Need some assistance navigating through the many artisan holiday treats that are cropping up all over LA? Here is my Holiday 2011 short list of the few local standouts that anyone with discriminating food taste will love as a gift!
Ah yes, ’tis the season to toast, sip and savor. Domaine LA, located on Melrose just west of Highland, stocks a vast and eclectic collection of wines, some very hard to find in many other wine shops. Jill Bernheimer, owner of Domaine LA, oversees a staff that is knowledgeable, helpful and always friendly. Wine subscriptions are available for that gift that keeps on giving. As of late, Domaine LA started to support other small local businesses by carrying a variety of SQIRL jams and preserves and Compartes chocolate.
In need of sweet treats for the quintessential host or your own holiday soiree? Daisy Mae Sweets and Treats have the perfect baked creations. Bethany Kenyon, the lovely lady behind Daisy Mae, is offering everything from cupcakes with lemon curd vanilla butter-cream icing to a luscious Chocolate Sea Salt Cake. Her famous Daisy Cakes are delightful cookie sandwiches of sea salt caramel, ginger-molasses and lavender (other holiday flavors as well). Special holiday baskets are available for those who want to send a sampler. Note to self…Daisy Mae is offering free delivery during the holiday from Pasadena to Santa Monica.
The gift of this year’s latest craze, the pickle, is always a crowd pleaser. Rachael Narins and Suzanne Griswold aka Chicks with Knives, celebrate the holidays with their Perishable Pickle Pop Up. These are not your mother’s pickles. Spicy cucumbers, golden beets, apples and pickled fennel with orange(great for cocktails!) are all available online. Pick up their crowd-pleasing bacon jam for a post-holiday brunch.
Laura Ann Masura, of Laura Ann’s Jams, combines delicious herbs and spices with preserved fruit. Her jams and preserves will complement almost any kind of cheese, holiday ham or turkey. These bottled treasures are available at Fancifull on Melrose and Larchmont and online. The jars are beautifully designed and make a great stocking stuffer or addition to a gift box. Get into the holiday spirit with the Maple Pumpkin Butter. Better yet, try them all!
For the coffee connoisseur, Starbucks is not going to cut it. Show someone you care about how they “pump up” on caffeine and purchase a coffee subscription from Cafecito Organico. This artisan coffee roaster specializes in Central American Fairly Traded and Sustainably Grown beans. Cafecito Organico is roasting fresh weekly and their top notch coffee can be bought in single bags as well as a twice monthly subscription. What a wonderful way to “wake up” for Christmas morning! Located on Hoover right below Melrose, on Heliotrope, three different area Farmer’s Markets, and online.
This should help take a little bit of the load off. Enjoy the holidays – they only come once a year!
Alison Dinerstein is a resident of Windsor Square, a NY JETS fan and a professional foodie. She is the co-founder of Artisan Kitchen. You may email Alison at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on twitter: @adinerstein.