I mean no disrespect to The Loop and everyone willing to stand in line for its churros when I say that I’d rather go to Paderia Bakehouse for its malasadas. Here’s why: Churros are everywhere—Disneyland, the Del Taco drive-thru, friggin’ Costco! But malasadas? Not so much.
Unlike poke, this Portuguese donut that’s arguably more popular than the regular one in Hawaii can only be found in a handful of places here. But aside from a few brave donut vendors and Hawaiian BBQs who do it, businesses that devote their entire shops to making them well are few and far between. That’s why I consider Paderia special. It displays its malasadas as though they were antiquity museum rarities. Most important: they taste just like the malasadas I’ve had from Leonard’s on Oahu and Tex Drive-In on The Big Island.
They’re fluffy, rich in egg, rolled in granulated sugar, and stuffed full of things I actually want injected in a donut. The Ube is striking and the Nutella Cream is decadent. But the cooling and subtle coconut cream is by far the cheapest way I’ve found to bringing me back to an island vacation mood short of booking a ticket.
Paderia Bakehouse, 18279 Brookhurst St. Ste. 1, Fountain Valley, (714) 916-5977; paderiabakehouse.com
Before becoming an award-winning restaurant critic for OC Weekly in 2007, Edwin Goei went by the alias “elmomonster” on his blog Monster Munching, in which he once wrote a whole review in haiku.