1. We'll Always Have Foie Gras (while waiting for our culinary William Wallace)
Weak legislators may have caved to pressure from the vocal minority, in allowing the law banning the sale of foie gras in California to take effect this July. But luckily, they can't stop out of state vendors from selling foie to us - so you can still have your foie, and eat it too (as long as you don't resell it to anyone)!!!
And they have a fantastic, foodgasmic, mouth-watering collection of foie on offer including a Foie Gras Sampler featuring raw slices (mmm, seared foie), truffle mousse, torchon and this amazing sounding creation called French Kisses that's made from Armagnac (French brandy) marinated prunes stuffed with foie mousse!!! For a more affordable gift or stocking stuffer that will possibly result in your foie-starved foodie jumping your bones (because I know I would, hint, hint)...there are the affordable packages of French Kisses alone for just $9.99!
Buy from: D'Artagnan Foie Gras Sampler $66.99 Medallion of Duck Foie w/ Black Truffles $32.99 for 1lb French Kisses (foie stuffed prunes) $9.99
2. Harney & Sons Tea Sets
Buy from: Harney & Sons Wonderland Winter Gift Set $45 Loose Tea Sample Sets starting at $20
3. Handcrafted All Natural Chocolate To Drive Them Nuts: Love Nuts / Holiday Truffles / Art Bars - Compartes
Buy from: Compartes Chocolatier Love Nuts Tower $70 (currently on sale for $65) Gingerbread Truffles $14.99 Artisan Heart Shaped Bar $24.99 (square bars mostly $8 each)
4. Pressed Juicery - for LA Locals
Miracle diets come and go in LA quicker than celebrity hookups. Regular readers know I'm not at all into healthy offerings unless they taste good first, and are healthy as a bonus.
Buy from: Pressed Juicery (gift cards at any denomination for purchase in-stores, locations here). Monthly shipments for nationwide destinations are also available for purchase online, but they are just way out of my imposed maximum price for this post.
5. The Gift of Pre-Cooked Gourmet for the Busy Professional
A cool new concept - 3-course dinners designed by renowned/famous chefs from Master Chef contestants to Le Cirque alumnus, pre-cooked and delivered to their door (frozen, with simple reheat/quick cook instructions).
Give them a trial run of a gourmet alternative to ramen / breakfast for dinner (i.e. scrambled eggs and tears). Current meals run from Wild Boar Ragu with Truffled Polenta to Lamb Biryani.
Buy from: Pop Up Pantry $80 (2 dinners for 1 month)
6. Truffle, truffle, truffle!!!
Buy from: Gilt Taste truffle trio $69.95 (currently on sale for $61.99)
Or go with a jar of Black Truffle Salt that will instantly make pretty much any savory dish taste amazing.
7. Cheese = Smile
Ok so this is a mix of edible and non-edible. Cheese fans automatically get points for good taste. Give them their fav cut from your local artisan cheese store + a literal clean slate to present their most gorgeous slices. For cheeses, I'm a big fan of The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills, Wally's Cheese Box (West LA), and Artisan Cheese Gallery (Studio City). Some of the best cheeses I've had there: Sottocenere (truffle cheese with beautiful grey vegetable ash rind!!), Brillat Savarin, Fourme D'Ambert.
Buy from: Crate and Barrel Large Rectangle Slate Board $29.95, Medium Square $19.95, Small Rectangle $9.95
Got extra dough to spend? Pair the board with this fun trio of cheese slicers embossed with "sharp" "creamy" and "stinky" Buy from: Crate and Barrel $44.95 (Lower priced option: Spreader $6.95 (on sale now for $3.95) Paddle $6.95 (on sale now for $3.95), Fork $6.95 (on sale now for $3.95)
Separate post on more durable gift ideas to come!