No, I’m not talking about the 2014 Oscars. Chef Dominique Ansel brought his authentic Cronut® to a one day only pop-up at The Grove.
Now you would think as much as I adore the faux versions of this hybrid pastry, I’d be all over the opportunity to try the real thing.
Your assumption would be correct.
I was well aware that thousands shared my passion, meaning long lines.
Then, there was logic. It would be raining. I do not function well outside in such weather for long.
Moreover, the pop-up began in the morning. I had reason to be in Los Angeles that evening. What would I do in the interim?
Thus, reason prevailed over desire.
Yet, when my event ended that night, the craving was still there.
The seed had been planted.
That’s when I remembered DK’s Donuts in Santa Monica.
Though the name is the same, there is no affiliation with the shop I visited earlier this year in Orange County. It’s confusing I know, especially since they’re open 24 hours also.
However, this shop had something the other did not – a Zagat recommendation as one of 7 Cronut Knock-Offs to Try Around LA.
So at nearly 11pm, I found myself waiting in a short line with others who shared my craving. Most were ordering DK’s Double Decker O-Nuts, their croissant and donut hybrid.
There were several flavors to choose from, ranging from conservative to creative. I went the non-traditional route and selected two at $3.95 each.
Sounds delicious, right?
Unfortunately, not so much.
But let’s begin with the positives. The dough’s texture was soft and tender inside, and slightly crispy outside. In peeling away the layers, it had the right look.
Yet there was something about the dough’s taste. It wasn’t buttery and even with the granulated sugar edges, it wasn’t sweet. There was a heaviness, an oiliness.
It needed the filling, which did not taste as good as it looked.
I had no problem with the whipped cream consistency, but its flavor was a mystery. I wouldn’t call it cookie. The cookie piece on top had an aftertaste, a telltale sign of some unnatural ingredient. The chocolate glaze was fine. Perhaps, a little more would’ve helped.
As I looked at my second O-Nut, I wondered about Zagat’s list. Had they included DK’s Donuts because they were good or simply an option?
I was beginning to think the latter.
I reached for the Ryan Sea-Nut. Named after radio personality and television host, Ryan Seacrest this pastry hybrid is infused with chocolate, peanut butter, and Nutella.
The characteristics of the dough were the same, soft interior and slightly crisp exterior. Amid the flaky layers there was the oily weight.
However, the filling made this O-Nut better.
It was thicker, with a frosting-like texture. Even with its chocolate appearance, I could also taste the peanut butter. Though I was unable to detect the Nutella, I still enjoyed it.
When finished, I felt conflicted over the rating. Admittedly, the O-Nuts were better than my previous donut shop experience. Nonetheless, it wasn’t the same caliber as the other cafes or bakeries I’ve visited.
This would be the ideal time for a 3.25. But since I don’t use such increments, I’ll reluctantly round up to 3.5 out of 5 stars.
Though DK’s Double Decker O-Nuts may be a popular choice, they are not for me. Until I get another chance at the real thing, there are better faux cronuts in Los Angeles.