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Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken Brings Instagram-Worthy Fare To Downtown

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Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken will open its first West Coast location on Wednesday along 6th Street, between Olive and Grand, in downtown.

The uber-popular Washington D.C. shop has been building a fanbase for three years, and has spawned a second location in the suburbs outside of D.C., as well as a hotly followed food truck.

"If they're late to open by even a minute, people start banging on the truck. If they're three minutes late, they start shaking the whole truck," Astro spokesman Brian Rosman told LAist.

Astro was started by childhood friends Elliot Spaisman and Jeff Halpern. Halpern had played center for the L.A. Kings (which may explain the decision to expand to L.A. rather than other major cities like New York City or San Francisco). Spaisman spent years working in antiques — and his design sense shows.

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Astro's downtown location feels bright and open with white-washed brick walls, and white tiled floors. Filament-bulb pendant lighting, as well as block-font lettering, give the impression you're sitting at Camden Yards or at a dockside market near the Chesapeake Bay rather than steps away from Pershing Square.

Long countertops put the doughnuts front and center. The shop keeps a permanent selection of vanilla glazed, maple bacon, pb&j, and crème brûlée doughnuts on rotation. The latter of which is filled with a custardy cream just beneath a crystallized top. In addition to this permanent line-up, a batch of seasonal flavors are served up. In honor of D.C.'s recent cherry blossom festival, Astro introduced a cherry blossom doughnut. The debut selection at the downtown location is Meyer lemon pie, strawberry rhubarb crisp, smoked almond brittle, and chocolate mudslide.

On the fried chicken side, Astro serves up two piece (white or dark meat), four piece, and eight piece orders, as well as five piece chicken fingers.

The magic happens when the fried chicken and doughnuts are combined, however, into a fried chicken sandwich. Mix and match your bun, sauce, and any side dishes — but you'd be remiss not to taste the fried chicken BLT on an Old Bay-spiced savory doughnut bun, with Sriracha mayo dressing, and a side of kimchi cole slaw. The savory doughnut bun feels more like an extra-soft sweet roll, flavored with Old Bay blend. What's more, the cole slaw and sriracha mayo pack sweet and spicy notes that neither overpower nor disappear in the mix.

To wash it all down, Astro has a Boylan soda fountain (creme soda and birch beer fans, rejoice!), as well as hot coffee by La Colombe, and nitro cold brew by LAMill.

Astro will be open for breakfast and lunch, weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Saturday until 5:00 p.m., and Sunday 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Astro is located at 516 W 6th Street in downtown Los Angeles. (213) 622-7876

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