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Arts and Entertainment

Five Great Places To Buy Last-Minute Gifts In Los Angeles

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The holidays are upon us, and we capitalist pigs are rushing to purchase and wrap the last of our gifts for friends and family. If you've been pressing snooze on the whole enterprise and suddenly find yourself desperately in need of a few gifts, fear not. Here are five of the best places around town to pick up last-minute presents for everyone on your list.


(Photo courtesy of the Los Angeles County Store)
Oh Los Angeles County Store, how we love you! Where else can you find such a gorgeous selection of locally-made goods? This cozy Silver Lake boutique is stocked with nothing but L.A.-made designs, covering a range of price points. Support hometown artists, and pick up some palm tree-emblazoned, super cool goodies.

Favorite find: California State Flag Ornament, $9

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The Los Angeles County Store is located at 4333 Sunset Boulevard in Silver Lake. (323) 928-2781


(Photo by KCET Departues via the Creative Commons on Flickr)

Tucked in a cozy storefront on Degnan Boulevard in Leimert Park, this landmark bookstore is one of the most prominent African American-oriented indie booksellers in the nation. They have a fantastic L.A. history section, and also specialize, as they put it, "in titles by and about the world in which black people exist." Earlier this month, Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote about why Eso Won was his favorite bookstore for The New York Times, explaining that:

Eso Won is one among a long tradition of black bookstores that sprang up to water those roots. It is part of the larger community of independent bookstores that writers celebrate, but its specific mission is to make sure black authors always have a home. This is important to me, not because it’s the world that I spring from but because it is the river I continue to drink from. On tour for my first book, I spent a solid hour there not just perusing the books but getting recommendations on what to read.

Vote with your dollars this holiday season and support black-owned small businesses, while also browsing one of the best book selections in L.A.! And, for what it's worth, here are our nine other favorite indie bookstores in Los Angeles.Favorite find: The Red Rooster Cookbook: The Story of Food and Hustle in Harlem, $37.50

Eso Won Books is located at 4327 Degnan Boulevard in Leimert Park. (323) 290-1048


(Photo by Julia Wick/LAist)

The revamped Library Store at downtown’s Central Library reopened in April of this year, and quickly became our favorite destination for essential inessentials, perfect presents and all things exquisitely L.A. The store's directors scour craft fairs and gift shows, surf Etsy, and work with local artists to source the merchandise, a fair amount of which is custom made for the Library. All sales support the Los Angeles Public Library.

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Favorite find: Secret Stairs: A Walking Guide to the Historic Staircases of Los Angeles, $16.95

The Library Store is located in the lobby of Central Library at 630 W 5th Street in downtown Los Angeles. (213) 228-7550


(Photo courtesy of Poketo)

This husband-and-wife-owned purveyor of design-driven wares brings art to everyday living. Poketo (which is named for co-owner Angie Myung's grandmother's mispronunciation of the word "pocket") has three locations in Los Angeles, their flagship store in the Arts District, and outposts at the Line Hotel in Koreatown and the Platform in Culver City. The little stores carry lovely things for homes and offices, as well as a carefully curated mini-selection of clothes, and tons of cool books and stationary. Good luck not wanting everything in there.

Favorite find: "The Bloody Mary" carry-on cocktail kit, $26

Poketo Flagship is located at 820 E 3rd Street in the Arts District. Poketo at Platform is located at 8840 Washington Boulevard. Suite 105 in Culver City. Poketo at The Line is located at 3515 Wilshire Boulevard in Koreatown.


(Photo courtesy of Surfas via Facebook)

Though this may seem an odd choice for gifts, we assure you that L.A.'s culinary and cookware mecca is actually as good as it gets, especially for the food lover's in your life. The Culver City restaurant supply emporium has plenty of serious equipment that will be far beyond the price range of most gift givers (let alone non-restaurant owners), but there are also countless small gems tucked throughout the vast aisles. We are talking both supplies (a perfect tiny tart pan, strange and wonderful chef gadgets, etc.), and actual food items (Valhrona chocolate in bulk and the kind of cheese counter that dreams are made of, to name a few of the many delights).

Favorite find: Golden Fig brand cinnamon salt with ground Ceylon cinnamon, orange peel powder, $7

Surfas is located at 8777 W. Washington Boulevard in Culver City. (310) 559-4770

Related: The Forty Best Gifts For People Who Really, Really Love L.A.