What can I say about 2021? In many respects, it was a little better than 2020. If this pandemic has taught me anything, it’s to not take anything for granted and to not forget to enjoy the simple pleasures of life. And on the subject of simple pleasure, here is my annual list of the ten best things I consumed and posted about this year. I hope you enjoy. Happy New Year!
10. Crispy Ramen Egg from Afuri Ramen. This is egg-ceptional.
9. “The Danny Boy” Porkstrami Sandwich from The Bad Jew (at Smorgasburg). Some may say “oy vey” but I say “hooray” to this delicious pork pastrami that is certainly not kosher.
8. Chocolate Chess Pie from Goldburger. Checkmate!
7. Parmesan Crusted Halibut from Porta Via. The math doesn’t always work, but in this case fish plus cheese equals awesome.
6. “The Willie Mae” Fried Chicken Tender Sandwich from HiHo Cheeseburger. Who knew a chicken sandwich at one of LA’s top burger joints would be this amazing. HiHo is certainly no one trick pony.
5. Sticky Glazed Pork Shank from Girl & the Goat. Girl & the Goat is the best Chicago import since Cracker Jack, and this delectable take on on a Korean Ssam is my favorite dish on the menu.
4. Bacon-wrapped Dates stuffed with Parmesan from AOC. Chef Suzanne Goin has been serving these incredibly addictive, salty and sweet morsels for almost two decades and I have been consuming them for just as long.
3. Zucchini Chips with Herbed Yogurt from Greekman’s. Q: What is a zucchini’s favorite sport? A: Squash. The Zucchini Chips at Greekman’s are significantly better than that joke. In fact, they’re pretty f-ing amazing! Easily the best vegetable dish I consumed this year.
2. Trout Almondine from Petit Trois. I’m nuts about this dish!
1. Strawberry Donut from The Donut Man. These are slightly tart, wonderfully sweet and perfectly glazed. And the good news is you don’t have to drive all the way to Glendora anymore as they are now also made and sold downtown in Grand Central Market. It’s my favorite thing that I consumed and posted about this year.
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The Donut Man is one of LA’s treasures. It is consistently ranked among the top five donut shops in the country and it has unbelievably amazing donuts. Â But here’s the catch: Â it’s located in Glendora (off of historic Route 66 and not far from Raging Waters in San Dimas), which, although technically in Los Angeles County, means a 45 minute to one hour drive in non-rush hour traffic for most people reading this blog. Â Is it worth it? Â I definitely think so. Â Mainly because of their amazing and famous Fresh Strawberry and Fresh Peach Donuts. Â The Fresh Strawberry Donuts are made between February and mid-July each year. Â This weekend is probably the last weekend of the year to get them (I recommend calling first to make sure). Â The Donut Man stuffs fresh sweet and tart strawberries coated in a light glaze (similar to the fresh strawberry pies at Marie Calendar’s) in between the top and bottom halves of the most delicious not-too-sweet glazed donuts to make these awesome concoctions.
But if you can’t make it there in time to get the last Strawberry Donuts, don’t worry. Â The Donut Man is starting to sell their Fresh Peach Donuts (which are the same concept as the strawberry ones, only with fresh peaches), and they will have these peach ones until mid-September. Â The Fresh Peach Donuts should start being available later this afternoon and the next few days will be the only days during the year when you can get both Fresh Strawberry and Fresh Peach Donuts. Â That’s right; it’s a rare intersection of strawberry and peach glazed donut goodness! Â The Donut Man is open 24 hours, so what are you waiting for?! Â While you are there, you will definitely also want to sample their famous Tiger Tail, a twisted glazed donut about a foot long which contains a delicious stripe of chocolate. Â They have dozens of other varieties. Â I can’t resist their Peanut Butter and Jelly Donuts. Â My mouth is watering just writing about this. Â So much for the summer diet…
The Donut Man is located at 915 East Route 66 in Glendora.