When it comes to doughnuts, I'm comforted by places that have been around for decades. In Los Angeles, Bob's Coffee & Doughnuts in the Original Farmers Market definitely fits the bill—rounds of deep-fried dough have been available at the stall since 1947. To the right of the cash registers, you'll find a wall of yeast doughnuts, ranging from a simple glazed doughnut to "Texas-size" doughnuts that are roughly the size of life preservers, plus plenty of cake doughnuts on the back wall. By the time I arrived from San Diego, the Nutella doughnuts had already been cleared out, so I went with the next best thing: beignets. I did make a rookie mistake that only a wide-eyed out-of-towner would: when asked how many I wanted, I said "six," thinking they were going to be fairly pint-sized, and that was a reasonable amount for a single serving.
Nope. Bob's doesn't exactly make beignets, they make New Orleans-style "beignets"— the quotation marks being key. So, instead of a reasonable serving, I got 6 full-sized yeast doughnuts ($5.50), cut into squares and coated liberally with powdered sugar. Fortunately, this wasn't a problem since they were so light and airy that you can easily eat two of them before your coffee (which I believe is brewed right in the center of the earth's molten core) cools down.
Between the two halves, there's a tasty surprise: flecks of nutmeg. This spicy addition brightens up the beignets quite a bit, and provides a bit of extra interest, particularly in bites were it's liberally applied. If doughnuts in the style of beignets won't cut it and you need the real thing, there's always The Gumbo Pot, a stall serving New Orleans cuisine, which, coincidentally, is located under the same roof.
Bob's Coffee & Donuts
6333 W 3rd St., Stall #450 Los Angeles, CA 90036, in the Original Farmers Market (map) 323-933-8929