Full of dishes that look and taste impressive but are actually simple to prepare, Alison Roman’s Nothing Fancy: Unfussy Food for Having People Over provides recipes and also encouragement for home cooks. From labne with scallions to a salad of crushed peas with burrata, the dishes are delicious and diverse. Roman also offers plenty of practical advice for those throwing a dinner party: whether it be never apologizing (for mismatched cookware, a late serve time, anything) to accepting help from guests, to selecting a good olive oil. While encouraging readers to embrace imperfections in the kitchen, Roman fills them with confidence.
LA-based Solstice Canyon‘s stone-ground raw organic almond butters come in three flavors: original, cardamom and clove, and aztec chocolate. Founders Rachael Sheridan and Jessie Kimmell exclusively work with certified organic, raw, unpasteurized ingredients and add low-glycemic ingredients to preserve the vital enzymes. These vegan, non-GMO, gluten-free nut butters offer a bit of California freshness to toast and oatmeal.
When Katie Gurvin and Scott Hebel debuted their handcrafted line of Hebel & Co halva, they set up at the Hollywood Farmers Market on Sunday mornings to talk about their sesame seed confection and earned the attention of shoppers and the bustling market. The crisp and flaky texture that melts on the tongue is undeniably delicious. In addition to their other flavors (pistachio, vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry almond poppy) they make this iteration, which features organic sesame seeds, Deglet Noor dates, toasted California walnuts, cinnamon, and allspice.
Collaborating with PMIA (Proudly Made in Africa), MIA’s confectionary offerings are made entirely in African countries and benefit local communities. This bar in particular—which employs rich, dark chocolate and baobab powder (a superfood with numerous health benefits) from Madagascar—is slightly salty, but leaves a fresh, red fruit flavor behind. Price is in Pounds.
The Lopez family runs their successful Oaxacan restaurant, Guelaguetza, in LA’s Koreatown neighborhood. Having won numerous accolades (including a James Beard America’s Classics Award) for their cooking, Bricia Lopez and her family recently debuted the Oaxaca cookbook. Perhaps even better, jars of their famous mole bring the flavors of Oaxaca home, and are available together in this Festival Mole Bundle, which includes the Black, Red, and Coloradito.
Boasting all the benefits of a heavy cast iron pan, while being small enough to manage easily, Field Company’s #4 Skillet has a cooking surface that measures just under six inches and weighs under two pounds. Naturally non-stick, the pan comes pre-seasoned and can be used on gas, electric or induction stoves, on outdoor grills and live fires, or in the oven. Also available in larger sizes, the #4 is ideal for a steak or a couple eggs.
Including one pitcher, two glasses and one stirring rod—all of which are hand-blown—Glacce’s ritual cocktail kit integrates custom-cut quartz crystals into the cocktail-making process. The stirring rod features a round quartz bauble, whereas both glasses contain a beautiful crystal embed. Designed in collaboration with Mezcal Creyente, the limited edition set aims to bind the traditions of Oaxaca with the ritual of mixing drinks and the meditative nature of crystal healing.
Part art book, part cookbook, part biography, Mirka & George: A Culinary Affair documents the life of Mirka and Georges Mora, Melbourne-based couple by way of Paris. Their apartment became a hub for the artistic community and their restaurants accommodated the overflow. This book—through photos, prints of their art, recipes and more—explains why the pair were so beloved and became icons of the Australian city.
Made in small batches with certified organic durum semolina, all Semolina Artisanal Pasta is extruded through bronze dies to give the pasta a rough exterior texture—ideal for holding onto sauces. For this limited edition gift set, founder Leah Ferrazzani adds her favorite organic California-grown whole-peeled tomatoes from Bianco di Napoli, a box of Jacobsen Salt Co Kosher Salt from Portland, tomato paste, hot cherry peppers and a choice of a bottarga or fennel pollen.
Unlike typical gift boxes, Kokoro Care Packages puts the emphasis on producers—oftentimes generational, hard-to-find ones. Their Seasonal Delights box (which can be bought as a one-time gift or as a quarterly delivery) comes with over seven all-natural Japanese treats, ranging from noodles and sauces to seasonings and snacks. Each comes with its own translated directions for preparation and taste profile, and a little information about the producer. Kokoro prides themselves on picking ingredients for their quality, thus oftentimes including limited production items that rarely make it beyond the bounds of the archipelago nation.
Made using low-growing Maine blueberries exclusively, Allagash Brewing Company’s first-ever blueberry fruited beer is subtly sour and sweet but perfectly balanced. They added one pound of fruit per gallon of beer (both pediococcus and lactobacillus during the aging process) and let this beer sit in single oak red wine barrels for six months. The result is a frothy, champagne-like beer with distinct tartness yet plenty of sweet and tender fruit notes.
For anyone who has enjoyed an expertly crafted cocktail in Los Angeles, chances are Louis Anderman’s Miracle Mile Bitters are in the recipe. Known for his classic and creative handmade bitters, Anderman has concocted various recipes using numerous ingredients including ume, yuzu and more. At Genghis Cohen restaurant in West Hollywood, Toasted Pecan bitters complement the Zaydee’s Manhattan. They’re also available online, for you to experiment with at home.
Angeleno Wine Co captured the attention of Californians by being the first winery to open in LA since prohibition. Jasper Dickson and Amy Luftig Viste’s DTLA outpost has been turning out hand-crafted wines with locally grown grapes from Agua Dulce and Antelope Valley. Inspired by old-style California zinfandels, SuperBloom is made with whole-cluster grapes from 100-year-old vines. They foot-tread this wine on the stems, and ferment on the skins for five days before pressing. SuperBloom (referencing what happens when the wildflowers bloom after much needed California rainfall) comes in a bottle adorned with Jeni Emery’s art.
Building upon their innovative original thermometer, MEATER unveils a MEATER+ iteration that has up to 165 feet of range. Simply insert the thermometer into the meat you plan to cook (you can choose from a few options and preparations in the app) and place the meat into your grill, smoker, or oven, and step away. The charger acts as a signal booster and allows you to venture around your house or yard while keeping tabs on your dish. The thermometer will also calculate cook time, alert you when it’s done and even take into account the cooking it will do once removed.
Boasting a wide range of wellness properties—from promoting digestive and skin health to offering sore throat relief—raw Mānuka honey is an upgrade on regular supermarket versions. This rare, New Zealand-harvested iteration contains 850+mg of Methylglyoxal, a medicinal level that purportedly confers “active enzymes and health properties.”
Launched alongside Stumptown’s second short film, Wax & Gold (directed by Britton Caillouette and produced by Farm League), seasonal coffee Ethiopia Mordecofe’s latest limited edition packaging celebrates the origin nation’s significance. The iteration, which boasts notes of peach and an elegant florality, will be available as bagged whole beans and canned cold brew. Proceeds from sales will go to Ethiopian musician Mulatu Astatke’s Jazz School in Addis Ababa.