Trejo’s Coffee & Donuts
Nacho – Raised Donut / Jalapeno / Chives / Trejo’s Hot Sauce / Cheddar Cheese
Maple Pig – Raised Donut / Maple Syrup / Vanilla / Brown Sugar / Candied Bacon
Piñata Cake – Buttermilk Cake / Cream Glaze / Rainbow Sprinkles
Pineapple Fritter – Raised Donut / Pineapple / Cinnamon
Cafe Con Leche – Raised Donut / Trejo’s Espresso / Vanilla / Chocolate Crumble
Horchata – Filled Donut / Horchata Cream / Cinnamon
Three Amigos – Raised Donut / Tres Leches Bath / Tres Leches Glaze
While the phrase “What Happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas” may indeed hold true, “Only in Los Angeles” often seems to be equally applicable, a recent 3am drive to the City of Angels beginning with a visit to the bright pink Donut Shop owned by ex-con, Hollywood Icon and unlikely restaurateur Danny Trejo.
Located at the corner of Highland Avenue and Santa Monica Blvd, an almost impossible to miss location thanks to its color and a mural of the man who played Machete on glass, Trejo’s Coffee & Donuts began opening its doors at 7am daily on May 16 of this year and although initial reviews have been luke-warm based on long waits and ‘high’ prices this particular Saturday nonetheless showed a group beginning to form at 6:45am, the team inside a friendly group ready to answer questions but equally capable of moving the queue along.
Appearing to have been a different sort of space in its prior life, the floorspace tight with just a standing-bar available for dining in, it was with most Donuts still warm that the rotating selection was debated, an eventual order of seven tallying just over $20 with Tax plus Tip and taken outside to the curb, past a bench occupied by vagrants working the line, to eat.
Not overly branded, the boxes stamped and walls adorned with art praising fried Dough, it was with items unboxed that a first taste was taken of Trejo’s already well-Instagrammed “Nacho” Donut, the raised ring glazed in sweated Jalapenos and Hot Sauce beneath melted Cheddar and Chives proving ‘interesting’ in that it really does taste like a Ballpark snack while the Maple Pig raises the bar for its genre with real Syrup, Brown Sugar Bacon and a hint of Vanilla.
Working with Raised, Filled, Cake and Vegan choices, the latter postponed to another day based on a lengthy day of eating to follow, Trejo’s Piñata Cake proved to be a delicious choice with good balance between the Buttermilk base and Sweet Cream flecked with Sprinkles, the ‘Fritter’ unfortunately faring less well due to a dearth of Pineapple and a texture that eats more like a homogenous ball of Dough than a thin and crispy mix of Fruit, Cinnamon, Oil and Batter.
Still holding onto some residual heat even twenty minutes after ordering, a fact that made eating with care pertinent for those not wanting to make a mess of glaze, it was with the Café Con Leche confirming that Trejo’s puts Vanilla *in* the base that this selection proved to be far more interesting than the typical Coffee Donut, a similar bit of praise applicable to a pocket of Rice Milk Pudding topped with thick white Frosting though neither were quite as good as the sopping wet Three Amigos featuring a raised Donut fortified with Evaporated Milk soaked in a sugary Condensed Milk and Cream Bath.