When Marie Antoinette said: "Let them eat cake," she never told people where to go to have that cake. But if she'd known about the offerings at a few choice restaurants, history might have been different. The peasants would have lost their heads over the chocolate cakes found in 10 delightful forms in Southern California.
The Mile-High Cake that's served at Gladstone's, 17300 Pacific Coast Highway in Pacific Palisades, at the Sea Lion at 21150 W. Pacific Coast Highway and R.J.'s for Ribs at 252 N. Beverly Drive in Beverly Hills is not something to be taken lightly. At 12 inches high, it requires regal stamina to consume the chocolate treat, baked fresh daily at each of the three locations, and enough for a king and half a kingdom. At $4.95 a slice, the cake is more than enough for the entire palace guard too. Gladstone's, (213) 454-3474, the Sea Lion, (213) 456-2810, and R.J.'s for Ribs, (213) 274-3474, are all part of the More Food and Fun Corp.
Eadie's Chocolate Chip Cake at D.B. Levy's, 10936 Lindbrook Drive in Westwood, is for lovers of dense chocolate and chocolate chips. After choosing from more than 100 sandwiches listed on the humorous menu, with names like Cluck Gable and Hedda Gobbler, reward yourself for $2.50 a slice. Near the bottom of the impressive menu, the cake is an inconspicuous and, until you order it, an unimposing entry. To dilute the richness of chocolate, it might be wise to accessorize with a glass of milk. Telephone (213) 208-3773.
Cappuccino Cake is a welcome discovery for those at Houlihan's Old Place who court the special treat of flavor combinations. The secret of this delectable dessert is a pleasant blending of coffee and chocolate, which results in a mild hint of cappuccino. This chocolate cake is frosted with icing made with a coffee-flavored liqueur. It is topped with a generous scoop of cappuccino ice cream and fudge sauce. Every bite is nice and at $3.50 a slice, this treasure is worth a king's ransom. Of the 50 Houlihan's outlets in the Unites States, three are in Southern California. They are in Encino at 17150-A Ventura Blvd., (818) 986-2100; Torrance at 21420 Hawthorne Blvd., (213) 542-3535, and Long Beach at 6272-A E. Pacific Coast Highway, (213) 598-9638.
Ultimate Hot Fudge Cake at Hamburger Hamlet is a dessert to remember. A very sweet triple-layer fudge cake, accompanied by scoops of Haagen-Dazs ice cream and hot fudge, the $4.50-a-slice cake is not for those uninitiated in splurges and self-indulgence. Each restaurant among 18 in the Southern California area bakes its own cakes. A perfect dessert for a knight on the town. The cake can be found throughout the Hamlet's empire from Palm Springs at 105 N. Palm Canyon Drive, (619) 325-2321, to Sherman Oaks at 4419 Van Nuys Blvd., (818) 784-1183, and Woodland Hills, 21937 Ventura Blvd., (818) 883-8260, including the oldest outlet at 9201 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood. Other locations include those in Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Downtown Los Angeles and Costa Mesa.
German Chocolate Cake, Chocolate Truffles Cake and Swiss Black Forest Cake are from the European Cake Gallery, whose baking has added to the sweetness of the San Diego area for the past 11 years. The bakery is at 3661 Voltaire St. The German Chocolate has a coconut frosting and ground walnuts, the Chocolate Truffles has three layers with a fudge frosting, and the house specialty--the Swiss Black Forest--has chocolate mousse and whipped cream between each of its three layers. It's topped with chocolate shavings. Each cake is sold at the bakery for $1 a slice or $15 for an eight-inch cake that will serve 16 people. Or San Diego diners can find these delectables served at local restaurants, including the Old Trieste, 2335 Morena Blvd., (619) 276-1841, and Nino's Restaurant, 4501 Mission Bay Drive in Pacific Beach, (619) 274-3141.
Blackout Cake, Chocolate What a Cake and Fudge Cake, showcased at the three Solley's Restaurant and Delicatessen locations, are cakes worth ruining a diet for. The Blackout is the richest of the three and uses darker chocolate. And what a cake the Chocolate What a Cake is. The tallest of the trio, it has three layers, and each slice is about seven inches high. The Fudge Cake has fudge frosted between each of its three layers. King-size portions go for $3.50 a slice. Solley's are at 19626 Nordhoff St., Northridge, (818) 701-5090; 4578 Van Nuys Blvd. in Sherman Oaks, (818) 905-5774, and in Woodland Hills at 21857 Ventura Blvd., (818) 340-0810.
Black-Out Cake, at the Tam O'Shanter Inn, 2980 Los Feliz Blvd., Los Angeles, (213) 664-0228, with zillions of chocolate chips nestled in the moist, sweet, dark-chocolate cake and topped by smooth, rich, fudgey icing and a rakish chocolate fin is awesome. Proclaimed by many chocolate aficionados as one of the best black-out cakes. It's $3.50 a slice.