Things to do in L.A. before you die (or move back to Iowa)

For a very brief window last month, it looked like we might pack up and leave Los Angeles, and I admit I was a little freaked out. Despite my East Coast roots, I have come to love this city and my never-a-dull-moment existence. So…instead of worrying about the usual tornado of things brought on by moving an entire family across the country (schools, property taxes, and adjusting to more than 6 overcast days a year, e.g.), I focused on all the places I must visit here before departing.

High on my L.A. bucket list (on par with a happy-hour Ray’s Mistake at the Tiki Ti and a hike up to Mount Lowe) was a stop at House of Silvanas in Hollywood. This little bakery-within-a-restaurant makes delectable buttercream cookies that can’t be duplicated elsewhere (except maybe their two other branches in Northern California and the Phillippines).

Silvanas taste like a lighter, ethereal cross between a French macaroon and a cream puff — you may feel the urge to put on an Enya CD or rent “Peter Pan” as you bite into one. They are sold in $10 boxes of 12 and flavors include strawberry, mocha, lemon, and plain buttercream (my favorite).

Even though we’re staying put for now, I ran over and picked up a couple of boxes this week. The little kiosk was still there inside Kusina, a turo-turo market (Filipino fast-food joint) near the corner of Fountain and Vermont Avenues. The braised pork stew at the lunch counter looked good, but on this day I had eyes only for the silvanas.

Check back as I compile and check off more items for my L.A. bucket list. I’m thinking beaches and burgers are next!

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