Good Day Donuts – Mission Hills, CA

3 ¾ Nadas

There are two approaches to business that I commonly see. The first is: choose a product and make it the best it can be. Let your business be known for the quality and superiority of that one product and push it hard… real hard.

The second way to do business is more of a “fish net” tactic. Throw a broad net and catch whatever you can.

Good Day Donuts surprised me. They were a café, ice cream shop, mini mart, and donut shop all wrapped into one. And the best part is…. They were great at it all, especially the donuts!

Vibe of Shop: 2 ½ Nadas

There was good seating, but it was a little crowded. This is understandable, since it is also a mini mart. Surprisingly they stayed true to the donut, making good use of donut pink in the décor.

Outside Appearance: 3 Nadas

Nestled in a respectable strip mall it felt donut worthy though there was no outdoor seating.

Hours: 4:30am – 8:00pm

Service: The lady was a bit eggy and cold, but the milk was warm.

Taste of Glaze Donut: 4 ½ Nadas

This is the one redeeming factor that takes this place to the next level. Super moist and fluffy, the glaze was almost perfect but just a little too heavy. The taste of the donut was sweet but not overbearing.

Blueberry Donut? No.

Coffee: 2 Nadas

Watered down and tastes like Los Angeles river water with sediment.

Special: This place was a mini mart so one could buy anything from lotto tickets, to hats and sunglasses, to beer and smoothies, and even full hot meals. One could survive for weeks locked up in this place, though the donuts would most likely go stale pretty quick.

PS. The custard filled chocolate donut was AMAZING!!!

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Do something nice for someone today.

Today, as I looked through old photos on my computer I was reminded of a good friend who understood my affinity for donuts and wanted to do a kind thing for me. I was in Mexicali for the week with a youth group from Sacramento and we were there to serve a few churches in Mexico. We were staying at a large church that used to be bustling with people, but after a series of bad events it is now a small group of devoted followers of Jesus, trying to keep the church alive. My friend, Julio, is a young college student who leads the music there. He is a very talented musician with a huge heart.

Every time I head to Mexico or other "3rd world" countries I am reminded how fortunate we are here in California. I take for granted how easy it is for me to get clean drinking water, or how convenient it is to get food where ever and when ever I want. If I'm hungry at 1:00am all I have to do is jump in my car, head to Taco Bell, swipe a small piece of plastic, and fill my mouth with food I didn't really need.On that pleasant Mexican afternoon, Julio showed up with a smirk on his face, box of local donuts in hand and asked me how these donuts rated. I was blown away that he would share what little he has with me, only to bring a smile to my face.

Now, today, I am sitting here remembering how great it was to receive a small, thoughtful gift from a friend. I want to challenge you to go do something nice for someone today. It doesn't have to be big. Maybe it's just buying them a donut and giving a compliment. Whatever it is, you may make their day... and yours.PS. The Mexican donuts were tasty, but don't drink the water ;-)

MK’s Jelly Donuts & Pure Water – Sebastopol, CA

Overall Shop rating: 2 Nadas

Now that I’ve been blogging for the past three years about donuts and where to find them, I feel that I’ve really sharpened my donut radar. Once in a while I’ll be surprised, though, as we turn a corner and, BAM! It’s donut time. I had high hopes for this little shop, but alas, they were dashed upon the rocks of self respect for my taste buds and the knowledge quality donuts.

Vibe of Shop: 2 Nadas

Sad to say, but the interior was bland and had no fung shwey. There was enough room to throw country square dance, but these donut slingers poorly executed their interior design. The one redeeming factor was the wall art. The awkward photos of kids made me feel the warm, fuzzy love these Donut Shop Owners must have for their kids.

Outside Appearance: 3 ½ Nadas

I was pretty excited as we drove by this small strip mall. The Donut Shop was tucked in the corner next to an old-school Barber shop and a Taqueria, and the vibe threw the feeling that is was time for a donut party! As I walked by the Barber shop I noticed there were heaps of old dudes getting trimmed up while enjoying telling their tall tales as dead deer heads hung above listening in. There was no outdoor seating but the parking lot was very maneuverable.

Hours: Open 7 Days a week

Mon – Fri (Earlier than you want to be awake):30am - 6:00pm

Sat – Sun 5:00am - ?:00pm

Service: 2 ½ Nadas

The lady wasn’t friendly and the donut baker looked like an Asian zombie.

Taste of Glaze Donut: 2 Nadas

The glaze was great, the fluff was ok, but the flavor of the dough was bad and way too dry.

Blueberry Donut? Yes! They had a blueberry donut but it tasted like a donut from 7 Eleven: overly processed and full of unhealthy preservatives.

