Heading away from LAX, in the direction of Hollywood – bypassing the 405 freeway in favour of the local road, La Cienega Boulevard – you’ll encounter one of the best examples of LA’s programmatic architecture*.
From a distance, you’ll notice what looks to be a helium inflated swim ring, floating against a blue sky. Upon closer inspection, this ring is actually a sign for the drive-in, Randy’s Donuts. In the shape of its pastry namesake, the vintage artwork is made of rolled steel bars covered with gunnite – the material used in swimming pools. It sits atop a store; the building was designed by Henry J. Goodwin.
Having passed by Randy’s on trips past, yesterday we finally made the left turn into its parking lot, and ordered an apple fritter, an apple turnover, and a coconut topped donut from the walk up window.
Verdict: a double edged sword.
The donuts are excellent – better than those of any major chain. These fried yeasty pastries have substance, a crisp exterior, and the apple fritter glaze is finger lickin’ good. BUT, I am thankful we hadn’t succumbed to their damage earlier on because now I know that a trip to the airport will always include a calorific coffee break.
* This style had its heyday from the mid 1920s to the mid 1930s. By the 1950s however, the trend of designing structures in the shape of the product sold there had changed to focus on signs rather than architecture itself. All information sourced from Wikipedia.