about the author

To speak openly (and, more importantly, in the Third Person), Bryan is a Wondernaut/fairweather Fictionary who currently writes for Syfy's "Defiance" and upcoming "Dominion", and has also written episodes of "Arrow" and "Smallville". 

Bryan penned the third volume of DC Comics' "Batgirl" and continues to write "Smallville Season 11" for DC, and is hard at work on the second book in Disney Comics' new "Space Mountain" series (of which he also penned Book One).

And, of course, there are always secret things for secret companies, organizations and publishers.

It should also be made clear that he has almost never seen a Frankenstein.

curriculum vitae

Donuts are awesome and I like to eat them.  I would like people to know where they can find donuts worth eating.

Sunday
Jan292012

REVIEW: BABYCAKESnyc

WHERE: 236 N. Larchmont Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90004
OPEN: SUN: 8-6; M-F: M-TR: 8-9; F/SAT: 8-10
PAY: Cash or Charge 

East of Hollywood. South of Paramount studios. Larchmont - a little several-block island of boutiques and Starbuckseses and eateries, all in a row. 

Very cute storefront, but also very discreet - didn't see it the first few times by.  Their logo is only on the window, and a truck was parked in front (also blocking their address). Once I parked and ventured out on foot, easy to find.  If you haven't been this way before, Larchmont parking is ALWAYS the Durst. ALWAYS. After a few laps around a few blocks, found a spot right across the street.

Outdoor seating as well as indoor seating, though both still total not-too-many places to hunker down and devour cakey goods. No public restrooms, either. I wouldn't make a point of it if they hadn't made a point of it with a sign. Now we've all made a point of it!

Babycakes has a few other locations in New York and Los Angeles - all locations, all VEGAN and GLUTEN-FREE.

Another gourmet donut spot... and another Sunday without a simple, glazed donut. It's a crime, really.  So... what else did they have? Let's find out: 

VANILLA SPRINKLE - Of the box I brought home, this was definitely the "lightest" of the donuts, but still quite heavy. Icing was a little on the thin side. Flavor-wise, the vanilla was very slight.
 

CINNAMON SUGAR - The picture on this one is a bit blurry, as was the flavor. As with the coffee crunch, very similar to coffee cake. Not much more to say on this one.

 

BLUEBERRY - Best moisture out of the whole batch. Nice distribution of blueberries in the dough. Nice flavor, in no way overwhelming. This one definitely presented as the most traditional of the donuts sampled. 
 

CHOCOLATE-DIPPED - The donut itself was a simple cake, but the icing was quite a treat - tasted VERY much like Dairy Queen chocolate dip. Only one of the batch I ate in its entirety. It should also be noted that I felt like I had eaten a brick afterwards. This one, as well as the rest, are incredibly dense.

COFFEE CRUNCH - The one I was perhaps most-excited to take a bite out of - I LOVELOVE coffee-flavored ice cream, and I LOVE LOVE donuts. And, of course, I LOVELOVELOVE coffee itself. This was fine, as far as the rest of the options went. Coffee flavor was nice, not overwhelming, but on the whole, this round really wound up tasting like very literal coffee cake.

SALTED CARAMEL - Salted caramel things are the bestest, aren't they? Unfortunately, this specimen is not the bestest. It's a cakey, sticky piece. Perhaps other ones in the batch had more flavor, but there didn't seem to be any salt present, and the caramel itself didn't seem to translate very well. Big disappointment, this one. 

TOASTED COCONUT - As I was reminded with my adventure last week to Fonuts, where I procured (and subsequently consumed) a coconut donut... I hate coconut. That said, this one wasn't all that bad. Light, think layer of coconut icing up top. Cakey inside, hint of coconut flavor. Slivers of toasted coconut as garnish, but none of my ever nemesisical (nemesistical... nemesisinessty) coconut shavings to be found anywhere. As far as the donut beneath the icing, second best flavor experience after the blueberry.

OVERALL - Should anyone put Babycakes in the corner?

Awesome as it is that there's an all-Vegan source for gourmet donuts in the neighborhood (relatively speaking), these donuts just aren't... donuts. As little flavored cakes, thumbs almost-up.  This branch of bakery may be worth the trip for any of the dozens of other confections available (tons of stuff, all of which looks delicious), but, as far as donuts are concerned (and considering the steep price tag of almost $4 per donut), grab a dozen closer to home.

And here's the other thing, and it might not seem like much, but it matters: I used to work retail, and I know how hard this can be to pull off when it's busy, or there's a line, etc. I dropped $28 on donuts. It would have been nice to get a smile with my service. Not a deal-breaker, but definitely something that stuck with me as I walked out the door.