Coffee: 2 Nadas

I’m confident there was some amount of caffeine, but it tasted watered down and the flavor was near tree bark.


Part 1: They sold filtered water at this shop. I think most of their income must come from that because the donuts were not good. Tyson called his old fashion donut Cardboard Diaper flavor.

Part 2: They were promoting a rap contest with a cash prize. I respect that, foo.

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"You woke me up to say the word donut?!"

Tyson loves the donut.

Mr. T’s Delicate Donut – Modesto, CA

Overall Shop Rating: 4 Nadas

When you find yourself in the central valley of California, which I personally recommend staying away from, and you are hungry for a donut, go to Star Donuts in Lodi. If you aren’t near Lodi and instead you are in Modesto, go to Mr. T’s Delicate Donut. There’s not much I like about Modesto, but Mr. T’s has now been put on the “Happy Things About Modesto” list.

Vibe of Shop: 4 Nadas

This place has a great balance of clean and classy while still firming holding onto a small town mom-and-pop shop feel. It has plenty of space for eating donuts and conversing with friends, old and new.

Outside Appearance: 4 Nadas

I liked the clean appearance of the strip mall. It felt very classy and tidy. The only thing I would ask for is outdoor seating… although this is Modesto and it is blazing hot most of the year, so never mind.

Hours: 24 Hours

Service: 4 Nadas

Happy. Friendly. Asian. I’d like to be his friend.

Taste of Glaze Donut: 4 Nadas

Sometimes when you have a birthday someone will surprise you with a wonderful thoughtful gift. Sometimes when I walk into a donut shop and eat a glaze donut, I have that same feeling. This was a pleasant donut with great fluff and moistness. The only thing lacking was that the glaze was too thin.

Blueberry Donut? Yes! And it was good. Mmmmmm.

Coffee: 3 Nadas

Not bad, not good.

Special: I was blown away by the amount of creative donuts such as the Little Feet, Bowtie, Devils Wisp, Better Wisps, and more!

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Selma Donuts (formerly The Bears Den) - Selma, CA

Overall Shop rating 4 ¼ NadasWhen I was about 11 years old, I went to Magic Mountain with my best friend, Jeremy. I was challenged to face one of the largest fears in my life up to that point: to ride a rollercoaster that goes upside down. Oh man, I was scared. I followed the line winding back and forth as I watched the coaster do it’s single loop over and over, and then I actually walked back out to the entrance saying I couldn’t do it. Finally my buddy talked me into it so we rode the ride (I think it was called Revolution) and I realized that going upside down on a rollercoaster isn’t that bad at all. In fact, it was fun! I was growing up.

That story has nothing to do with donuts or a donut shop, but later that day as we were walking along I looked down and found a Twenty dollar bill! I, being a good kid, asked my friend’s dad if I should turn it in. He directed me to tell an attendant, and the said I could keep it. I was so pumped! It was like winning the lottery, though I wouldn’t even know what the lotto was until years later. Anyway, finding Selma donuts was like finding that $20 bill. I was driving along an alternate route from Hume Lake to SoCal and, Boom! There it was: an Oasis in this never ending farming community.

Vibe of Shop: 4 Nadas
It had great space for seating and vibing out with friends.Outside Appearance: 3 Nadas
There was no seating outside, and it had the wrong name for it’s sign (The Bears Den), but it was a nice strip mall equipped with pizza shop and laundry.

Hours: 4am – 4pm

Service: 5 Nadas
The gal serving was so friendly and kind. She had a great smile. We had a great conversation about why most donut shops are owned by Cambodian families. Her theory was that it’s passed through relatives. I’ll try and research this further to verify, but dang, Cambodians know how to make good donuts. Nada is Cambodian and he went back home. I miss you, Nada.

Taste of Glaze Donut: 4 ¾ Nadas
Soooo soft and slightly moist with the perfect crisp glaze and a wonderful flavor that wasn’t overwhelming. It was almost perfect.

Blueberry Donut: Yes!
But sadly, they were sold out by the time we got there.

Coffee: 4 ½ Nadas
Good smooth flavor, and pleasant taste. I enjoyed not having to stop at another coffee shop to rinse out the bad taste as I occasionally do with other donut shop coffee

Special: They make sandwiches and sell cereal.

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Note: I couldn't find Selma Donuts on so I used the closest business

Yum Yum Donuts – Willow Glen, CA

Overall Shop Rating: 3 Nadas

Sundays are my favorite days. I’m usually leading music for a church in any given town in California and, as I’ve traveled, I’ve noticed that donut shops must love Sundays also. In my experience, before or after church the local donut shops are packed with early rising church-goers and it makes me wonder how connected Jesus and donuts are. I would love it if, when I get to heaven, God tells me that when he provided mana for the Israelites in the desert, it was actually donuts. On this Sunday I found myself in Willow Glen and after church I was hungry so I wandered until I stumbled on Yum Yum Donuts.

