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Looking for "Made in LA" kind of food gifts to bring up to Seattle

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Does anyone have great gift ideas? I'm going to a Japanese New Year's party up in the town of Bellingham, Washington. I wanted to come with a present that was very California, maybe even very LA. Some food item would be ideal. A local cookie or fudge or jam company. You get the idea. I know that Seas Candy is actually from right here in Culver City, but that's available everywhere.

Thanks for any ideas...

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  1. Local olive oil. I particularly like Rancho Olivos (they have a website). You could even have it sent to the hosts. My favorite is the lemon flavor....

    1. Look here for inspiration (not all travel well, however).

      Happy Holidays!

      http://blogs.laweekly.com/squidink/20...

      1 Reply
      1. re: ipsedixit

        This is a GREAT link, thanks so much!!

      2. Little Johns English Toffee at the Orginal Farmers Market @ 3rd and Fairfax. The best.

        4 Replies
        1. re: wienermobile

          eating some of the toffee rolls right now. a little bit more expensive but my god they are so good

          1. re: ns1

            Individual pic

             
            1. re: ns1

              the maple walnut fudge and rocky road fudge and peanut brittle also supplement our toffee purchases...great shop.

            2. re: wienermobile

              This is probably my number one choice. Thanks!

            3. SQIRL
              http://store.sqirlla.com/

              Little Flower's Caramels
              Their sea salt caramels are very popular
              http://littleflowercandyco.com/produc...

              Brassica and Brine
              Really good sauerkraut
              They're at the Atwater Farmer's market on Sunday
              http://www.brassicaandbrine.com/

              1. Bring some Vallarta carne asada in a cooler. Good to go.

                8 Replies
                1. re: Tyus4pt8

                  Good to go.

                  ____________

                  But not through a TSA security line.

                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    I have taken In n Out through TSA in a cooler.

                    1. re: ipsedixit

                      I took a whole hog butchery class in San Francisco, and brought back a cooler full of meat through TSA. I got a raised eyebrow from the inspector, but just explained what it was and he let me pass.

                      1. re: lil mikey

                        I've taken a whole pizza's from Zackary's in Oakland.

                        1. re: wienermobile

                          i remember before they opened up the pollo compero here in la, flying up from Guatemala with every overhead compartment just fucking jammed with this delicious smelling fried chicken...now you can get it in la

                          1. re: wienermobile

                            Me too, I get them par cooked and have had no problem w/TSA.

                        2. re: ipsedixit

                          Why would meat be a problem? We travel regularly with all sorts of non-liquid food.

                          1. re: c oliver

                            It's more the cooler than the meat.

                      2. One year I got a jar if the ultra hot mustard from Philippes. Amazing gift!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: LilZ

                          http://www.philippes.com/food.html

                        2. Tamales?

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Porthos

                            Tamales indeed!
                            See nearby post for details.

                          2. Sqirl is a must.

                            1. I might be way off base, but since it's a Japanese New Year's party you might try getting manju from Sakura-ya on Western in Gardena. I worked with a guy who told me when he took manju from Sakura-ya to his relatives in Hawaii they went nuts over it. Admittedly that stuff doesn't keep long, but it's the freshest stuff I've found. They also have a pretty cool commemorative shirt right now. The place is only open during the day (closed Tuesday) and you'd have to check the hours around New Year's. A lot of Japanese places close during the time between Christmas and New Year's.

                              1. Mochi from Fugetsu-Do. Very old school LA Japanese

                                http://www.fugetsu-do.com/

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: Ernie

                                  +1. But, if possible, get them the same day you board the plane. They're fantastically pillow-y soft the first day (and maybe part of the 2nd). They're still good on days 3 and 4, but not nearly as good as the first day....

                                  1. re: ilysla

                                    I know Fugetsu-Do is an older business (over 100 years old), but they just have workers who make the manju. Sakura-ya's manju is still made by the two brothers who are past retirement age. They don't have the variety, but there are plenty of varieties there. Also I think their manju is fresher if you taste and compare. Fugetsu-Do is good, but I think Sakura-ya is better in my opinion.

                                    1. re: Feed_me

                                      I had to look up "manju" since I refer to all of those types of confection as "mochi." ;)

                                      Is Sakura-ya based in Gardena? There was one brand that I got a Nijiya awhile ago (i.e., > 1 yr ago) that was fantastic, and it *wasn't* the brand that they normally carry. Can't remember what the name of either brand was, though (drat)....

                                      1. re: ilysla

                                        I don't think Sakura-ya sells their stuff in markets. Too small of an operation. Possibles you saw besides Fugetsu-do are Mikawaya, Kinokuni (Jefferson St based place), maybe Chikara which is within walking distance of Sakura-ya in Gardena. They do have their fans too.

                                2. Hey everyone! Thanks so much for all these great suggestions. I had to look up a couple of these items...not sure what I'll pick yet, but I will let you know what I come up with!

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: Amnesty96

                                    Take some local pistachios...those or any local nuts or exotic citrus is the best.

                                    1. re: chewbacca

                                      But sicilianos are so much beta.

                                  2. Sorry but there is NOTHING more L.A. than a jar of Phillipe's hot mustard! You can get an apron or a T-shirt to go with it. I love that stuff.

                                    1. There is no question I'd either bring Little John's, as suggested, or the Sea Salt Caramels from Little Flower Company. They're both very LA.
                                      Both of these travel well, will be well received (and more), as there's nothing like either one of them in Seattle.

                                      1. You could pick up a couple bags of mole paste. I like the Oaxacan market at 8th and Normandie. $6 for a hefty little bag. Negro and Coloradita available - both a cut far above Dona Maria.

                                        1. Little John candies.

                                          1. I'm a sucker for caramels so my recommendations are the best local caramels I've tried, Le Bon Garcon and Crack Caramels.

                                            I've found Le Bon Garcon at "The Language of Flowers" in Santa Monica and Crack Caramels at Heath Ceramics.

                                            Interesting to see little flower co. on the list, perhaps I got an older batch but found the caramels to be more "American" --denser, firmer, rather than the buttery soft "Parisian" style.

                                            1. You could also do a local chef's cookbook. There are some nice choices.

                                              1. Go to the Farm Shop, 26th and San Vicente Blvd. in Brentwood. They have everything local and CA.

                                                1. Hi all. I ended up bringing Little John's Toffee and Carmel-wrapped marshmallows. They were the absolute bomb. My friend said that the next week three women and him sat around discussing the candy. They are all foodies and they had never had such delicious, well made candy before. Kudos to you all! I am going back up and bringing my beau a box of toffee for Valentines Day. I'm sure he's hoping I will!

                                                  Thanks all!