A Taste of Artisanal LA

Meet the people behind some of Los Angeles' emergent artisanal foodstuffs makers, from teas to salad dressings and pies to bacon at Artisanal LA. This is the sophomore event for the delicious new pop-up bazaar, and exactly where you need to be today if you're shopping for food lovers, or, are, well, just looking for some tasty stuff for your own kitchen or table.

Samples abound in this festively adorned space, and with every twist and turn of the ground-floor layout you'll find another tray held aloft by a smiling person bedecked with sweet nibbles of something you'll be bound to want more of.

It's hard to resist the porcine allure of bacon, and with the "Top Model" inspired showmanship of Rashida Purifoy, you're going to want to spend some time visiting with Cast Iron Gourmet. They've got some incredible Bacon Chutney, as well as a genius set of salty-sweet munchables paired with chunks of bacon called Couch Mix. That's right, when you get this in your hand you're not hitting the trail, you're hitting the couch.

Your savory tastebuds will be pleased with the house-made salad dressings from Greenleaf Gourmet (love them at lunchtime at their restaurant locations), San Angel Mole, and the meat pies from the Flying Pie Man, a entrepreneurial winner at the last KCRW Pie Contest.

For a bit of sweetness, Crust's amazing pies and treats are a must-try, especially the Missouri Butter Pie and the Cracker Brittle. Of course, you can always go the new old-school route and order up a custom-built Coolhaus ice cream sandwich on the spot.

Coffee shows up in two fabulous forms. First, as coffee ice cubes topped with Mexican coke (or egg nog) from Cold Brew & Cola. Then, in the Gallery, you can buy brewed coffee or beans from Highland Park's Cafe de Leche. Prefer tea? Sugarbird Sweets & Teas has a green tea with chocolate and mint that will fool your tastebuds into thinking you're having dessert, plus the green tea will help your digestion.

Lastly, you can take home stuff you can't eat--or can't eat right away--like the adorable aprons from Maggie Mae, the tea towels from Miss Fruitfly (especially the I Heart LA or Watts Towers ones, for local charm) or your very own garden from Farmscape or Winnetka Farms.

Probably one of the best parts of Artisanal is getting to talk with the business reps and owners, and learn not only their story, but about their product. Admission is $6, and if you bring a buddy, you can hit up Unique LA right after and get 2-for-1 admission over there with your Artisanal wristband. Bonus: A portion of the proceeds from the event go to help support school gardens in L.A.--truly a gift that will keep on giving. (11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Cooper Design Building; enter at 851 Santee, in DTLA)