Best Artful Cakes - 2008
I Dream of Cake - CLOSED
Casual passersby may be forgiven for thinking the storefront of 1351 Grant, with its displays of stacked boxes, circles, and other shapes colorfully decorated with flowers, glossy metallic beads, and buttons and bows, is an appointment-only gallery specializing in Pop Art. It is by appointment only, but its specialty is amazing edible art: special occasion cakes, designed and baked in-house. These spectacular creations (including a bust of Napoleon that looks exactly like alabaster, stiletto heels worthy of Manolo Blahnik, and Bambi surrounded by toadstools) start around $400 for a handpainted two-layer cake and soar to $24,000 for a sculpted landscape that fed 800. Creator Shinmin Li has made cakes for Gordon Getty, Larry Ellison, and Danielle Steel, among many others. She needs at least two weeks' notice to create a simple masterpiece; for elaborate wedding cakes, she gets booked up, and several months might be required. And then it's a moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips — and forever in the photographs!