Birthday countdowns are nothing new for West Covina resident Remil Mangali. For his 40th birthday, Mangali ate one birthday cake daily for 40 days.
Mangali turned 41 on November 15. But this year, he simply didn't have enough time to do a daily countdown.
So he did an hourly one.
"I did it last year with 40 days of cake. This year I was so busy that I totally forgot about it," he said, "So the only option I had was 41 hours of cake."
Mangali made five different trips to 15 different bakeries around the Los Angeles area and collected 41 miniature cakes. Stops included Kiki Bakery, JJ Bakery, RJ Patisserie, Tous Les Jours, Paris Baguette, Diamond Bakery, Phoenix Bakery in Chinatown, Porto's Bakery, Kee Wah Bakery and Rosa's Bakery.
Each hour, he would taste a cake and post a photograph of it on his Instagram feed. Mangali would even wake up in the middle of the night to document his cake countdown.
Known throughout Los Angeles by his Instagram handle, Limer35, the self-proclaimed "Pinoy Panda" recently won LA Weekly's Best Food Instagrammer title. His acclaim comes not only for his scrumptious photography skills via iPhone 4, but for the amount of culinary ground he covers each week.
Though he's an impressive home cook and often posts up photos of his personal culinary creations, Mangali eats out an average of five times a week. On a regular basis, he can be spotted trying out the tasting menu at Patina or getting his fix of kare-kare at his favorite Filipino restaurant, Pondahan Fusion in West Covina.
He is also a major pastry connoisseur. "Last year I actually went to 40 different bakeries," he said. "I just know a lot of bakeries especially near the San Gabriel Valley and the West side. "
His favorite? The Italian Cheesecake from Porto's Bakery. "It's kind of like the New York cheesecake," he said. "It's marscapone mousse and they put pears in the inside."
But even he couldn't consume all the cakes. "I didn't eat all 41. I tried to taste a slice of each one," he said. "I gave them out to co-workers, friends and family. I did eat ten whole cakes though. The ones that tasted really good, I ate the whole thing."
Mangali finished his birthday countdown with a Raspberry Cream Cake from Tous Les Jour, followed by more desserts at his birthday dinner.
"I no longer have blood. It's now pure glucose," he tweeted.
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