LA restaurants are shuttered to on-site dining yet again. With the threat of many of our favorite eateries and gin joints possibly closing for good, there is no better time to help support our local restaurant industry.
We are huge fans of Barb Batiste and her B Sweet Bakery. She now welcomes guests into Big Boi Filipino, where you can get some seriously amazing chicken adobo. She sells her popular butters out of the restaurant, but you can also get them by mail order. One of the best things I have ever eaten is her Ube Butter, perfect with a Filipino bread called Ensaymada — it is also good on pancakes, whatever you can find, really. There is also a 3-pack with her Buko Pandan (Yum!) and traditional Sweet Cheddar Cheese for $40 on sale right now. There are also hats and T-shirts to show your Filipino pride.
You can buy a Formosa Cafe dragon tiki mug ($20) or vintage key fob ($5), or a t-shirt bearing the logo of the soon-to-be-revived Tail o’ the Pup ($30) via the website for The 1933 Group, the bar collective that owns those iconic spots. For those of you missing your favorite Eastside haunts, there is also merch for Bigfoot Lodge, Idle Hour and La Cuevita.
Or stuff your food-loving friends’ stockings with something small and tasty from Eataly’s Italian marketplace, like a jar of honey in varieties including forest honeydew or Italian chestnut ($2.90), wild cherry jam ($1.90 to $9.90), pistachio spread ($8.90 for 5.3 oz.) or a bar of Modica chocolate with salt ($7.90). They also have a dozen types of panettone and beautiful location-specific gift baskets. It would be so thoughtful to give your partner a gift box to remind them of your honeymoon in Venice.
Top Chef winner Brooke Williamson’s lauded Playa del Rey eatery Playa Provisions is now selling its own canned cocktails. Canned in house in flavors like Moscow Mule, a White Claw-inspired Surfin’ Seltzer Mango Tajin, and the Del Rey cocktail (a spicy cucumber margarita), the drinks are $7 to $12 and can be purchased at King Beach Cafe inside Playa Provisions or via Postmates.
Chef Akasha Richmond of Culver City restaurant Akasha and her team have spent months making delicious goodies like a hot toddy kit with house-made nocino (Italian walnut liqueur), masala chai, jams and chutneys, gluten-free dog treats, spice blends, and granola. These can all be ordered online or purchased at Akasha’s marketplace – though the restaurant is currently doing to-go orders only, the marketplace is legally viewed as a mini mart and is thus open to a limited number of customers. You can also find plates from Morocco and Tunisia, along with ceramic dishes hand-painted by Richmond herself, and an assortment of gift baskets.
Gueleguetza was anointed “the best Oaxacan restaurant in America” by no less an authority than the late, great Jonathan Gold. Help support this historic Koreatown eatery by purchasing their black mole paste ($12 for 16 oz.), loaded with chiles, spices, raisins, and more, or their I Love Michelada mix ($8.50 for 32 oz. – enough to make eight Micheladas).
Gjusta in Venice is another eatery with a marketplace still open to shoppers. Shop online or stop by for special artisanal products like marinated extra-virgin olive oil augmented with chili, garlic, and herbs, or chili vinegar: white wine vinegar enhanced with jalepeño, dried oregano, rosemary. Both products are made and bottled in house at Gjusta.
Elise Thompson contributed to this post