Wednesday
Jan252012

WRITING: BATGIRL RISING Q/A

I bought Photoshop!Stargate television franchise creative alumni JOSEPH MALLOZZI has a blog in which he ruminates on all SORTS of things... one of which being the first trade of Stephanie Brown as Batgirl, Batgirl Rising (one of his reading club selections for the month). 

To check out Joe's blog (and to read my Q&A about the title), simply click HERE.

Sunday
Jan222012

REVIEW: FONUTS

WHERE: 8104 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles, CA 90048
OPEN: M-F: 7-6; WKND: 8-5; Closed on Tues.
PAY: Cash or Charge

Packed with care!

If you triangulate a position equidistant from all 19 Phantom Menace 3D billboards in between Mid-Wilshire and Hollywood, you will find a bus stop. And tucked away behind said bus stop, just off the corner of 3rd and Crescent Heights, you'll find yourself in strictly gourmet territory.

Extremely limited seating, large waiting/line area. Plenty of beverage choices. And lots of variety.

Seriously, this place has tons of different kinds of donuts. From what I could tell, all are available full-sized, and a select few are available as "minis." RE: The minis, you can mix and match, but they can only be purchased in increments of 6 and 12. For the purposes of reviewing, it proved more cost-effective to simply buy a full-sized donut of each of the flavors available in mini form.

Having slept in, I have no idea how many were available when the doors opened this morning, but there were at least ten types still available in quantity by the time I rolled in just after 10am. Currently, the "holiday" flavor availble is Red Velvet. 

Fonuts also has vegan/gluten-free options.  As a first in my donut diving (immediately regret saying that as I continue typing, unabated), I was intrigued. More intriguing?

All of Fonuts donuts are BAKED.

Valuation time! Baked donuts. Brave new territory. All WILD CARDS: 

GLAZED - Challenges my notion of the "standard" donut, as it's ICED with SPRINKLES. Appearances aside, it tasted... okay. A bit dry, and the icing and the glaze fight each other, texturally. If you've ever had the good fortune of eating a Mardi Gras King Cake, you aren't that far off from experiencing what this particular glazed donut is like.

CINNAMON SUGAR - More moisture than the Glazed, and a delightful amount of crystallization in the sugar coating. Very bready. One can only assume that it's the baking as opposed to the frying of the dough, but (and not in a bad way) this one almost most-closely reminds one of eating a muffin.

BANANA - Vegan. On the whole, all three of the vegan donuts sampled were great, moisture-wise. Great, cakey consistency which some may love, but others may not want in their donuts. To each their own. Very banana bread, this donut.
 

CHOCOLATE COCONUT - I'm a hard sell on anything coconut. I've always loved the smell, but I rarely love the taste. And I always hate the texture. This doesn't wasn't bad, but it was very COCONUT. So, if you love the coconut, this one's for you! Vegan. Gluten-free.
 

LEMON - Vegan. Gluten-free. Immediately evoked a memory from an earlier time in life... I worked for quite a while at a Borders book store, and the cafe sold Lemon Loaf slices (cakey lemon bread with innocuous icing up top). So for that, I tip my hat to both sense memory and this donut. Tastes just like Starbucks/Seatlle's best lemon loaf, with the added bonus of being vegan and gluten-free.

BLUEBERRY/EARL GREY - Then there's YOU, Blueberry/Earl Grey. Holy crap, Gang. Aces. Freaking Aces, all around. Blueberries on it, blueberries in it, Earl Grey tea taste as the finish. Made it worth the trip. This is a donut human beings need to eat. 

OVERALL - Should you go nuts for Fonuts?

Though there are plenty of other flavors I'm still interested in trying (I'll be coming back for YOU, Salted Caramel - you've been warned), the experience (thus far) doesn't quite merit the price. The SIX donuts surveyed cost a total of $20. Fonuts was on the upside of "good", but not awesome. Worth a shot if you're in the neighborhood. 

Monday
Jan092012

REVIEW: DONUT PRINCE

WHERE: 1721 West Olive Avenue, Burbank, CA 91506
OPEN: 24 Hours
PAY: Cash only (ATM on-site)

So why "Donut Prince" to kick off an ill-conceived series of confectionary critiques that will no doubt lead to weight gain and/or diabetes?

From the time I was an assistant on "Smallville" until the time we turned off our lights and closed the doors, three of us would take turns bringing donuts every Friday: Brian Peterson (Executive Producer) would grab some from a joint in Echo Park; Andi Armaganian (one of our editors) would pick some up from her favorite spot in near Marina Del Rey; I'd grab from Donut Prince (which I only found by accident on a supply run one afternoon). If you are/were a fan of the show, it's safe to say that a good percentage of stories broken between seasons seven and ten involved metabolized sugar from this establishment. Plus...

