The several Goldilocks Bakeshop locations across the Southland are basically portals to Manila, to be used in the event of a sweet-tooth emergency. Expat Filipinos come here for polvoron milk-powder, shortbread-like treats and tiny purple ube puto cakes, and pan de sal, or “salted bread,” dinner roll–shaped buns actually eaten for breakfast. They come here for modest hopia, a hockey puck of flaky, paper-thin layered pastry filled with black or yellow beans, and showy ensaymada, a butter-intensive brioche twirled into a turban, sprinkled with grated cheese and sugar. Or for pastillas de leche in cellophane bags, whose delightful crinkle elicits a practically Pavlovian response in fans of the soft, sugar-coated milk candies. The Philippine palate is sweet and salty and a little bit sour, and Goldilocks caters to this holy trinity. To cut the sugar, there are pork buns and siopao (Chinese for “hot bun”) and bags of savory native snacks like chicharron — fried pork skin seasoned with salt and vinegar — and garlic peanuts. The Vermont Avenue Goldilocks is the flagship, but the one in Eagle Rock is located in a mall next to a Target, which is convenient: Head there afterward for some Pepto Bismol. 209 S. Vermont Ave., Koreatown. (213) 382-2351; 2700 Colorado Blvd., Suite 110, Eagle Rock. (323) 543-2676.

—Gendy Alimurung

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