Tucked away in a small corner inside of a plaza in Little Tokyo is a small yet attractive store called Donatsu, (meaning donuts in Japanese), serving craft donuts made with vegan ingredients. The term ‘vegan donuts’ doesn’t exactly sound appetizing, but one bite of their donuts is enough to shut up the naysayers.
The store has primarily a black and white color palette with a very minimalistic look, but nevertheless remains aesthetically pleasing. There are a few tables inside for seating and dining in, and the natural lighting during the day peering into the glass door and windows of the store make it a very pleasing location to enjoy their cocaine they call donuts.
There are a multitude of donuts on display at the counter, and flavors range from matcha donuts to oreo donuts. The prices are a bit expensive, coming in at an average of $3 a donut, with the more expensive craft donuts coming in at $4.25.
I tried four of their donuts; the Madagascar vanilla bean, the chocolate sprinkle, the Homer (a strawberry donut with sprinkles, named after Homer Simpson and his obsession with strawberry donuts with sprinkles), and the Royal Dragon, as well as a thai tea.
The donuts were sweet, but not to the point of me needing an insulin shot. Despite being vegan, these donuts tasted the same if not better than many other donut places who use animal products such as dairy. In fact, if I didn’t know beforehand it was vegan, I never would’ve been able to deduce that it was vegan at all.
Out of the four donuts I tried, the two that impressed me the most were the chocolate sprinkle and the Royal Dragon.
The chocolate sprinkle donut had a very muted taste compared to many other chocolate donuts. Whereas those donuts are akin to a boxer landing a knockout punch, overpowering your mouth with the sensation of cocoa, Donatsu’s chocolate sprinkle donuts are more like a waltz, spreading the flavor of the cocoa around your tastebuds. The chocolate flavor isn’t overpowering, yet it isn’t completely muted either. They stand in a middle-ground, in between too strong and too mild. In other words, perfect.
The other standout donut was the Royal Dragon, an aesthetic craft donut with a beautiful orchid in the middle that’s edible, though I wouldn’t recommend eating it, it IS still a flower after all. Sweet yet not overly, this donut is not only perfect for your mouth, but for your Instagram feed as well.
The Madagascar vanilla bean and the Homer were also quite delicious, and the thai tea was also exceptional. They were a fantastic pairing together, though I suspect a nice cup of coffee might have paired with the donuts better, which they also serve.
Although it is a bit more expensive than many other donut shops, Donatsu stands out for being vegan, having extremely beautiful craft donuts, a wide variety of flavors, and above all, incredibly delicious.
Donatsu gets an A, extremely recommended for anyone to try them out. They are located at 330 E 2nd St Suite C, Los Angeles, CA 90012.
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