Tom Hanks has eaten there. I know this because his picture (with the owners) is on the wall. George Lopez has also eaten there. In fact, Mr. Lopez apparently loved his experience so much that he had the owners visit his talk show (a picture of this also graces the walls). There are also pictures of family scattered about - it's a very welcoming shop, and every-bit a "mom and pop." 

It's rare that you'll be greeted and served by someone other than the husband and wife duo who own and operate.  To be fair, I've never been there in the middle of the night (at which point I assume vampires or Nicolas Cage on B12 shots take over [as a subset of parenthesis, ten points to the person who gets that last reference]).

Available seating is limited.  Though there are only a handful of booths in the narrow space, I've visited enough times to know that you won't have much problem finding a spot on the weekend. During the work-week, however, you may have to wait. Or, you can grab-and-go.  During the week (specifically toward Thur/Fri), morning-time sees Donut Prince with a line usually backed up to (if not out of) the door. So the bigger question for you, Dear Reader - is it worth your (believe me, I'm hating this as I type it, but it applies) dough? (NOTE: he feels shame, but the amount of sugar he's just consumed has taken hold.)

Three toroidal solids, edible, shall be presented for valuation. One that I'd never eat of my own volition. One that I'd probably always eat over anything else. One that stands as a control element, found wherever donuts are sold. 
 

The WILD CARD: Powdered, jelly

Let's get this out of the way now - I've never been a fan of jelly donuts. Just know that I'm doing this for all of you, reading, out there in the dark. Or on the bus.

After two bites and still no jelly, I rotate the beast, then attack again. This is where the jelly has been hiding. Raspberry, from the taste of it. Not as much jelly as I was expecting, but it isn't bad. The consistency of the donut itself is fairly light and bready, and the powder reminds me of those tiny (awful for you) powdered donuts that came by the bag from the grocery store when I was little.

The STANDARD: Glazed

Every donut shop has one, so it's only fair to have this be the constant through all reviews henceforth. 

This particular glazed came fresh from the rack (as a side note, Prince generally always has glazed, twists, maple & chocolate iced bars fresh and ready on the rack). Though I've been exposed to plenty of dried-out glazed, this one is just the right amount of moist on the inside. As for the outside, the coating is thin, not-too-sticky, and just a bit flaky. As a bonus, it in no way feels like I need to wash my hands before returning to my keyboard between bites.

The GO-TO: Old-fashioned, with chocolate icing

And then there's you, my Precious. My go-to in life used to be cake with chocolate frosting and sprinkles. Donut Prince changed all that for me.

As always, the donut itself is like flash-fried angel food cake.  Crisp on the outside, fluffy on the inside. The icing up top is smooth, a little on the thick side and has some crystallization. This is the only donut of the three I have eaten in its entirety. I am sad that it is gone.

I chose to visit the Prince first for a reason - it is awesome. As always, mileage for the individual consumer will vary. If you're in Burbank for any reason and like donuts, you would be remiss to not give them a shot.

OVERALL (out of five):

Sunday
Jan082012

So, One Day, I Got Bored.

I'm in-between undercover projects and have run out of videogames to play. Since my dogs don't know how to hold a conversation (YET!)... this is happening.

As an adult, I find myself in desperate need of editorial outlet.  Considering I work in "entertainment," it was necessary to find something I could both gripe and praise without fear of stepping on toes I might one day need to dance with.  And what's the most harmless thing I can blog about; something that everyone, young or old, male or female, enjoys?  I think it's quite obvious, actually:

Donuts.

Much like snowflakes, no two are alike.  Great donuts are truly hard to come by.  It is my goal, with (hopefully) weekly frequence, to locate, evaluate, and expound upon donut-houses...  To shine a bright light on noble Castles of Confection.  Now, at the same time, I may squeeze in some journal entries about different stages of different projects that I'm working on, the ultimate goal in mind of helping enlighten those that may pursue similar endeavors.  Then, of course, there's the "oblivion" portion of everything, wherein I may or may not rant about how people behave in parking garages and in bank lines (mileage may vary).

Some of you may know from "Smallville."  Others, from DC Comics' "Batgirl" Vol. 3.  Then there's the rest of you, the bold, brave pioneers of blindingly stabbing forward through the gridlock of triviality known as the information "super-highway."  To all who've made it this far, I salute you.

So, without further ado...

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