Los Angeles, CA

Anime-Themed Donut Shop in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles - Donatsu

Dinh Lee

Donatsu is located in the heart of Little Tokyo in Los Angeles, hence why their shop and donuts are Japanese-themed. This shop has a beautiful black aesthetic with bright and enticing neon signs both outside and inside with anime references giving it a great ambiance with stellar anime and Japanese culture related decoration to really drive home the theme they are going for.

First and foremost, I want to say that these donuts are absolutely beautiful and they are so perfect, I've literally never seen donuts this perfect. I love all the colors of the different flavors and all the creative decorations that they incorporate into each and every donut. When you get a whole dozen of their donuts in a box, it is truly such a joy to look at, like a work of art.

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I love that each individual donut flavor has its own distinctive color and design and they definitely don't get lazy with the design as most of the donuts have some unique toppings or decorations that go with them beautifully. For example, their matcha donuts are topped with nuts and small rose petals, their royal dragon donut comes with a beautiful real flower in the center, and their strawberries and cream donut comes with a dollop of cream in the center with a fresh slice of strawberry. These things might not seem too special but I rarely find donut shops put in the effort to make each donut so beautiful and although they might not necessarily add anything to the flavor or taste itself, I truly believe that our eyes eat first so this adds a nice touch that is pleasant to the eyes.

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Secondly, I want to talk about their wide variety of flavors! Their flavors rotate from time to time, but you can find all the flavors that they are currently offering on their website with beautiful photos and graphics to go along with the name of that flavors, which I really appreciate.

At the time that I am writing this, they are currently offering 16 different flavors of donuts and they are as follows: biscoff, apple fritter, homer, maple, samoa, matcha, mocha latte, oreo, black sesame, strawberries and cream, ube, vanilla bean, creme brulee, royal dragon, chocolate sprinkles, and churro. Some of these flavors are what you would generally expect from a donut place, like homer, which is a strawberry glaze with rainbow sprinkles (iconic), chocolate sprinkles, apple fritter, and maybe even oreo. But a lot of their other flavors are really quite unique and more difficult to find. For example, their creme brulee donut, I only know one other place that makes these and each place makes them a little differently which makes these even more unique and rare! I really liked their creme brulee donut because it had a nice hard shell made from the flambeed sugar, a very soft dough under the hard sugar shell, and a healthy serving of cream at the very center. This was a very satisfying experience to be able to crack that hard shell and reveal a doughy and creamy interior. I really liked that the cream inside it was not too sweet either and the flavors overall balanced out very well. I wouldn't say that it tastes like a creme brulee, however, I think it is mainly called creme brulee because of the experience of cracking that sugar shell.

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I also really appreciate their addition of more Asian flavors into their donuts, which should be expected given that it is a Japanese-themed donut shop. Flavors like matcha, dragon fruit (royal dragon), black sesame, and ube are harder to find in donut shops and these are all very beloved flavors by myself and my family so we really enjoyed those. The donuts themselves are quite good quality, they are soft and fluffy. I wouldn't say they're the softest and freshest donuts I've ever had, but they are good quality and are solid donuts for sure.

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For me personally, I didn't think the flavors were particularly outstanding in terms of richness and intensity. Of course, I really like how they're bold with their flavor choices and include so many unique and rare flavors, however, the actual flavor of each donut is slightly more mild than I would hope. At times it was difficult to distinguish the flavors from each other, although in general, we would be able to tell from the faint flavor profiles.

Overall, I would still recommend trying this place out, donuts are solid but the flavors could be stronger and more emphasized along with the Japanese and Anime theme to the whole place. If you love anime or Japanese culture, this could be a cool place to check out in the Little Tokyo in Los Angeles, California.

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Join me on my quest to eat at all the best restaurants in town and around the world! Follow me on Instagram @sanfoodiego for more food recs.

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