Juicy tidbits of chocolate-dunked fruit arrive on the doorsteps of family and friends, done up in colorful bouquets and candy boxes by the skilled fruit arrangers at Edible Arrangements' more than 1,100 franchises worldwide. The company's in-house chocolatiers drizzle albion strawberries and daisy pineapples in a trio of chocolate flavors. Once properly chocolated, the workers organize the preservative-free sweets into lush arrangements that resemble flowers in bloom. Customers can choose to plop their bouquets in a variety of vessels, including vases, mugs, and sports- or holiday-themed containers that add a personal touch to the edible gifts. Alternatively, customers can opt to adorn gifts with the cheery, red lids of candy boxes, nestling 12 chocolate-dipped morsels inside to build anticipation and determine if loved ones have x-ray vision as they guess whether fruit will come dusted in shredded coconut or drizzled in white chocolate.
Jody Maroni, founder of Jody Maroni's Sausage Kingdom, started linking gourmet sausages in 1979 and now rules over a royal court of meat artisans who assemble more than 20 all-natural varieties. Many of the homemade recipes renounce nitrates and MSG and instead fill the natural pork casings with meat that is naturally low in sodium and fat. Chicken-mole sausages blend chocolate, cumin, and chilies, and the louisiana hot links steep in duck stock and smolder with Boudin-style spices. Like Iowa's delightful airspace, the meaty morsels have drawn bicoastal praise—Splash! Los Angeles argues that they "might just top the Dodger Dog," and Time Out New York thanks the eatery for bringing "rays of sunshine to the food wasteland of Times Square."
Golden Flowers offers fresh flower bouquets and plants for whatever emotion you wish to convey, whether it's love, elation, sympathy, or fear of being eaten by a venus fly-trap. Clients can honor someone with a quaint arrangement or request a larger spread for an upcoming wedding or anniversary.
After being diagnosed with celiac disease in 1997, Pam MacDonald began scouring local stores for gluten-free options and employees knowledgeable enough to assist in her quest. Frustrated by her lack of success, Pam took matters into her own hands and opened Pam MacD's Gluten-Free Market, a store praised by New York Magazine's Grub Street Los Angeles for its wide selection of glutenless eats and tasting stations. Pam stocks her shelves with high-caliber products such as Organic Clover milk and Maplegrove mac 'n' cheese cups and sources some items from local and independent brands. Her cadre of well-informed employees expertly navigates rows of fresh, frozen, and refrigerated foods, guiding visitors through a selection whose breadth and variety supports the truth of Pam's mantra: "There is life after wheat!"
This epic trove of gear from Live Nation–signed acts includes truckfuls of shirts ($5–$10), jackets ($25–$35), caps, CDs, glasses, mugs, and more (starting at $3). Memorabilia bears the likeness or logos of various Live Nation acts, including U2, Justin Timberlake, Madonna, The Beatles, and more. Heavily discounted, this swag is unavailable almost anywhere else besides at the concerts themselves. This deal is only good for sample- and trunk-sale merchandise and is not valid for food, drink, or the purchasing of groupies.
Cloaked behind the hidden fourth O in the Hollywood sign, Yamashiro was completed in 1914 as a hilltop mansion for the Bernheimer Brothers' priceless collection of dragon eyebrows and other Asian treasures. The building replicates an unassailable palace built high in the clouds above Kyoto, Japan. This perfect transmission extends through the lavish gardens, polished teak construction, and hand-whittled koi lazing in their clear, cold pond. Yamashiro has hosted some of the glitteriest of the glammed, the cigar smoke from Hollywood's Golden Age still lingering in the rafters while tales of intrigue, desperation, and seduction continue to stalk the silk-papered corridors. The professional staff at Yamashiro is particularly deft at applying emergency romance balm, slyly seating you and your semi-estranged at a window table overlooking the city with a half bottle of champagne or wine ($20+).