You could brave the mall parking lot. You could buy a bag of fun-size candybars from the drugstore. You could hide out in your closet until January. Or you could buck up and make a few simple stops around town to handpick some neat and not-too-expensive presents for your friends. We've made shopping a cinch by laying out this year's best gift destinations for capturing the unique charm of Los Angeles.
--LA.com


LAST MINUTE, LOCAL AND NOT LAME
Shop For Fun(ky) Gifts In Los Angeles Here


 
 

...For the man/woman/child who has everything
 
Kitsch is king at Coco's Variety Store where you will find everything from squirt guns to Mexican Coke in glass bottles to refurbished bicycles to fancy Jadeite cake plates. Among Coco's quirky offerings is also carefully edited selection of used books. 

2427 Riverside Dr.
Los Angeles, CA 90039
(323) 664-7400
 
 


 

...For the artsy/intellectual type

Machine Project is a wonderfully weird non-profit in Echo Park that explores art, technology, literature, etc. in unconventional ways. Highlights from the past couple of months include a drag makeup workshop, a paleolithic survival skills series, and The Blackest Flux (a sound performance in total darkness by artist Yutaka Makino). Annual membership comes at whatever price you choose, and if you purchase a gift membership they've promised to write the recipient "an elaborate letter describing how great you are, and send it along in time for the holidays."
 
1200 D North Alvarado
Los Angeles, CA 90026
(213) 483-8761
 

 

African Red Tea Imports

African Red Tea Imports


...For anyone tired of overpriced gingerbread lattes

Rooibos tea is almost too good to be true; It's rich in antioxidants and minerals, it's caffeine-free and it has a rich, sweet flavor that's astonishingly natural. The African Red Tea Imports shop on Fairfax offers a variety of products (dietary supplements, skincare, snack bars etc.) laced with top-quality, organic rooibos extract straight from their own farms in Africa, but the real gem is their bestselling African Red Tea with Madagascar Vanilla Bean -- an addictive alternative to traditional holiday beverages that is a steal at $5.99 for a box of 20 teabags.

509 North Fairfax Ave.; Suite 230

Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 658-7832

 

...For the girly-girl with an eye for design
 
This artist-owned textile studio and home goods boutique carries a bounty of treasures that manage to be as cheeky and fun as they are gorgeous. If you're looking for investment pieces, the punchy reupholstered furniture and pop-printed pillows are to die for, but if your budget is more modest, there are plenty of soaps, books and design-minded decor items to choose from. Some of our favorite picks for under $20 include this vintage-inspired baking kit and this unfussy floral makeup bag. All ye who lack willpower beware; You will most certainly encounter the problem of wanting to keep all the gifts you buy at Henry Road for yourself.

3949 Laurelgrove Ave.
Studio City, CA 91604
(818) 762-8966
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New Stone Age
New Stone Age

...For those who perk up at the words "eclectic vintage..."
 
New Stone Age is the place to go for vintage collectables and beautiful locally-made items that lean towards the edgy side, but have an earthy feel. Whether it's the hand crafted jewelry or the funky housewares, every item here is a conversation piece. While there are plenty of pretty things to be had, these neat hand soaps sort of sum up the mood of many items in store-- terribly clever and skillfully made, with a dash of wacky.
 
8407 West Third St.
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(323) 658-5969
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...For craft, design and object enthusiasts

Heath Ceramics produces the artisan pottery canonized in the permanent collections of museums around the world like the New York MOMA, and it's crafted right here in California in the original Sausalito factory, the same way it has been since 1948. Fortunately, you only have to go as far as Beverly Blvd. to check out their wares. The year-old LA studio and store offers their timeless dinnerware, first and second quality (second quality means not-quite-perfect, and discounted 30%) plus home accessories, as well as one-of-a-kind and custom small run works by potter and studio director, Adam Silverman.
 
7525 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 965-0800 

 

The Monocle Shop
The Monocle Shop

...For the jet-set

This smart little shop in the Brentwood Country Mart is the sole Monocle outpost in the U.S., and it's an extension of the sleek business/culture/design magazine by the same name. They have a well-edited and impeccably arranged selection of hard-to-find imports like Valextra notebooks and Woolrich Woolen Mills jackets. Where you seek high quality and high design, you should expect to find relatively high prices, naturally.


225 26th St., 19b
Santa Monica, CA 90402
(310) 395-4180
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Royal/T
Royal/T

...For the Japanophile in all of us
 
This relatively new, Japanese-inspired cafe/shop/art space is perhaps best known for its lush faux greenery exterior and cafe staff costumed as French maids, but they do offer a great selection of perfectly giftable art goods ranging from toys and housewares to apparel and books. Items include plush toys by Takashi Murakami and Nagi Noda, prints and toy figures by Yoshitomo Nara, and a special sticker vending machine by the Googly Eye Cru.
 
8910 Washington Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232
(310) 559-6300

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Mark Blanchards Power Yoga Center
Power Yoga Center

...For the friend with a New Year's resolution on the horizon
 
Yoga may seem overhyped to some, but even the staunchest resistor might be willing to give Power Yoga a shot. It's an intense workout sans props and new age music that can burn up to 800 calories in one session. Here's the plan: take your friend to a free class during the Power Yoga Center's holiday open house on December 19th. If said friend likes it, you can purchase a gift certificate for the rest of the month (3 classes for $33). If not, treat yourselves to lunch at the nearest burger joint to recoup all those lost calories.
 
4344 Tujunga Ave.
Studio City, CA 91604
(818) 769-6427
 

Hollywood Farmers Market

Hollywood Farmers' Market


...For co-workers, neighbors and other nice people with whom you exchange pleasantries
 
As regulars will tell you, Hollywood has one of the finest farmers' markets in LA. There you'll find fresh, sweet and easy-to-eat Fuyu persimmons and Satsuma tangerines in abundance at this time of year. If you want to appear terribly cute and thoughtful, we suggest delivering the goods in a small basket lined with a square of fabric (try Michael Levine in the garment district for dirt cheap remnants), accompanied by holiday tidings on slip of handmade paper from Soolip Paperie

Ivar & Selma Avenue
Hollywood, CA 90028
(323) 463-3171