Brit chef visiting California! wanting to buy cool stuff to take home.....
Hello! I am visiting LA and SF very soon, and I would love to visit some foodie/cheffy shops to take home some large serving platters, bakeware etc. Any suggestions? Many thanks. xxx
+2 for Surfas especially bakeware. my sister visiting from London last year purchased measuring cups so that she can make recipes she sees on the Food Channel.
also Williams-Sonoma in Beverly Hills (and of course they're based in SF)—we bumped into Lulu there (only of interest to Brits) and had a nice chat.
Sur La Table in Santa Monica is decent and convenient if you're going to the farmers market.
Just wondering if the OP is interested in things like Japanese cooking/dining stuff. He might find this thread interesting. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/861755 Never been to Eden Restaurant Supply, but I have been to Anzen and Rafu Bussan. Anzen is on First Street and they have some really interesting tools. Ask the guy there any specific questions, because he's not much of a talker but he seems to know his stuff. Rafu Bussan is on Second Street and it's more a gift shop, but lots of nice Japanese plates, bowls and some knives. They do gift wrap too, although you probably have to unwrap stuff when you head back through the airport. Not sure how they look upon knives, you probably have to pack that in your checked luggage. You'd better check into that. http://rafubussaninc.com/
Surfas is great, but not always inexpensive. Same with W-S & Sur la Table. I love them both, but they are pricey. You might want to check out some lower cost options like Star Restaurant supply.
Here is a blog that may be of interest, listing their opinion of the best ten spots in LA:
Williams-Sonoma, Sur La Table, Pottery Barn, and Crate and Barrel are all major chain stores that carry them. Most major department stores (Macy's, Bloomingdales) have housewares. I only mention them because they pop up everywhere that you might otherwise you might be as a tourist.
Surfas is great but might not be convenient in your travels and the selection of platters and bakeware might be a bit boring if you have a restaurant supply company you use in the UK. It might be more fun to check out prices, selection, etc.
Note that I would choose to go to say, Langers for a pastrami sandwich rather than any of the above.
In San Francisco, Omnivore Books is great for vintage cookbooks. Also in SF, Cookin' has lots of cool used kitchenware.