A Aldik HomeTop
If you’re like us, you could use a little holiday magic right now. Luckily, Aldik Home in Van Nuys has been staging one of the nation’s biggest winter wonderlands for nearly 70 years, with an elaborate display of artificial trees and foliage, ornaments and festive décor to deck your halls. Whether you’re shopping for yourself or looking to brighten the spirits of others, “nothing makes a home merrier than a gorgeous new Christmas tree,” says Bryan Gold, who recommends Aldik’s line of top-quality, incredibly realistic, brilliantly prelit Neuman Trees for an effortlessly beautiful way to showcase treasured ornaments that will stand the test of time. Enjoy the full experience in-store or shop the selected online offerings, but don’t miss “the premier destination for all things Christmas.”
“Pergolina is a symphony of clarity, focus, ease, grace, form, function and magic,” owner Paulanna Cuccinello says. “You never know what you’re going to find.” A Toluca Lake favorite for nearly 30 years, the boutique believes in supporting local artisans and women-owned businesses with its selection of “gifts that allows you to give and give back,” as Cuccinello puts it. Among the unique items she suggests this season for “lovers of art and creativity and the curious at heart” include mouth-blown glass cloche fireplace match holders, handmade PilgrimWaters cotton and silk bandanas, and porcelain wish dolls. And be sure to take advantage of Pergolina’s spectacular gift wrapping!
C Generales & GeneralesTop
For sentimental keepsakes that sparkle and shine, look no further than Generales & Generales. This season, give those near and dear a piece from the neighborhood jewelers’ striking new GeGe collection. Designed by co-owner Sylvia Generales, the collection features two pendant necklaces and a ring, each of which can be custom-made for a personalized touch with different metals and stones, “like one’s birthstone, for example,” co-owner Peter Generales suggests. “These pieces can be worn day to night; they are elegant, stylish and individually unique,” and are created “with the environment in mind, with gems and metals from mines that are equally conscious.” The shop also carries a wide selection of curated jewelry and watches for every style, occasion and budget.
D Diniz Cellars Top
Sharing vibrant Portuguese wines from Burbank-based importer Diniz Cellars with friends and family this holiday season is a perfect way to explore one of the most dynamic wine-producing countries in the world today from the comfort of your home. Available at local retailers such as Toluca Lake’s Vendome Wine & Spirits, as well as online with free local delivery or curbside pickup options, “our wines are rich and terroir-driven with beautiful fruit and complexity, yet exude a level of sophistication and elegance one expects to find in European wines,” owner Sandra Gomes says. “Portuguese wines, whether ports or still reds, offer an authentic and unique gift-giving experience to anyone who is looking for a quality product that’s distinctive and full of character.”
E Matte CollectionTop
Give your bestie the gift of confidence and glamour with Matte Collection’s figure-flattering, fashion-forward swimwear, apparel and beauty accessories, because “friends who slay together, stay together,” Director of Operations Crystal Hyde says. For added convenience, Matte Collection offers gift-wrapping options when you shop online for domestic or international delivery. “Matte Collection is always a great gift option for any season,” Hyde says. “Our swimwear and sweats keep our #MatteGirls stylish in sun and wind. Be sure to treat your friend to a wonderful holiday gift!” And while you’re at it, go ahead and treat yourself, too.
F Restrained WhimsyTop
At Studio City’s newest gift gallery, owners Brian Miller and Scott Marshall-Miller curate distinctive products for every budget and taste, with a focus on local and artisan items that are as much a delight to give as they are to receive. With people spending more time at home, the most in-demand items reflect a craving for cozy comfort. Paint-by-numbers kits and puzzles “continue to fly off the shelves and provide hours of creative fun,” Miller says, while sweet and savory popcorn seasonings to spice up movie night “are a must-have when looking for something fun and unexpected.” He adds that customers love candles and room diffusers with fragrances like prosecco and juniper or cashmere and cocoa, as well as luxe bath bombs, soaps and lotions that “create a spa experience treasured by both men and women.”
G Tina’s TreesTop
For more than 40 years, Tina’s Trees has been the go-to for families in Los Angeles and the Valley seeking fresh, high-quality Christmas trees. Owner Tina Callas says despite the pandemic, her business will continue supporting the heartwarming holiday tradition of tree shopping with lots in Calabasas, Sherman Oaks and Valencia. (This year, the Sherman Oaks location moved to the Westfield Fashion Square.) Thanks to frequent tree shipments, shoppers will delight in the wide selection of firs, including the noble, Douglas, grand, Fraser and Nordmann varieties. “I expect it to be a busy season, as folks are traveling less,” Callas says, “but we will be limiting the number of shoppers to maintain social distancing, as well as practicing other sanitizing protocols.”
