So my second attempt at the chocolate peanut butter cake was a success. I really don't like to brag, but people were coming up to me telling me it was the best cake they'd ever eaten in their lives. Maybe they were exaggerating, but I let myself think maybe not. It is a really effing good cake. Greg's birthday crowd seemed to really enjoy it, as did the staff of The Edison!
You can see here that the cake almost slid totally off the plate. Close call. Yep, that's 33 candles. Or, let's say flirtythree candles...
And Greg, trying desperately (and fairly successfully) to hide his embarrassment:
Greg took a few pictures of me decorating the cake, too. Kinda funny to see myself work. I look a little cross-eyed when I decorate a cake:
LA was so fun! I know that most people who are reading this have been to LA, but it was my first time. The people are so friendly, and the architecture is so weird and cool. I didn't realize that everything still looks very 1960's astro-space-age-retro. It's weird, but very distinct. Plus, I'm not a huge movie buff or anything, but driving past all the big studios or recognizing all the sets and locations from movies was pretty cool. After a hike in Runyon Canyon, Greg (who, by the way, is the BEST host and LA tour guide on Earth) and I were standing on the ruins of an old front porch and some steps. Turns out it was Errol Flynn's old house! It's so wild to me that the "Golden Age of Hollywood" is literally in ruins now, considering it was less than a century ago. I mean obviously a lot of it has been preserved, but seeing these "ruins" felt oddly historical and strictly American. It was all pretty cool. If you're interested, you can check out some of the fun stuff I did by clicking HERE.
As far as the food in LA goes (since this is technically a food blog and not a "what-Christian-did-in-LA" blog), I was pretty underwhelmed. Nothing really stood out too much. Though Greg took me to a super gay place called Hamburger Mary's (a chain, from what I understand), and I had the best burger I've ever eaten in my life. It was stuffed with bacon, bleu cheese, and onions. Oh, and it was amateur drag night:
OH! And the bathroom there was real hi-klass and gay! Yep, in LA, you can shit to an ABBA remix under a disco ball. Like Naomi Watts says in Mulholland Drive (one of the best movies ever made), it's a "dream place." (She also gets fucked up, masturbates painfully hard, then kills herself during a drug-induced delusional fit, but that's much later in the movie - like way after the "dream place" bit.) Check it:
(Ya like how I just subtly introduced video to my blog? Hey now!)
Greg took me and my friend Mike to El Compadre, where we had dangerously strong flaming margaritas. You can sort of make out the flame here:
The Mexican food in LA didn't especially appeal to me, with one exception - Alegria, in Silverlake. My pal Franc took me there. It was really fresh and clearly made by knowledgeable folks who care deeply about their food and their customers' enjoyment. It was quite good.
Franc also introduced me to Dirty Dogs - bacon-wrapped hotdogs fried in bacon grease in, from as far as I could tell, a dented cookie sheet. The roasted jalapeno peppers on the side were a delicious, savory and spicy touch. It was SO good, but it, um, "stayed with me" for the whole next day. Owee.
Oh, duh! Greg also took me to Sprinkles Cupcakes in Beverly Hills, claiming they were some of the best cupcakes he's ever had. I've had their site bookmarked for a while in my favorites because I like their design aesthetic. They claim to be "Original Cupcake Bakery." While I think that's unlikely, the red velvet cupcake I had was absolutely, hands-down, the moistest, tastiest, most amazing cupcake I've ever had! If you read this blog, you know that I don't have much of a sweet tooth, but I've been craving this cupcake since I left LA. It's so rare to get a red velvet cake that tastes like anything at all, but this one had so much flavor - chocolately and buttery, but with the sharp tang of just enough vinegar. And the cream cheese frosting was perfect - sweet and tangy, and just enough of it. Man. It was good.
Off topic, here's me riding a bull:
Lastly, I'd like to add this video. I rediscovered this song in LA thanks to Greg, but mostly I love the sound effects in the video. Supercute. I will forever associate it with Greg and with LA. Enjoy, and thanks for reading.