Entertaining

L.A. Gear

10 products to let you live the L.A. life without actually going there
Photos: Courtesy of Sqirl, Valerie Confections, McConnell's, Little Branch, LA Coffee Club, Chronicle Books

It’s hard to resist the call of L.A.: constant sun, more avocados than you can juggle and 365 days of dining outside. But this is the age of online shopping, meaning you’re just a few clicks away from having California’s best-selling jam at your doorstep in mere days. Spare the plane ticket and spend your money on these 10 essential L.A. products instead.

Sqirl Blenheim Apricot Jam ($14)
Embody L.A. in condiment form with this sweet rose-colored spread. This special variety of apricot makes up less than 2 percent of the stone fruit’s overall crop. It’s hard to choose between the many offerings from this jam company-turned-breezy café, but Sqirl owner Jessica Koslow herself finds this one the most “essentially Cali” of all.

Moon Juice Beauty Dust ($65)
If all it takes to look Hollywood-ready is a scoop of this floral goji powder, sign us up. This best seller from the West Coast’s favorite juice bar hits the right balance of mystifying alchemy and actually good taste. This might just be your way to “glow from within” and boast “lustrous shiny hair” even in the dead of a Midwestern winter.

Valerie Confections Nature Is Slow Bar ($10)
Just three minutes into a morning of making chocolate granola with Valerie Gordon is all it took for us to realize how Cali cool the chocolatier is. Her bar, the first from a partnership with Edible Gardens LA, is just as breezy, with 72 percent bittersweet chocolate, fleur de sel and rose petals in both candied and dried form. It’s inspired by the passion both these L.A. makers have for local ingredients, plus creative (and delicious) ideas.

McConnell’s Chocolate Covered Strawberries Ice Cream ($10)
We’re a fan of all its flavors, but this settles the debate between fans of both fruity and chocolate ice cream once and for all. With strawberries from up the coast in Santa Barbara, dairy from its 80-plus-year-old creamery and a smooth texture that can’t be beat, this L.A. pint might just steal your heart.

Little Branch Granola Trio ($37)
They don’t stress over decisions in California, right? So neither should you—and that includes deciding between this artisanal granola company’s three equally excellent slow-roasted options. You’ll get the citrus-tinted heritage olive oil mix (“the flavor that inspired it all”), sweet-savory peanut butter and miso, plus a bag of carrot cake muesli.

Fugetsu-do Chocolate Mochi ($11.50 for 12 pieces)
You could make your own in the microwave, but this family-owned mochi business has been around for more than 100 years—so let them handle it. Locals love this mochi shop for many reasons, but no order is complete without the chocolate mochi. It’s both flavored with chocolate and filled with an oozing cocoa center.

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LocoL Snapback Hat ($20)
The first step to eating at L.A.’s trendiest spot is to look like you belong. Pop a snapback on your head (or a logo-ed beanie in the winter) and pretend you used to work there, and you’ll instantly be the coolest person in town. Profits go straight to LocoL’s neighborhood, so not only will you look good, but you’ll do good as well.

LA Coffee Club ($19 every four weeks)
Get in on the booming coffee shop scene in L.A. without breaking the stride of your current morning routine. Beans from boutique roasters like Bar Nine, Lord Windsor and Demitasse will show up like magic at your front door, whether you go for the weekly, biweekly or the every-four-week delivery option.

Gjelina Cookbook ($35)
This book was said to reveal “how we want to live now,” which apparently means a world of color, vegetables and Venice aura. Throw a dinner party with a handful of friends, and it’ll almost feel like you’re at Travis Lett’s restaurant of the same name, the It spot of Southern California.

Salsaology Chile Negro & Hibiscus Sauce ($10)
These versatile sauces take a hint from even further down the coast: Mexico. We love this one for the way the tart hibiscus balances out the sweet cacao and cinnamon. Use it as a grilled chicken marinade, french fry dip or salad dressing base—so basically, in anything (and everything) you eat.

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