L.A.-Made Gifts for Every Type of Angeleno on Your List

If you’re giving local, buy local

What do you buy for the residents of a city that has it all? Honestly, no one knows how to please an Angeleno like an Angeleno, so we’ve put together a holiday gift guide full of L.A. makers, brands, and shops that are sure to please every local on your list, whether they’re Westsiders, Eastsiders, or Valley dwellers. It’s always better to give than to receive, but we won’t rat you out to Santa or the Baby Jesus if you buy some of these goods for yourself.


For the cook with big ideas and a small kitchen

Donabe (Japanese clay cooking pot) from Toiro ($130 and up)

Instant Pot feeling a little played out? Consider gifting a donabe instead, a traditional Japanese cooking vessel that’s infinitely more interesting and arguably just as useful (it functions as a stew pot, casserole dish, rice cooker, steamer, and more). Picking one up is also an excuse to visit chef and author Naoko Takei Moore’s West Hollywood shop Toiro, which offers the widest selection of earthenware donabe and traditional Japanese cookware found anywhere outside for Japan. Prices range based on style and size, but you can easily purchase a fantastic starter-level donabe for around $150. —Garrett Snyder

For the friend who blows half their paycheck on craft cocktails

Amaro Angeleno by Ventura Spirits Company ($35)

A SoCal-inspired riff on the genre of Italian herbal liqueurs known as amaro, Amaro Angeleno makes for a brilliant addition to any home bar—perfect for slipping into classic cocktails or serving with a simple splash of soda and an orange wedge. Produced by local outfit Ventura Spirits Company, the tipple starts with unaged brandy (distilled using Paso Robles wine) that’s infused with local native botanicals, bitter herbs, and heaps of California citrus. The eye-catching label—a poppy-strewn California Art Nouveau throwback—doesn’t hurt its gift-able appeal either. Find it at most boutique or craft spirit retailers around town. —Garrett Snyder

For the sweet-but-not-too-sweet tooth

Hebel and Co. Halva ($12)

If you’ve ever snagged a thick slice at a Kosher grocery or delicatessen, you know the delicious appeal of halva (or halvah), a rich and flaky sesame paste dessert that’s wildly popular in countries like Lebanon and Israel. For a gift that’s both small and sweet, we love the artisan variety produced by L.A.’s own Hebel and Co., started in 2017 by husband and wife duo Scott Hebel and Katie Gurvin. This melt-in-your-mouth halva is freshly made with quality ingredients, and comes in flavors like chocolate chunk, espresso, and pistachio-nigella. Each decadent six-ounce block, wrapped neatly in wax paper, goes for $12 online (it’s also available at various specialty food stores around L.A.). —Garrett Snyder

For the mystic-in-training 

Small Spells Color Tarot Deck Set ($50)

Under the moniker Small Spells, illustrator, spiritual advisor, and stick-and-poke tattoo artist Rachel Howe puts her signature angular line drawings on everything from sweatshirts to skin. This set of witchy-cool tarot cards comes in either color or black and white, and is available online or at the Small Spells storefront in Virgil Village. Want to let a pro give it a go instead? Howe does one-hour readings and teaches private lessons. —Gwynedd Stuart

For the L.A. history buff 

Double Vision: The Photography of George Rodriguez by Hat & Beard Press ($65)

Famed L.A. photographer George Rodriguez has spent his career capturing two sides of L.A.: celebrities living the high life and regular people, largely Latinos on the city’s Eastside, just trying to achieve equality. “Living in South Central and then being at Hollywood premieres—it was like two different worlds,” he told us in July, when Hat & Beard press released a beautiful 192-page book filled with his photography. It’s an education in L.A. history that looks mega good on a coffee table. —Gwynedd Stuart

For the lovable narcissist 

Custom Niñas y Chicos by Uno + Ichi ($80)

