Los Angeles is a doughnut town. With about 800 shops in L.A. County, give or take a baker’s dozen, we have more fried dough artisans per capita than any other American metropolis. The Donut Man in Glendora stuffs his cult pastries with succulent gobs of fresh fruit; Winchell’s, it seems, is on every corner; and Fonuts, a high-concept shop from the Bazaar’s former pastry chef, is about to open. With that kind of competition, the 46-year reign of the original Stan’s Donuts is no half-baked accomplishment. Owner Stan Berman has been selling the all-American doughnut from his tiny Westwood Village storefront since 1963, using the original equipment. “It started as a Van de Kamps in the ’40s,” he says. Berman learned to make doughnuts while cooking for his fellow Marines in the early 1950s, and that military training has come in handy. (Semper Fry!) “I never use air-conditioning,” he says. “I’d rather sweat it out than dry out the doughnuts.” Dedication like this—and that darn peanut butter filling—has long lured cruller-craving film stars from the movie palaces across the street. “I’ve fed just about everybody,” says Berman. “I should have taken pictures.” What did Steve McQueen like to munch on his motorcycle? The same as 50 percent of Stan’s customers today: classic glazed but with a twist. » 10948 Weyburn Ave., Westwood, 310-208-8660.
Photograph by Misha Gravenor