Like Odysseus and Aeneas, my family and I voyaged into the bowels of Hades last night: a 4-year-old boy's birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese (in Ladera Heights, near Pann's and the Buggy Whip, as if anyone would care).
No point in discussing the bready pizza and truly miserable excuse for a salad bar, but a ray of hope did penetrate the clamor--a rather nice banana-and-fruit birthday cake from La Adelita #1 in Pico-Union. The birthday boy's mother (a native of Guatemala) said she would have preferred to order a tres leches cake but wasn't sure tres leches would have survived the long rush hour drive from bakery to party.
The cake was decorated in a traditional Spiderman theme, and to tell the truth the garish-blue-and-red decorative frosting didn't have much taste; but the cake itself, although just a shade dry, had a nice strong banana taste with a hint of brown sugar. (And also possibly a hint of rum? In a Spiderman cake? Nah, surely not.) Plus fresh fruit and cream between the layers.
I gather La Adelita has been around forever and has a mixed reputation (not to mention a less than stellar record with the health dep't) but in this case we were so, so grateful.
To his credit my own 2-year-old son (who had never seen this den of iniquity before and hopefully won't see it too often in the future) spent all his time gawking at the arcade games and he wouldn't touch the pizza, but he did enjoy a piece of the cake. He's incredibly fussy about food, but in this case I guess that was a good thing; maybe he has the makings of a discriminating eater yet.