We all have friends who fills their feeds with selfies. Thanks to Uno + Ichi’s custom ceramics, now they can drink out of their own heads. The West Adams-based duo makes batches of their standard Niñas y Chicos (more coming after Thanksgiving), but they also take custom orders—just specify characteristics and send a photo.  —Gwynedd Stuart

For the drinker who loves wine, animals, and dismantling the patriarchy

A Beast Box from Vinovore (prices vary)

Vinovore, Silver Lake’s favorite feminist wine seller, is putting together curated gift boxes for the holidays, each with a bottle of wine from a female winemaker and some accessories. The Badger Box is perfect for outdoors people, the Sloth Box is tailored to the lovable couch potato, and the Unicorn Box suits the Angeleno who spends as much money at House of Intuition as she spends at the grocery store. Pop in the store—which now carries books too—and customize a box any way you’d like. —Gwynedd Stuart

For the Venice-dweller who insists they’re too cool for a Bird scooter

Limited edition “Cool It” skateboard by Julia Walck for Society6 ($120)

Local illustrator Julia Walck is known for her colorful, hand-lettered designs, used here to decorate a limited-run, retro-style skateboard crafted by BOARDLife. Rolling into 2019, no app required. —Brittany Martin

For the would-be princess obsessed with Meghan Markle

Super Tiny Solid Pavé Teardrop Necklace by Adina Reyter ($258)

If the new Duchess of Sussex is your daughter’s number one idol, maybe a special piece from L.A. jeweler Adina Reyter is in order. The brand is a favorite of Markle’s and this petite necklace has been spotted on her neck in numerous photos. —Brittany Martin

For the dancing queen who never misses a music fest

Malibu Skye Stardust Hologram Belt Bag ($58)

 

When their IG feed is nothing but #FestivalVibes, this waist bag from local bag maker Malibu Skye will be a welcome—and practical—gift. It’s made of vegan, iridescent material, sized just right for necessities, and lined with zodiac-printed fabric. #obsessed —Brittany Martin

For the party host who just isn’t that into wine

Semolina Artisanal Pasta x Jacobsen Salt Gift Set ($27)

When you’re heading to someone’s house and find out they’re not a big boozer but still don’t want to arrive empty handed, this is a perfect option. Semolina pasta is made in Pasadena on traditional bronze dies from all organic durum wheat. To fancy it up for this gift set, a sack is bundled with a packet of Jacobsen sea salt and a charming brass salt spoon.

For your avant friend’s avant baby

Alice Coltrane’s World Spirituality Classics 1: The Ecstatic Music of Alice Coltrane Turiyansangitananda ($28)

Some L.A. babies are so sophisticated it’s scary. Named Onyx or Leaf, they reside in elegant Silver Lake nurseries stocked with imported Scandinavian toys and pastel-hued modern furniture. If you’re tasked with buying a gift for a tot who’s chicer than you’ll ever be, pick up this Alice Coltrane classic. Recorded at the late jazz musician’s Sai Anantam Ashram (which was sadly lost in the recent Woolsey fire), it’s filled with joyful chants and lush harp numbers that will be appreciated by hip babies and parents alike. —Zoie Matthew

For the friend who always wants to go to cool museum exhibits but never actually makes it

Map Pointz: A Collective Memory by Guadalupe Rosales ($50)

If your wannabe-art-heaux pal still hasn’t caught Guadalupe Rosales’s Echos of a Collective Memory at the Vincent Price Museum, this beautiful holographic volume will give them a taste of what they’re missing. The product of three years’ worth of archival collection and interviews (gathered through the artist’s popular Instagram accounts @veteranas_and_rucas and @map_pointz) the limited-edition book is packed with images, artifacts, and personal stories from SoCal’s Latina youth culture and the ’90s rave and party scene of East L.A. —Zoie Matthew

For the Angeleno with aggressive neighborhood pride

Flores Lane Candles (from $5)

