The season of giving is back again, meaning it’s high time to start jotting down that naughty or nice list and coming up with the perfect gift for loved ones. Thankfully we here at Eater LA are here to help, with a list of Eater-tested gadgets and decadent treats for the food lovers on your list. From gorgeous hand-crafted Japanese knives to the abundance of fabulous books recently released by LA chefs, here are 2017’s best Los Angeles-based gifts for food obsessives.
Japanese Knife Imports Gesshin Stainless 210mm Wa-Gyuto
Beverly Hills’s Japanese Knife Imports is a well-kept secret, one largely reserved for LA’s professional chefs. It doesn’t have to be, as the shop run by husband and wife duo Jon and Sara Broida can make any home cook step up their culinary game in a big way. A perfect introductory knife is the Gesshin Stainless 210mm Wa-Gyuto, an accessible piece that Broida designed from the ground up. The knife manages to cut beautifully, without being very high maintenance.
Japanese Knife Imports; Price: $125
Wexler’s Baller Box
There may be no better gift for deli lovers (and who isn’t a deli lover?) than Wexler’s Baller Box. Loaded with a half dozen gorgeously chewy bagels, bagel chips, a half pound of lox, a half pound of sturgeon, egg salad, 30g of Wexler’s private label caviar, and two chocolate babka, the gift box certainly lives up to its name.
Email Wexler’s at firstname.lastname@example.org; Price: $160
Vinovore Beast Box
Silver Lake’s new wine shop with a focus on female winemakers, Vinovore, is offering a selection of Beast Boxes that can be tailored to specific gifting needs. Take the Sloth Box, ideal for lazy nights in loaded with smooth wine and retro toys. Custom notes add greatly to the thoughtfulness, with this one reading, “This old vine wine is smooth with elegant tannins. Laced with ripe, dark fruit and dark sexy vibes! Pairings: grilled pork, roasted veggies and kissing.”
Vinovore; Price: Ranges
Health-Ade Holiday Cheers
Local kombucha brewery Health-Ade has made a massive expansion thanks to its new Torrance facility. Healthy food lovers would be grateful to receive a case of its festive new flavor Holiday Cheers, laced with flavors of ginger, cloves, allspice, and chocolate.
Health-Ade; Price: $24 for a pack of 6
Esters Wine Box
Gift givers can never go wrong with a nice bottle of wine and assorted goodies. Esters’ wine boxes makes finding the perfect host gift a little easier with its customizable small, medium, and large boxes. The medium option includes Jacobsen salty caramels, Esters lavender almonds, M.Greenwood jam, and a selection of sparkling, red, or white wine. Add on a small bouquet of flowers for an additional $35.
Esters; Price: $85
DIY Risotto Set from Eataly
Who needs meal kit delivery services when there’s Eataly, LA’s new mecca for gourmands. The massive restaurant and retail concept is the perfect place to put together a tailored gift for food-loving friends. And with recipe cards by Los Angeles-based organic bone broth company Brothee, coming up with a DIY risotto gift box can even come with instructions to make every home cook feel like one of the city’s most talented chefs.
Eataly; Price: Brothee Wild Mushroom $9.80, Eataly Tote Bag $9.80
Cake Monkey Snack Treat Favorites
Kids and those at heart will revel in the nostalgia that comes with Cake Monkey’s snack treat favorites. The gift box by the Beverly Boulevard bakery includes favorites like El Rollos (their gourmet take on a ho ho), Pop Pies (pop tart/pie hybrids), Cakewiches, and more.
Cake Monkey; Price: $62 for a 16 piece assortment, $118 for a 32 piece assortment.
The punjabi and hindi word for “badass,” badmaash is something that everyone should want to proudly wear on their heads. Thankfully the thoughtful chefs behind Downtown LA’s Indian gastropub of the same name makes that very much possible with its branded snapbacks that can be purchased in the restaurant. Watch out for more merch at the father and son trio’s upcoming Fairfax eatery and online shop.
Badmaash; Price: $20
Headquartered in LA, Stillhouse Whiskey is inherently festive thanks to its unique, candy apple red stainless steel packaging that chills exceptionally quickly. The limited edition spiced cherry flavor is sure to make the days merry and bright, and with affordable 375 and 750 mL sizes, is a perfect stocking stuffer.
Stillhouse Whiskey; Price: $13.99 for the 375 mL, $24.99 for the 750 mL
DKA Hamper and Book
Rejoice! Dominique Ansel’s crazy delicious kouign amann, aka the “DKA,” is finally available in Los Angeles at the master baker’s first West Coast location in The Grove. You’re sure to be the favorite person at the party with the massive orange hamper of these caramelized croissants in tow, with a stunning cookbook that is a necessity for any pastry aficionado.
Dominique Ansel; Price: $115
LA’s preeminent taco expert (and full disclosure, Eater LA contributor) Bill Esparza has penned a love letter to Mexican food in LA in his gorgeous new tome L.A. Mexicano. Far more than just a cookbook, Esparza’s talent as a storyteller is apparent in full force, with generous word counts dedicated to the great Mexican chefs in the city. There are recipes for the dishes that helped give those chefs acclaim along with handy neighborhood guides, making the book an essential addition to the collection of every food-loving Angeleno.
Amazon; Price: $20.36
Adventures in Starry Kitchen
The story behind banana-suit wearing Nguyen Tran and kitchen “ninja” Thi Tran and their illegal, underground restaurant-turned-now-shuttered legitimate operation was one begging to be told. Finally Tran’s memoir/cookbook with 88 recipes has debuted, with all the zany exclamations one would expect from the beloved Los Angeles chef, along with the instructions to make the duo’s famed tofu balls (“in yo’ mouth”).
Amazon; Price: $19.16
Night + Market
There were a plethora of great cookbooks released this year by Los Angeles-based chefs and writers. This should not take away from the greatness of Kris Yenbamroong and LA food writer Garrett Snyder’s epic work, the long-awaited Night + Market book. Merely flipping through the pages makes one feel cool as hell, with recipes for the restaurant’s signature dishes, from pad thai to Yebamroong’s signature strip mall fried rice, that anyone could make at home.
Amazon; Price: $22.13
Simply put, the best way to describe the cuisine depicted in Josef Centeno’s cookbook Baco is Angeleno. Reflecting the cornucopia of produce readily available in Southern California and the myriad influences from the city’s vast array of vibrant international communities, everything from the “spicy, salty, pickled, preserved” to the “earthy, sharp, velvety, savory” is a true ode to this great city. Bonus points for stunning photography by Dylan James Ho and Jeni Afuso.
Amazon; Price: $23.79