H The Crystal ShrineTop
Shauna McDonell names “stress, anxiety and fear of the unknown” as the most common issues that draw customers to her Burbank metaphysical store. All three of those feelings have certainly been rampant in 2020, but fortunately, The Crystal Shrine is an ideal source for self-care supplies to soothe the soul. “We carry gemstone facial rollers, crystal water bottles and the latest in aromatherapy — even diffusers for your car!” McDonell says. “Plus, we have gemstones and crystals of all shapes and sizes to enhance your life and your space.” Whether you’re shopping on behalf of a spiritual seeker or a lover of beautiful things, you’ll find plenty of unique gift options to bring calm and clarity, from tarot and oracle cards, journals and candles to jewelry and décor pieces by local artisans.
I Metropolis BikesTop
While many businesses were under shutdown orders early this year, North Hollywood’s Metropolis Bikes “hasn’t closed a day yet,” owner Brad Bolves says. As an essential business, the shop has been operating as usual, with some modifications. People can shop for bikes and accessories and utilize repair and maintenance services while practicing social distancing or opting for curbside pickup. Bolves says that since the beginning of the pandemic, bikes have been in high demand nationwide, resulting in “a shortage of pretty much everything in the bike world; it’s become more of a challenge to get bikes and accessories as manufacturers can’t keep up with demand.” But luckily, Metropolis Bikes has e-bikes, comfort cruisers and accessories available. And if an item isn’t in stock, the shop offers gift cards.
J The Strength CodeTop
“Taking care of our health is one of the most important things we can do for ourselves and our loved ones, especially now,” personal trainer Sheila Melody says. “The gift of fitness is the gift that keeps on giving!” Get a friend or family member a gift card for The Strength Code’s unique slow-motion, high-intensity strength training, or use code TOLUCA20 at checkout for 20% off the introductory offer, which includes a consultation with a certified strength specialist, medical body composition analysis and two one-on-one sessions. The private studio’s 30-minute workouts are by appointment only and limited to one or two clients, with masks, sanitizing and air filtering for a safe environment. “Our business is strength, so we want to help our community stand strong and survive this crisis,” Melody says.
Treat your loved ones to a holiday feast at a favorite neighborhood eatery. Whether you enjoy a meal together al fresco, pick up takeout for a comfortable evening at home or give a gift card so they can dine out whenever they choose, you’ll be providing a delicious experience while supporting our local restaurants. Santuari Restaurant offers pickup and delivery of its scratch-made Mediterranean-accented cuisine, such as grilled octopus, beet spaghetti and braised lamb shank, but there are also a variety of elegant outdoor dining opportunities to make holiday meals or any date night a truly magical experience. Order a la carte for Thursdays on the Terrace, enjoy a three-course prix fixe menu for Fridays and Saturdays on the Palm Court, or savor Sunday brunch with two courses plus a mimosa or sparkling wine.
Get cozy this winter with hearty, homestyle meals from The New Deal in Magnolia Park. Favorites include braised short ribs with browned-butter mashed potatoes and green beans, the fried cod sandwich, the Roosevelt burger with house-made tarragon dressing, and the must-try bourbon bread pudding with caramel sauce (be forewarned, it sells out fast!). In addition to curbside pickup and online delivery, owner Kerry Krull says, “we have outdoor seating in front and back of the restaurant, which offers two totally different vibes.”
Coziness also reigns at The New Deal’s sister restaurant, Romancing the Bean. The charming café and coffee house will be featuring holiday drinks and desserts in addition to its menu of all-day breakfasts, fresh salads and sandwiches, delectable pastries, and hot and cold beverages, all for curbside pickup, delivery or patio dining. “Don’t forget to grab some gift certificates for a great stocking stuffer!” Krull adds.
A gift card to Sattdown Jamaican Grill in Studio City offers a taste of a Caribbean vacation without having to leave town. Escape the everyday with menu favorites like Chef Tony Hyde’s famous jerk chicken (available in a vegan option, too!), braised oxtails and stuffed salmon — plus, don’t miss the flaky, golden, beef-stuffed patties. “We are not a dime-a-dozen restaurant; we are unique, and the flavors of our specialty food will leave a lasting impression!” Hyde says.
Healthy eating is convenient and tasty at Burbank’s Chop Stop, which specializes in quick-service chopped salads like the Santa Fe Chop with cilantro lime dressing or the BBQ Chop with ranch. For every $25 gift card purchased through the end of 2020, you’ll receive a $5 reward card while supplies last. “At the equivalent of 20% off, this is our best deal of the year,” CEO Mark Kulkis says. “Plus, it’s an easy way to make up for all those holiday season indulgences!”
Speaking of which, get a head start on your healthy-eating resolutions at Leonor’s Mexican Vegetarian Restaurant. The 100% organic, plant-based menu offers a fresh take on burritos, tacos, quesadillas and other Mexican standards, plus pizzas, sandwiches, salads and more. It’s a perfect gift for vegetarians, vegans or anyone looking to reduce their meat intake without limiting their choices or giving up on flavor.
For more local holiday shopping ideas, check out “Where the Heart Is,” “Seasonal Shopping,” “Our Guide to Gifting,” and “Festive Finds.”