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Great food gift to take to San Francisco from LA?

I need to get a couple of small host/hostess gifts to take to friends in San Francisco. Since it'll be near Valentine's day I am considering chocolates; they need to travel in checked luggage, though. Who has the best chocolates in LA, or other gift which might surpass in quality or at least equal what is available in SF?

Or a food gadget for one who cooks a lot from Marcella Hazan's books--something from Surfa's? I haven't even been there yet. Any ideas? Thanks.

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  1. nicely wrapped chocolates from boule or jin patisserie.

    i hear sprinkles also sells cake mix.

    1. Chocolates from Boule and Jin are nice, but they ones as good or better in SF. For old-time chocolate decadence (probably at a much lower price), how about english toffee from Littlejohn's in Farmer's Market? It's really amazingly good.

      6 Replies
      1. re: Chowpatty

        I like the English toffee idea. That really is exceptionally good and worth bringing to SF.

        1. re: Pei

          omg i just had a whole box of that english toffee that someone gave me. not fancy but definitely scarfable.

        2. re: Chowpatty

          checked baggage is going to be hard with chocolates, unless op can pack it in something that's not crushable at all. When I fly with chocolate I always put it in carryon but even then I've had some mishaps. Also, the choco treats at boule and jin have unusual flavors and a surprising number of my friends and family have not appreciated them, even the "gourmet" types.

          if it has to go in checked baggage, I would probably get a small gadget instead.

          1. re: Chowpatty

            Which Farmer's Market? Does the one in S. Pasadena have it? Thanks.

            1. re: Babette

              Original Farmer's Market at 3rd and Fairfax in LA.

              1. re: jacinthe

                it's a little stand inside the farmers market, which is the older section of the extended mall.

          2. Are you looking for something that you can buy in LA and that's not available in SF? I am afraid since they opened that I-5 there isn't much that's not available in both cities. Maybe some fresh local fruit (oranges?), but they don't do well in checked bags. Neither do burritos from a taco truck. SF has many high end chocolates stores too, so that wouldn't be unique to LA.

            1. That's a tough one. It's hard for me to think of non-Asian treats that are better in LA or hard to find in SF. If your friend cooks/likes Asian items, I might be able to think of more ideas.

              I think a look around Surfas is your best bet, but for me their most unique items are perishable and won't travel well.

              1. Pastrami from Langers.