best chocolate cake for val
downtown lala land
A couple of my friends from work were scanning the roof of the Standard Hotel in downtown LA last week helping me look for people to offer our (actual) leftover birthday cake to. “What’s your type?” they asked. “Like, who are we looking for?”
“Hm… Guys who look like they check in with their moms like, about once a week.”
They did not like this answer. This is a very difficult trait to spot appearance-wise.
This is probably why I’m still single.
ping pong cake
We had been invited to celebrate our friend Val’s birthday at Spin Standard—the ping pong room and bar in The Standard Hotel—a perfect place for weeknight cakebarring. I arrived in style with chocolate frosting all over my torso from a mishap on the escalator. (It is not uncommon for me to find frosting on my clothes these days, and it’s not just limited to my sleeves. Hashtag embarrassing. Hashtag she works hard for the money.) Spin Standard, part of a “galaxy of ping-pong social clubs,” is the coolest place ever— they have a DJ and black lights and big comfy couches next to all the ping pong tables. They also have a $30 cake fee, which is almost worth the handsome guy they send over to cut and serve the cake for you. It’s very nice, but not great for when everyone you want to offer cake to is on their way to the roof. (That’s right—no cake allowed on the roof, people.) My friend Michelle took this logistical challenge head-on, undaunted by the fact that we would have to very literally lure people from the roof back down to our tables to consume what was left of our 4 layer birthday cake if we really wanted to make cakebarring work.
roof recruits with cakebar captain michelle and ashlei
MICHELLE IS ALMOST BETTER AT THIS THAN I AM. (She’s also recently married—clearly, she has nothing to lose.) She casually worked her way into “Are you guys hungry?” with everyone at arm’s length. We met a group of guys in software who gladly abandoned their roof top table for some cake, some business professionals having just finished a conference, two men who did not speak English, and two hipster dudes who repeatedly declined our offers of cake. (Maybe they were on a date with each other, and we didn’t get it?) I also met this fantastic guy in marketing who was super excited to be offered cake– like running into the ping pong club excited to be offered cake. His friend and his visiting family were equally gracious cake eaters, and I even got a shout out on the sister’s blog, which is great, and (ironically) about running.
new buddies + new blogger friend
By 12:30AM, I still had one giant piece of cake left. I really didn’t want to bring it home—I always feel better when I’ve given away every single piece, like I’m trying my hardest or something—and then I noticed a guy in a suit playing ping pong. Who was really good at ping pong. Turns out he’s a tennis player. Not only did he love the cake, he knocked the container right out of my hands.
It only took me 22 rounds to get a kiss at the bar, and have this guy try to feed me some of my own cake. Since I accidentally just called him while re-reading his nice text message, we will see if I ever hear from him again.
This week’s phenomenal chocolate cake recipe was discovered on AddAPinch.com. (I doubled the recipe to make the cake ENORMOUS.) I’d make sure you have a glass measuring cup before baking since you’ll need to add boiling water into the mix. (Unless, of course, you aren’t paranoid about melting your plastic one.) Chrissy gets credit for the fabulous decorating job.
the almost last piece…
my work boyfriends