Trish Baden and the rest of the team behind this WeHo-based candle company are in the business of capturing the scents of L.A. nabes (the good parts, not the gross parts). What’s the essence of Silver Lake, you might ask? Bergamot, mandarin, and jasmine; Laurel Canyon is a mix of ginger and white amber. See if they’ve got a candle for your hood on their site. —Marielle Wakim

For the super hip but kinda bougie jewelry lover

Lena Wald Jewelry (prices vary)

From earrings in the shapes of zippers and jax, to thin script rings and pavé diamond necklaces, every piece made by local designer Lena Wald is as bold as it is delicate. Shop the whole collection on her site. —Marielle Wakim

For people who believe whatever Gwyneth Paltrow says

La Vie en Rose Face Roller ($65)

There’s no real science to back up the alleged benefits of face rollers, but that doesn’t mean they don’t feel nice on your skin. This one, made from “ancient rose quartz” by beauty-guru-to-the-stars Angela Caglia, will purportedly de-puff some stuff, boost circulation, and redefine your facial contours. —Marielle Wakim

For the L.A. woman who wears her culture on her sleeve

Hija de Tu Madre’s Bandera Trucker Jacket ($159)

Los Angeles is one of the most diverse cities in the world, and it’s no secret that we love to celebrate that every chance we get. So for the friend in your life who loves to flaunt her roots loud and proud, get her Hija de Tu Madre’s limited edition bandera denim wash jacket. You can also choose from jackets with the Guatemala, Puerto Rico, and El Salvador flags. —Pamela Avila

For the L.A. native who’s rarely home but always reppin’

P.F. Candle Co.’s Los Angeles Soy Candle ($18)

Scents always tend to overwhelm you with a wave of emotions that bring back memories from the past, make you think back to people you miss and places you’ve been to. This candle from P.F. Candle Co.–hand-poured in their Los Angeles studio–was made with the L.A. friend who’s coast to coast and constantly missing home in mind. With notes of dry desert, coastal sage, redwood, and beachwood, this candle will help your globetrotting L.A. friend take the city with them wherever they go. —Pamela Avila

For the workaholic who never leaves their desk for lunch

Gone for Lunch: 52 Things to Do in Your Lunch Break by Laura Archer ($13)

For the coworker in your life who never takes a lunch break and is always glued to their computer, here’s a little push for them to get their butt outside. Gone for Lunch: 52 Things to Do in Your Lunch Break by Laura Archer gives you plenty of fun and creative ideas for how to spend your lunch. You could knit a scarf, write a novelette, visit a local gallery–the possibilities are endless. Archer is from London, but you can support local by buying the book at the the Library Foundation’s Library Store in DTLA. —Pamela Avila

For the commuter who lives in the Valley but works over the hill

The Flux Charger ($29.95)

You’ve gotta stay charged up if you’re the commuter coming from the San Fernando Valley all the way to, say, Culver City. It’s a long journey, my friend, and you need all the juice you can get–to stay entertained, to catch up on the latest news, to listen to a podcast, or to simply find your way back home with Google Maps. The Flux Charger—created by four UCLA students and based out of L.A.—is a sleek and lightweight portable power bank for anyone who needs a little boost. —Pamela Avila

For the art fan who also loves Tim Burton movies

Peter Shire ceramics (prices vary)

Peter Shire loves to dress up like a clown and has an enormous collection of antique hammers. He’s a wacky guy. He’s also a design superstar whose 1980s work for the Italian-based Memphis Collective has been shown in museums all over the world. The lifetime resident of Echo Park is a master ceramicist firing up his kiln to create stripy coffee mugs, plates, and tiles. His studio (located at 1850 Echo Park Avenue) is rarely open to the public, but you can drop in for an open house on Sunday, December 2, from 1 to 5 p.m., meet the artist and stock up on gifts from an artist whose style is pleasing to the most highbrow aesthete and also people who loved the house in Beetlejuice. —Chris Nichols


RELATED: 7 of the Best Places to Buy a Christmas Tree in L.A.


Stay up to date with everything you need to know about L.A. by following us on Facebook and Instagram.

Facebook Comments