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Dec 5, 2006 07:59 PM

LA specific foodie items and where to find them

I'm looking for food gifts that are made locally (in LA or CA) for some people who live in North Carolina. Basically I'm looking for something they can't find where they live. Any ideas and where to buy them? Eastside preferred. Thanks!

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  1. Point Reyes Blue Cheese is amazing - I believe you can find that any many other fabulous food gifts at the Cheesestore of Silverlake.

    1. Lulabelle Toffee. The BEST toffee I've ever tasted. Made in LA. It makes your mouth water while you're eating it.

      1. Tamales from Sandra & Lolitas in ELA. They freeze well and they will love them

        1. See's Candy. I know you can order it online and there are a few stores back east, but it's something native to LA and it wouldn't be something they'd buy for themselves. If there are kids or teens they go nuts for the lollipops. I know because I sent a 2-lb box back east once as a thank you and it was a big hit.

          Also, there's California wine--pick your favorite. A jar of that horseradish mustard from Phillipe's downtown. Lawry's seasoned salt maybe? A few avocados or meyer lemons packed in your suitcase will be a treat also.

          4 Replies
          1. re: tarabell

            isn't See's native to San Francisco?

            1. re: Diana

              Nope, founded here in Los Angeles in 1921. First store was on Western Ave. They didn't expand to the bay area until the 1930's.

              There's a factory on La Cienega just south of Jefferson. It's got a shop up front - the parking lot smells sooo good! It's also where they filmed that famous I Love Lucy chocolate episode. Their other factory (but they call them something else) is up in South San Francisco.

              1. re: ks in la

                A bit off topic but my credit union has a small branch back in the factory and the tellers are usually good for a handful of yummy samples!

                1. re: sel

                  Okay - I want to switch banks!

          2. I noticed that there's only one Trader Joe's at North Carolina, so assuming your relatives don't live near Cary, NC, Trader Joe's cookies, spiced nuts, etc are quite different and I would consider it 'local' enough.

            Otherwise I will second the tamales idea, especially the sweet corn one. Used to get mine from Corn Maiden when they were at Irvine Farmer's Market. For a while they had the sweet corn tamale with chilis at TJs also.


            I also suggest scouring Costco for locally produced items. At the Maui location we found coffee, mac nuts, and portuguese sausages to take home.