Vibe of Shop: 3 ¾ Nadas

I’ve noticed that there are these posters I see all over the place in corporate donut shops. There’s one I particularly appreciate: “With a donut in each hand anything is possible.” This place was very clean and put together like good chain should be, but I prefer a more vintage donut shop feel.

Outside Appearance: 4 Nadas

This place had a nice corner location with ample parking and a pay phone. The only thing missing is some tables for donut consumption and vibe out time with old friends.

Hours: “24 Hours - Always Open”

Service: 2 Nadas

I can understand that shops get busy and stuff, but I appreciate it when the servers make the customers feel welcomed like a guest in a home. This place was all business.

Taste of Glaze Donut: 3 Nadas

Average. That’s about all I have to say. The balance was off between the fluffiness and moistness.

Blueberry Donut? Yes, but I didn’t try it.

Coffee: 3 Nadas

Sometimes coffee is just coffee and that’s all you need. On this day I didn’t need froo-froo coffee. I was in the mood for black liquid consciousness. This coffee did the job but didn’t impress at all.

Special: I really enjoyed the beautiful sprinkles and bright colored frostings on the donuts. It made me feel like a child again as I smiled in my reminiscent moment.

Also, I laughed at the poster that said Nutrition. I know that they are legally obligated to post nutrition facts but I thought it funny that the word nutrition was posted in a donut shop.

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Heavenly Donuts – Redding, CA

Overall Shop rating: 3 Nadas
Redding, CA, a place that reminds me of the good ol’ days when cowboys walked the streets toting guns and gold-rush miners hit the saloon after finding gold nuggets in streams. I feel that not much has changed here in Redding, except that you can’t take your guns to town anymore. It’s probably a good thing. On this day, I found myself in Redding to attend my friend’s wedding, and Travis Oberg and I spotted this shop while driving through town.

Vibe of Shop: 3 Nadas
My friend Alex hit the nail on the head: “The vibe is not awesome… but it’s clean” – Alex Braica… They had a good donut display but honestly, it was a little too corporate for me.

Outside Appearance: 2 ½ Nadas
They had an impressive presence on the corner of a busy street. The huge sign and bright colors caught my attention immediately and drew me in like a bee to the honeysuckle. The main problem was that there was no place to sit outside and it wasn’t in a strip mall.Hours: 24 Hours

Service: 4 Nadas
The lady, though not of Asian decent, was very friendly and really kooky. I think she likes life, and donuts, a lot. Fun times.

Taste of Glaze Donut: 3 ¾ Nadas
The donut had good fluffiness and a nice crisp glaze. It was decently moist, but there was just something slightly off about it. I couldn’t figure it out, which is disappointing given my donut knowledge and status in the online donut community. I’m only human, afterall.

Blueberry Donut? Yes! But unfortunately it sucked.

Coffee: 3 ½ Nadas
Slightly, almost, questionably, and arguably just about average. I didn’t gag, so that’s always a plus.

Special: Oreo donut looks cool and is a creative concept but don’t be fooled. It tasted like cardboard coco mixed with shaving cream.

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Express Donuts – Lodi, CA

Overall Shop rating: 4 ¾ NadasUp to this point, when I find myself in Lodi, CA, I can only thing of one place I would like to visit, and that is Star Donuts which I have deservingly dubbed, “The best donut east of Santa Cruz.” I say all this because I honestly didn’t think Lodi could offer much more but, boy, I was wrong! My buddy, Tyson, and I were on a hunt for a whiffle ball set when we drove past this little gem. Please, if you have the time, stop here and honor your taste buds by eating a glaze donut.

Vibe of Shop: Insane Nadas
Though there was no donut pink involved, this place embodied the classic donut shop vibe and there was plenty of seating for all!

Outside Appearance: Grungy Nadas
I truthfully wouldn’t have expected such a delicious thing to come out of such a ghetto looking building, but then again, I’m kind of shallow at times and I tend to judge on appearances. My favorite part was the taco truck just outside the door tucked under the shade of the tree in the parking lot. You can have lunch and dessert by walking 10 paces!Hours: Honestly, I was too excited about the tasty donut that I didn't check on the hours. I'll just have to go back... Oh darn. ;)

Service: Kind and Happy Nadas
This lady was amazing! She truly reminded me of a happy aunty who won’t stop feeding me even when I say I’m done and can’t fit anymore in my belly.

