nicotine addiction Venn diagram. And, believe it or not, Foster's isn't even the only restaurant on this Victory and Vineland corner that plays up its classic Southern California roots.More »