From recipe ideas to virtual wine tastings, everything you need to keep sane and satiated—while supporting your favorite local businesses.
If you didn’t start cultivating a sourdough starter as soon as the mayor told us to stay home, it’s not too late to make a yeasty pet that will give rise to homemade bread for decades. Highland Park’s Mr. Holmes Bakehouse has kits that include a lively starter and flour—all you need to bake your own loaves. To whip up a starter of your own, check out the King Arthur Flour website or grab the Bestia cookbook.
Follow the pros
Better at eating out than you are cooking at home? Log in to Instagram (you were probably there already anyway) for some tips and tricks. World-renowned Italian pasta maestro Massimo Bottura (@massimobottura), who recently opened an osteria atop the Gucci store in Beverly Hills, is livestreaming cooking lessons—in English and Italian—with Q&As from his home kitchen. Many other big names are sharing their #quarantinekitchen skills, including model and cookbook author Chrissy Teigen (@chrissyteigen); former Food Network host and travel writer Aida Mollenkamp (@aidamollenkamp), national treasure Ina Garten (@inagarten); and Silicon Valley comedian-actor Jimmy Yang (@funnyasiandude), who offers local L.A. shopping tips and demonstrations with a side of humor. If you want to really use this time to improve your skills in the kitchen, consider investing in classes from chefs like Onda’s Gabriela Cámara and master baker Dominique Ansel on MasterClass.com for $15 a month.
Up your apron game
If you’re going to be spending more time in the kitchen, you’ve got to look—not just cook—the part. Chefs like Josef Centeno and Christina Tosi love the simple, chic aprons from Hedley & Bennett, and so do we. Plus, the company is making face masks in its downtown factory, and for every mask it sells, H&B will donate one to a health care worker.
Join the club
In recent years, cookbook club dinner parties have been all the rage. You can still cook and eat with friends—virtually. Choose a book from which everyone cooks a dish—bonus if it’s from a local restaurant—and then eat together over Zoom or FaceTime. Another option is @virtualcookingclub on Instagram. Each week the account’s founder, Rachael Sheridan, chooses a recipe and walks you through the process with delightful commentary and helpful tips. “Cooking together right now feels like a slice of normalcy, a glimpse of what awaits us on the other side,” says Sheridan, who lives in Atwater Village with her husband, chef Jeremy Fox, and their young daughter. “I saw this little phrase somewhere, ‘We belong to each other.’ And that’s what I keep telling everyone. ‘I’ve got you, and you’ve got me. I’m still here. Now let’s talk about how pasta water helps make a silky butter sauce.’ ”
Pick up some pasta
Can’t find any spaghetti at the grocery store or sick of the basic bulk stuff you stocked up on? Don’t fret. Get superior noodles while supporting small local businesses. Domenico DiBartolomeo’s Domenico’s Foods, a favorite of L.A. chefs, has been selling his fresh pasta and pestos at farmers’ markets for years and offers same-day delivery via Mercato and Postmates. Leah Ferrazzani’s Semolina Artisanal Pasta, a one-woman dry pasta company based in Pasadena, will ship pasta via UPS, while Pasta Sisters, the casual Italian restaurant and pasta shop with locations in Culver City and Mid-City, will deliver through Postmates. The Few for All (@fewforall) project will donate a quart of fresh pasta to the Los Angeles Food Bank for every quart purchased.
Order a CSA box
Get seasonal produce without having to brave the grocery store by ordering from community-supported agriculture (CSA) programs, many of which deliver. The South Central Farmers’ Cooperative offers organic produce via one-time purchases or subscriptions. Farm Fresh to You has boxes of fruits and veggies, along with meat, eggs, and more. County Line Harvest has pickup locations across the city, and home delivery is available if you add some Röckenwagner Bakery bread to your order—and why wouldn’t you? Good Life Organics donates to local schools. GrubMarket supports more than 100 farmers and offers CSA-style boxes with add-ons like dairy and kombucha.
Toast with friends
You don’t have to imbibe alone. Fire up a video app like FaceTime or Zoom for a virtual happy hour or wine tasting with friends. You can even bring movies, TV shows, or games into the mix with the Houseparty app or Netflix Party extension. Plus modern technology makes it easy to stock up without leaving home. Silverlake Wine, also with locations in Highland Park and downtown, has a well-curated selection of natural wines, beer, and spirits. It offers curbside pickup and delivery through various platforms. The erudite folks at Bar Keeper (323-669-1675) always have an extensive collection and provide great recommendations. For pickup and delivery, call in or find them on the Drizly app. Wally’s (310-475-3540) in Beverly Hills and Santa Monica delivers across the city via Caviar, Uber Eats, Door Dash, and its own couriers. If you go with the latter, call in your order and spend more than $100, and delivery is free. With California temporarily loosening its alcohol regulations, many local restaurants—like Melrose Umbrella Company—are offering booze with takeout and delivery orders. Employees Only bar even has kits for mixing fancy cocktails at home. Cheers!
Buy some magic beans
There are few things as comforting as a good cup of coffee. And even if you can’t get to your favorite café, you can order its beans delivered to your doorstep. Stylish cult favorite Alfred sells drip and espresso blends that are roasted downtown. The masterminds behind beloved chainlet Go Get Em Tiger offer subscriptions to seasonal single-origin coffees that are roasted in-house with the goal of bringing out the beans’ natural sweetness. Santa Monica’s goodboybob recently launched a roasting program and coffee subscriptions. Its beans are packaged beautifully, and offerings include some rare Cup of Excellence-winning treasures procured from auctions. The Vernon-based java subscription service YES PLZ has a delightful DIY/punk aesthetic and even includes the occasional zine with orders. Sightglass, the Bay Area darling that opened its first L.A. roastery in March, makes online buying a personalized experience. You have a bevy of bean selections—from single origins to blends and espresso—and can request specific grinds like Chemex and French press. We’ll all need strength to get through this time—and that includes strong coffee.
Looking for a buzz that isn’t booze? Pop open a can of CANN social tonic. The California-made, cannabis-infused beverage packs a mellow high—each drink has just 2 mg of THC and 4 mg of CBD—that takes the edge off without pushing you over the edge. Plus, the flavors, like lemon lavender, are genuinely delicious and the cans themselves are lovely and highly Instagrammable for your #quarantineandchill and #stayhome posts. Delivery is available from Sweet Flower, MedMen, and Eaze.
Make time for tea
As much as we love drinks with a buzz, tea is probably the best option for staying calm and healthy. Step up your steeping by ordering from Chado (free shipping with orders over $45), which has been keeping Angelenos in hot water for three decades with both traditional offerings and unique blends. The Finest Jasmine Pearl has a wonderful touch of natural sweetness, and we love to wind down at night with the rooibos-flavored caffeine-free Sweet Dreams or soothing Organic Turmeric Zest.