The dough is built from a base of poi — a sticky, starchy paste of boiled taro corm and water. Taro isn’t a traditional doughnut base, but it is a pillar of Hawaii’s native culture and diet — an ingredient that farmers are slowly working to bring back to Hawaiian farmland. The business buys taro paste from a handful of farms in Hawaii, most of it harvested and processed in Hanalei.
Some doughnut flavors are mainstays on the menu, while others change every week, shifting with Ms. Dreiling’s purveyors of chocolate, fruit and other ingredients. On my most recent visit there was a yuzu, strawberry and hojicha number, made in collaboration with the chef Akira Akuto of the restaurant Konbi (now-closed), as well as a tangy passion fruit, orange and guava. Groups of teenagers around me sipped elaborate drinks made with fresh nut milks as they waited, while a woman with shopping bags fielded a call from her nanny.
Holey Grail specializes in an extreme of the city’s vast and glorious doughnut scene — the luxury doughnut. But it’s not the only kind on offer here. The real beauty of doughnuts in Los Angeles is that the second you want one, wherever you are in the city, an open shop seems to appear.
California Donuts, 3540 W Third Street, Los Angeles, 213-385-3318, cadonuts.com.
Colorado Donuts, 1578 Colorado Boulevard No. 14, Eagle Rock, 323-340-1962, instagram.com/coloradodonuts.
Holey Grail Donuts, 148 North Larchmont Boulevard, Los Angeles, no phone, holeygraildonuts.com.
Mochi Dochi, 2130 Sawtelle Boulevard No. 211, Los Angeles, 424-397-2991, mochidochi.net.
Oliboli, 135 West First Street, Suite B, Tustin, 714-760-4876, oliboli.com.
Pronto Donuts, 555 West Garvey Avenue, Monterey Park, 626-284-3336, facebook.com/people/Pronto-Donuts.
Sidecar Doughnuts, 631 Wilshire Boulevard, Santa Monica, 310-587-0022, sidecardoughnuts.com.
The Donut Man, 915 East Route 66, Glendora, no phone, thedonutmanca.com.
The Donut Hole, 15300 Amar Road, La Puente, no phone, no website.