anna + me + nikki + cake
mona lisa friend
Last weekend was the first time I ever cakebarred by myself for a little bit, which felt much braver than it probably was, thanks to two strangers who very quickly became my cohorts in cake lies.
I started out at The Woods, a nice surprise tucked in a strip mall behind the El Pollo Loco on Sunset and La Brea. The place looks kind of like the Bigfoot bars, with its elk antler chandeliers and cedar blocks lining the walls. I forgot that I was coming on pre-Halloween weekend, and couldn’t figure out if all the girls wearing light-up devil horns were actually customers or employees. I sat in a back booth while I waited for my friends to meet me, wondering if I could offer people my untouched cake without looking weird and friendless. Then I saw a girl with a Mona Lisa costume– her face poking through a canvas in a giant picture frame– and decided she was a good place to start. “Could I take a picture of you in your costume if I give you a piece of cake?” I asked. “Sure,” she said. “But someone will have to feed it to me.”
(surprise) teammates, dennis and nicole
I didn’t realize her awesome costume came with restrictive cake eating capabilities. Luckily, her friend was happy to oblige.
Once I gave them each a piece, it felt easier to keep giving away the cake. The two friends sitting next to me were thrilled when I offered them some, as they’d been eyeing the cake (and smelling the cake) since I walked in. Dennis and Nicole, who both do noble things with their lives like clinical research, asked lots of thoughtful questions about cakebarring when I filled them in after our 2 minutes of friendship. When a guy walked up in the middle of this and asked if it was someone’s birthday, Nicole said quickly and convincingly, “Yes, it’s my birthday.” She offered him a piece of cake and he plopped down, asking how we all knew each other. “Oh, we’ve been friends for a long time,” Nicole said. WHAT? Nicole, are you in the wrong field? Should you actually be a spy?
anna and nikki, swarmed
Even though I would have liked to see Nicole and Dennis continue to lie to other people on my behalf, I left to go meet my friends closer to their house at bar #2: the Brickyard. While stuck in traffic, I saw Batman eating frozen yogurt all alone on the side of the road. (I know. I should have asked him to join me. That would have been a surefire recipe for fun and romance.)
The Brickyard is a huge bar in North Hollywood, half bar and benches and half pool tables. I walked in to find my friends Anna and Nikki swarmed by a number of highly interested parties, who didn’t even need cake to get drawn in– just Anna’s Zooey Deschanel bangs. One of these guys, an insurance rep visiting from Dallas, offered to buy me a drink (which should be noted never EVER happens, in all my hundreds of cake offerings), but I gratefully declined, and ended up circling the bar to seek out more friendly looking cake takers. I ran into a couple of editors from my office playing pool, who probably didn’t recognize me wearing less than a sweater and ill-fitting corduroy pants, but were nonetheless very happy to eat some cake.
What occasionally happens is that I get so distracted catching up with my sweet friends that I forget my mission until I’m about to fall asleep. I looked up from visiting with Anna around 1 in the morning and realized I had better give out the rest of the cake. Anna and I decided on two guys standing off to the side of their friend group. When I asked if they wanted any cake, the one in glasses said, “Always.” Boy in glasses turned out to be great, a Texan performer who asked lots of nice questions, even though he didn’t ask for my number. I handed him and his friend a business card on my way out, deciding it was better to finish the night off with some intrigue– “Wait, are we on camera right now?” they asked– than trying to force something that wasn’t supposed to happen.
This recipe comes from defamed southern superstar Paula Deen; the numbers just refer to the ratio of ingredients: 1 cup milk, 2 cups sugar, 3 cups flour, and 4 eggs, (and Miss Deen absolutely adds butter). I used homemade coconut frosting leftover from a birthday cake. I must say– having tested out this recipe earlier in the week, (shocker!), using whole wheat flour and brown sugar is actually better on this one, making the cake taste more like pancakes. You could substitute it for breakfast, no problem.
editor friends partaking
boys’ eyes: literally glowing when they hear “cake”