Small bites: Doughnuts abound, Hole in the Wall Burger Joint, and Michelin Tokyo
Stalking doughnuts: LA Mill coffee boutique in Silver Lake is now serving doughnuts (coffee and doughnuts -- why didn't this happen sooner?!). There are brioche doughnut holes and doughnuts filled with either Madagascar vanilla cream or organic espresso cream, dusted with cocoa. The Nickel Diner's got maple-bacon and strawberry shortcake doughnuts (the topping on the latter is like the crunchy cake coating on Blue Brand strawberry shortcake ice cream bars). They're $2.50 each. When did doughnuts get so pricey? LA Mill's brioche doughnut holes are six for $2.50 or 12 for $4.25; doughnuts are $3.50 apiece. For doughnut dessert -- Rustic Canyon pastry chef Zoe Nathan makes hot sugar-cinnamon donuts with espresso ice cream ($9). LA Mill, 1636 Silver Lake Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 663-4441, lamillcoffee.com; Nickel Diner, 524 S. Main St., Los Angeles, (213) 623-8301, www.5cdiner.com; Rustic Canyon, 1119 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, (310) 393-7050, www.rusticcanyonwinebar.com.
Low-profile burgers: How has this burger spot stayed relatively under the radar since summer? Maybe because it's a tiny spot tucked away behind a Westside Winchell's (more doughnuts) -- it isn't called Hole in the Wall Burger Joint for nothing. Hole in the Wall Burger Joint, 11058 Santa Monica Blvd., (310) 312-7013, www.holeinthewallburgerjoint.com.
Star news: Another French chef renounced his three Michelin stars this month, but it might be little more than a blip on the cuisine-rating screen for the French tire company that publishes more than 18 million maps, atlases and guides (including its red guides) every year. The second Tokyo Michelin guide to restaurants and hotels was released this week, with Tokyo remaining the city with the most stars -- 173 restaurants with 228 stars. The Los Angeles guide, in comparison, features 310 restaurants with 20 stars. (Last year's Tokyo guide met with criticism, much as the Michelin L.A. guides have.) Tokyo's three-stars: Hamadaya, Ishikawa, Joël Robuchon, Kanda, Koju, L'Osier, Quintessence, Sukiyabashi Jiro and Sushi Mizutani. Michelin Tokyo guide, $12.95, available in English and Japanese.
-- Betty Hallock
Photo of doughnuts courtesy of LA Mill; Michelin Tokyo guide courtesy of Michelin