When I went to California in December, I had an afternoon flight back to New York. I'm not one to waste time (on trips, at least) so with the help of my friend Tag, I was able to squeeze in a few more delights before I headed home. After diner breakfast, we headed toward the airport and luckily for me Randy's Donuts was on our way.
Built in 1953, Randy's Donuts is probably one of the most photographed and recognizable donut shops in the country. This iconic shop isn't shaped like a donut (like the Donut Hole) but is an otherwise unremarkable, small drive-through building with a walk-up window, topped with a huge donut. There are several other similar donut shops located all over LA, but Randy's has appeared in numerous movies, TV shows and music videos.
Randy's was built as part of the Big Donut Drive-in chain, the second of ten original locations. In 1976 it was purchased and renamed "Randy's Donuts and Sandwiches" after the new owner's son. The huge donut is constructed of rolled steel bars covered with grunite, a sprayed concrete used in swimming pools.
We were still full from breakfast so we didn't get a donut from Randy's, but I've been told that they're unremarkable. I have no doubt that Randy's is so famous because of its location—visible from the 405 and about three miles from LAX—but I'm always happy to see businesses like this thrive. Five of the original Big Donuts have been demolished, and one has been creatively turned into a bagel, but hopefully Randy's will keep providing donuts to tourists and locals alike—from inside of one of the best surviving examples of programmatic architecture—for many more years to come.
805 W Manchester Blvd
Inglewood, CA 90301