A Cake in Disguise

It's not a donut, but it's delicious

If it looks like a donut and smells like a donut, is it indeed a donut?

At Fonuts, the new, instantly overrun fake-donut shop on 3rd, the answer seems to be no. Despite the scent reminiscent of fried dough hanging in the air, a mysterious perfume for this fryer-less shop, the familiar ring shape is all trompe l'oeil; the texture of a fonut most strongly resemble a very moist cake.

If these cakes weren't so damn good, their misleading aesthetics might lead us into contemplating Hollywood's tendency to create dishonest façades, and the ways that trickles down into society. Instead, we'll tell you that the chocolate banana bread ($3) puts any other loaf made from that overripe fruit to shame.

The classic ring isn't the only donut silhouette borrowed here. Fonuts does a cakey take on filled donuts as well. The small, domed cakes show a bit of proverbial leg, the filling peeking out one end. The Hawaiian ($3) is one such filled cake. Its curved walls sport a festive coat of red, sweet-and-salty plum powder–inspired by li hing mui, the Chinese-style salted plums that are popular in Hawaii–which adds a lively punch to the rich coconut cream.

It's no jelly roll, but this fonut is addictive.

Fonuts, 8104 W. 3rd St., Mid-City; 323-592-3075 or fonuts.com