Los Angeles is a city of makers––filmmakers, news makers, splash makers. Things created here tend to wow, which is why I like buying gifts that are LA-built, sewn or whipped up. This holiday season, here are some of my favorite items from the 90001 to the 91610.
LA-based hot sauce brand Truff, was the number one bestselling grocery item on Amazon’s holiday list last year (it regularly makes Oprah’s list, too), and for good reason. The magic comes from truffle-infused olive olive, along with chili peppers and organic agave nectar from Jalisco, Mexico. White Truff comes in limited quantities and arrives gift-ready in a snow-white designer box ($34.99).
Shop local, drink global with Art of Tea’s round-the-world leaf selection that ships from the esteemed brand’s Los Angeles warehouse to your tea-loving giftees. Tea Club subscriptions are selected seasonally and sent three, six or 12 times a year at $65, $110 or $215, all with free shipping. Each selection includes 2 to 4 oz of tea (approximately 30 servings) for the happy sipper on your list.
Year after year, Graf Lantz stays current by sticking with timeless elegance. The Jaunt ($268) is sewn in the designer’s Echo Park atelier and handmade from Merino wool felt and vegetable-tanned leather. Big enough for a laptop yet sleek in all the right places, it is a tote sure to float the boat of any discerning bag lover.
I was thrilled to discover Aviator jeans this year. Made in DTLA, the travel pants look like denim but breathe like a second skin, and two pairs got me through a blistering hot summer in Vietnam. For the holidays, Aviator is serving up its Air Dry Travel Hoodie ($145) for men and women. Made with 100% Merino Wool from New Zealand, it is super lightweight for travel and naturally moisture and stink resistant.
The Wooden Palate makes the least boring boards in the chopping biz. The Los Angeles woodshop handcarves and burnishes each slab into a contemporary table piece that’s a head-turner at any gathering. I love the black walnut dip board ($425) with its built-in indentations for salsas and spreads.
You don’t technically need a raincoat in Los Angeles but given the changing forces of nature, it makes sense to be prepared. Rewilder’s limited edition rain jacket ($595) is a “zero waste” creation, meaning it is 100 percent trash–or, as its designers put it, made entirely from “high-performance industrial discard materials. From the shell, down to the trim, thread, and hardware, every component of the jacket is salvaged and reused from a previous life.” Soak it up!
Poketo designs make people happy. These colorful, tea-or-whatever cups from the L.A. ceramics studio O-M Ceramics, for Poketo ($50), are just the right amount of sunny and funny to brighten up your holiday morning routine. Quality playfulness.
If you’re not from here, you won’t get it. That’s what makes the Happy Foot Sad Foot pillow ($100) a keeper (and a sleeper) for local locals who get the joke. Feeling lost? The plushie celebrates the quirky rotating sign outside a Sunset Blvd podiatry clinic that became a cult attraction. The sign–as of September–no longer spins outdoors (it’s been moved inside), but the legend endures.