LA Gifts Are The Best Gifts, And We Have The Receipts To Prove It

(Photo by erika g/Flickr CC)

The holidays are here and that means you probably have to get some gifts. What it doesn't mean, though, is that you have to resort to the same tired items you buy every year (hello, Yankee candles, socks, and body wash/lotion combos from Bath and Body Works!).

Here are some ideas for uniquely L.A. gifts,. Whether they're purchased from a local boutique, tell a story about life in L.A., or offer an experience that you can only have here, these thoughtful offerings celebrate the holidays as only Angelenos can.

L.A. BUSINESSES

Los Angeles County Store - 4333 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90029 (MAP)

This Silver Lake gem curates all of the twee and adorable Los Angeles craft-y items your little heart could possible desire. From posters to books to locally crafted cards, candles, jewelry, photos and even soaps, you need look no further for your L.A. branded goods.

Revival Furniture - 181 N. Ave 21, Los Angeles, CA 90031 (MAP)

Don't be fooled by the name — Revival Furniture sells so much more than couches and chairs (although their refurbished mid-century desks, armoires, chairs and tables are often great finds). Open only Thursday through Sunday, this little shop with a small but fiercely devoted following also slings vintage jewelry, wall decor, knick-knacks and old Playboy mags, to name a few.

The Last Bookstore - 453 S Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90013 (MAP)

Pretty much exactly what it sounds like — one of a handful of remaining brick-and-mortar bookstores. A great spot to support if you believe in holding books made of paper in your hands, or a great place to take someone for a reading or event.

Memento Mori - 2209 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026 (MAP)

For the loveable goth on your list, check out Memento Mori's collection of all things dancing around death. Their goods range from taxidermied bats and real human bones to something a little more sitting-under-the-Christmas-tree friendly, like t-shirts.

L.A. BOOKS

This Is Los Angeles: Estevan Oriol

20 years of Estevan Oriol's iconic photos of the city and its residents are collected in this gorgeous, black and white 10x12 book. The images feature tattoo culture, low-rider culture. gang culture, local women and more.

'Counter Intelligence: Where to Eat in the Real Los Angeles': Jonathan Gold

The late, beloved food critic compiled some of his favorite local gems in this list of over 200 restaurants. Great for the foodie (or aspirational foodie) in your life, or any lover of great writing and criticism.

I'm With The Band: Confessions of a Groupie: Pamela Des Barres

Pamela Des Barres is the real-life uber-groupie after whom Penny Lane in Almost Famous is based. In her memoir, she writes about life on the Sunset Strip in the 1960s with Led Zeppelin, The Doors, Frank Zappa and more.

Always Running: Luis J. Rodriguez

In his New York Times notable memoir, Rodriguez tells the story of his life as part of a gang in East Los Angeles. Rodriguez, who was the poet laureate of L.A. in 2014, got out of the gang life — but later, his young son joined up.

L.A. Man: Profiles from a Big City and a Small World: Joe Donnelly

Former LA Weekly writer Joe Donnelly's collection of profiles includes celebrities like Wes Anderson and Christian Bale, as well as subculture heroes like Dogtown's Z-boys and the surfing Malloy brothers. Essential reading for lovers of local and national journalism.

L.A. EXPERIENCES

Magic Castle Seance

You can't get in to L.A.'s famed Magic Castle without an invite from a member, but you can book a Houdini Séance. Your group will have dinner, then get a show from a medium, then finish up with a séance based on Harry Houdini's death.

Goat Yoga

Do yoga with baby goats. Enough said.

Cannabis Bus Tour

Get chauffeured around town while you legally partake in all that our great city has to offer by way of weed, edibles, drinks, snacks and every other form of ingestible marijuana you can imagine. Green Line Trips, one of the leading tour bus companies in L.A., offers tours that combine weed with music, with wine and with plain old dispensary hopping.

What's your favorite L.A.-flavored gift? Have a local boutique you love? Tell us your present-buying secrets! Comment below, or be a shopping hero on Twitter.


You made it! Congrats, you read the entire story, you gorgeous human. This story was made possible by generous people like you. Independent, local journalism costs $$$$$. And now that LAist is part of KPCC, we rely on that support. So if you aren't already, be one of us! Help us help you live your best life in Southern California. Donate now.