Organic and local foods worth gifting
We love supporting quirky neighborhood food markets. Now we're crushing on a corner grocer envisioned as a cross between a farmers' market and a bodega. Atwater Village Farm is dedicated to local organic produce, stocks California cheeses from producers including Bravo Farms and is brimming with fresh bread and pastries from nearby Village Bakery and Röckenwagner Bakery. But proprietress Piper Goldstein also stocks requests, such as imported mustard for a homesick Englishman.
A heavily inked former restaurant chef and touring caterer for bands like Jane's Addiction, Goldstein's got both foodie chops and style. Her shop is full of charm, from its circa 1927 checkerboard terrazzo floor to the recycled-satchel program. (Trade two T-shirts for a free bag sewn from shirts by Goldstein's mom--whom you'll meet behind the counter.)
Curry couscous with golden raisins, chopped veggie salad and tuna-salad sandwiches attract lunching Bikram yogis as well as office workers. It's a great gifts destination, too, for do-it-yourself tote bags full of cheeses, crackers and sparkling fruit juice as well as preplanted veggie boxes for outdoor decks or gardens from Malibu's biodynamic One Gun Ranch ($65 to $150).
Atwater Village Farm, 3224 Glendale Blvd.; 323-660-8888 or atwatervillagefarm.com