Birthday party themes may have changed along the way for Southern California kids, depending on the season's must-have doll or the popular car-cool TV show, but what's remained a constant, for decades, is the inclusion of an ice cream cake.
Forget the swimming, forget the presents, forget everything: The cake's the creamy-cold centerpiece. It's no surprise that it took a SoCal-started outfit to come up with this warm-weather icon of the party table, and it's no surprise that an ice cream cake will be served, with ceremony and stirring words, at the big 70th birthday party for Baskin-Robbins.
Like any good crayon-hued party invite, you need the time/place/info. The bash is happening on Tuesday, Dec. 8 at the Burbank-based flagship store on Victory Boulevard. It's an afternoon-long lark, like most parties, so show up any time between 1 o'clock and 5 p.m. to nab "31"-themed specials. But if you want to see the grand cutting of the ice cream cake, be in the pink-and-blue-awning'd house at 1:30.
Oh, and this candy-colored invitation should also read "no presents required." (Just your presence, if you're a longtime 31 Flavors fan.)
The specials of the afternoon include 31-cent scoops, root beer floats for $1.31, and classic banana splits for $3.31. Plus 31 percent off ice cream cakes.
Baskin-Robbins, as you likely know, boasts cred that's both lickable (for the ice cream) and local. If you visited Glendale's Snowbird Ice Cream and/or Pasadena's Burton Ice Cream, way back when, you enjoyed a treat at an early shop that would evolve, cone by cone, into the company we know today.
As for the "31" part? It has to do with a flavor for each day of the month, still a catchy concept. That other icons sprung from the ice cream-making outfit, like those lil' pink taster spoons and the brown-and-pink polka dots '70s kids well remember, charms even further.
But does anything charm quite as much as a birthday with an ice cream cake? It really was as good as a good present, when you were a tot, and that's saying a lot. That the company is going to have an ice cream cake at its 70th, and we're all invited, seems as meta, and perfect, as seeing your name written in frosting, or your favorite flavor featured during your birthday month.
Ice cream cakes, hamburgers, fish tacos, the barbecue chicken pizza, and date shakes. We truly live in a region flush with fantastical foodstuffs, many of which began, or were perfected, right here.