Taste of Glaze Donut: Boom-a-licious Nadas
I did not have high expectations but when I took my first bite my jaw dropped with amazement. It was so perfect… moist, fluffy, and perfect glaze.

Blueberry Donut? Yes, and it was amazing. Just ask Tyson.

Coffee: Warm and energizing Nadas
I was so happy to enjoy a cup of joe at this point. Searching for a whiffle ball set is much harder than you would think.Special: When you make donuts this quality and tasty you don’t need gimmicks or specialties to draw customers. The donut does all the promotion itself. Go see for yourself. Be informed: we are getting closer everyday to finding the best donut in the world.

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K D's Doughnuts and Desserts - Ramona, CA

Overall Shop Rating: 3.5 Nadas
You may be thinking “Hey, who is this Tyson character? Isn’t this website called ‘Dave’s Donut Blog? How does Tyson expect me to respect his opinion on donuts and donutry when he has no qualifications that I know of?” – This is perfectly understandable, as Dave is widely recognized as a wordwide virtuoso of all tenets of the donut world and I am nothing more than, well, some guy or whatever. So please take this particular blog as a kind of wikipedia in the world of scholarly donut articles.

I have been taking a break from playing bass with Kokua to do some music at various Young Life properties in California. This gave me ample donut tasting oppurtunities which I took eager advantage of. This particular day I sampled some of the craftsmanship of KD Donuts in Ramona, California – but not alone. In fact I employed the taste buds of three more donut critics: Martin Cachero and AJ Pitkin from San Diego, as well as a donut critic abroad: Sean Pearson, a pastry enthusiast from Phoenix, Arizona.

Overall Vibe of shop: 3.5 Nadas
The exterior had a well designed, clean sign, as well as decal of layered donuts. I should have taken a picture of the decal but I didn’t. Think about it like this: a donut transport airplane broke in two during a flight over Detroit and all the donuts fell into the empty swimming pool of a bygone millionaire who moved to the Bahamas after he closed his automobile manufacturing plant and fired all the employees (that’s why the pool was empty) – and then somebody snapped a quick picture and made it into a window decal. I’m not sure if that’s the way this decal came to be but hey, it’s like a way to understand, you know? The interior wasn’t usual donut shop interior. It had pictures that weren’t of budda or island scenery. A little use of donut pink was apparent - and - surprisingly, there were ample pictures of Ramona, as well as a lot of advertisements for the California Lottery. If your day is going pretty good, why not get a donut, right? And then, your day is really looking up, so why not win the lottery? KD Donuts know how to do a correct sell of the lottery.

Service: 5 Nadas
The service here was like no other service I’ve ever encountered in a donut shop. When we informed the nice woman behind the counter, named Stephanie I think, that we represented a donut blog, she went out of her way to accommodate us – even giving us free donuts! Hooray! That’s another $3.45 towards my future children’s college fund. Her husband came out of the back to give us a tour of the donut case. “The maple bar has a money back guarentee. If you don’t like it, your money back!” Five stars, sir. He even let us take a picture of him holding a donut with Martin, Sean and AJ. He let us behind the counter which was exciting. (See illustration 1.a)Regular Glaze: 2 Nadas
Martin had this one, and he wasn’t impressed. He even called it trash, which is like a slap in the face to any donut. Calling a donut trash is like calling a human being 10 swear words in their own language. I think perhaps KD Donuts has been smitten with the “Krispy Kreme Kurse” where the donuts are delightfully crispy and soft and delicious in the morning, and then turn into a round shaped turd tasting donut in the afternoon, like a werewolf in reverse. Stephanie even told us that we had to come back in the morning. She backed it up by showing that over half the case was empty from the numerous early bird donut consumers. (See image 1.b).

Blueberry Donut: yes.
AJ tried this one. To his disappointment there were no real blueberries baked into the donut, but hey, we were in Ramona, not Monte Carlo. Who do you think you are, man? They also had a regular glaze with blueberry frosting. Yum ahoy! Sean thought this was a top notch donut, adding that it would be better in the morning.

Coffee: N/A
We didn’t try the coffee because it was a flamboyant 207 degrees farenheit outside. Call me what you will, but I wasn’t in the mood.

Cash only! I like cash-only donut shops. They stay true to American currency. They way it was, and should be. Cash-only is 101 in donut culture.

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Note from the donut blog guru, Dave: Tyson is a good friend of mine. We have been playing music together for a long time and we visited many donut shops together. He is still a donut padawan learner, but I feel he has been adequately trained and his opinion can be taken as near truth. I'll let you know all know when I feel he has outgrown his donut critiquing adolescence.
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