Disclaimer: This is an almost open love letter to donuts. Fried donuts.
This past holiday weekend, trying to prolong 'happy mode' from a fun few days with old friends, I decided to go redeem my vouchers for donuts...I mean, fonuts...
The cozy space had decor that felt retro, but was sleek and modern at the same time.
With two vouchers in hand, I decided to go with the half dozen ($18) as you could stack the deals. It was nearly closing time, so I hurried to pick out the most appealing flavors from what was still available. It was only later when there was mention of organizing fonuts in the box by type, that I realized some of them were gluten-free:
Regular: Strawberry Buttermilk, Blueberry Earl Grey, Rosemary Olive Oil
Wheat/Gluten-free: Banana Chocolate, Hazelnut Chocolate, Lemon
The name of the treat I think comes from french word "faux" (meaning "false") and mashing that with "donuts" to get "false donuts". Which I found very appropriate, the minute I tasted these - they are really not donuts at all in taste or texture - but more like ring-shaped cakes. And strangely, before looking individual flavors up - I would have thought their types were reversed: the strawberry, blueberry and rosemary olive oil flavors tasted more like they were gluten-free.
In any case, my favorite of the flavors tried were Hazelnut Chocolate and Rosemary Olive Oil. The glaze on the Blueberry Earl Grey and Strawberry Buttermilk tasted oily to me. Still, donuts have persisted in food history/ culture in their simple form for a reason - and to me that reason is because they are FRIED.
There's something about that little ring of dough - with its slightly crispy, fragrant outer layer yielding to the fluffy, pillowy inside, sometimes with filling, that for me cannot be satisfied by other alternatives. The fonuts crumbled away like cake, and did not hold true to their ring shape - Ms. Sassy and I ended up picking up the pieces with a fork.
That said, fonuts are pretty up front, even in their name, about not being donuts. They were fairly tasty as cake, and I did like the lightness of the cake, the rich flavors of the hazelnut chocolate with the crunch of crushed nuts on top, and the unexpected savory treatment of rosemary and olive oil lightly powdered with sugar.
It was worth a try - and fairly good as cakes go - but I just prefer my donuts fried. And without the DailyCandy deal each donut would have been $3, on the pricey side.
(These would be great gourmet alternative for those who need to stay away from wheat/gluten. They also have vegan options.)
8104 W 3rd St., Los Angeles, CA 90048
Parking: Street parking on Crescent Heights - check signs