Gifts for those who like to entertain

Gifts for the hosting folk.

Your friends and family members who like to entertain can be challenging during the holiday season. You want to get them a gift, but they may already own that perfect fill-in-the-blank item that catches your eye. We're hoping this list will ease your shopping anxiety — and inspire you to do a little entertaining yourself.

Serving bowl

This large shallow serving bowl from East Fork Pottery, near Asheville, N.C., is made with “minimally refined clay” and glazed with “small-batch, house-made glazes.” And in case you’re wondering: It’s dishwasher, microwave and oven safe. $250.

  East Fork Pottery

Light-up drink cubes

The cubes glow when they come into contact with liquid — which could make your cocktail parties a little more lively. Made from food-safe, BPA-free plastic, they turn off when it’s time for a refill. Four to a set, $9.95.

  The Grommet

Salt & pepper dish

Your custom may be to use traditional salt and pepper shakers, but this teak dish could tempt you to mix it up a bit. What’s more, it should easily fit into almost any holiday stocking. At the store OK, located at 1716 Silverlake Blvd., Los Angeles. Not on the website. $21. (323) 666-1868

  Calvin B. Alagot / Los Angeles Times

Curved brass ladle

Ladles sometimes fall under the “neglected” category of serving utensils. This one, hand-crafted in Japan, may be just the right gift for someone who likes to serve soups, stews and sauces. $88.

  East Fork Pottery

Cali towels

Think of California-themed tea towels as a hostess gift — or a little something to send to your friends and loved ones unable or unwilling to live in the Golden State. $16 and up. At Yolk, some items in store, 1626 Silver Lake Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 660-4315.

CALIFORNIA TOWELS Think of these towels as a hostess gift — or a little something to send to your
  Calvin B. Alagot / Los Angeles Times

Wooden basket

The East Fork Pottery website suggests this Myrtlewood Trug might be useful in the garden — perhaps to hold recently cut flowers. But we envision it as a repository for napkins for a buffet or hand towels or a series of specialized utensils. Available in 2 sizes, from $60,

  East Fork Pottery

Cocktail guide

“Sonic Screwdrivers.” "The Jameson T. Kirk." "Blue Milk." They’re themed cocktails (connected to "Doctor Who," "Star Trek" and "Star Wars"), and the recipes are included in Andy Heidel’s “The Cocktail Guide to the Galaxy.” Heidel is the owner of The Way Station, a sci-fi bar in Brooklyn, which, we are happy to note, has its own TARDIS-themed bathroom. About $15.

Calvin B. Alagot / Los Angeles Times

Fragrant woods

Before insisting that you’d never buy a slim bundle of sticks as a gift, you might want to light one of these and let it burn for a bit. The wood is Palo Santo (“holy wood”), is native to parts of Mexico, and Central and South America — and the aroma (Is that citrus? Pine? Mint?) is captivating. $7.50, OK, in the store; not on the website, 1716 Silverlake Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 666-1868

  Calvin B. Alagot / Los Angeles Times

Papier-mâché Bowl

It’s hard to believe these intricately patterned bowls are made from papier-mâché. Of course, they are lightweight — and good for serving (some) snacks or simply looking beautiful. $18. Yolk, in the store; not on the website. 1626 Silver Lake Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 660-4315

  Calvin B. Alagot / Los Angeles Times

Ice cream cones

What if you didn’t want to snack on a cone and instead wanted to consume your frozen goodness in a small work of art? There are three ceramic cones in this “Neapolitan” set — vanilla, chocolate and strawberry. $45.

Calvin B. Alagot / Los Angeles Times

Hammered copper bar set

It’s a bar set — jigger, shaker and a tray — that could class-up almost any party. Each piece — from Sertodo Copper in Mexico — is made from 100% recycled copper without linings or lacquer. $165.

  The Grommet

Bottle opener

Everyone needs a bottle opener. Or three. This one will fulfill all your practical needs — rapid access to beer—and provide a tribute to the Lucha Libre wrestling style of Mexico. Luchador Bottle Opener. $8.

Calvin B. Alagot / Los Angeles Times

Butter dish

Do you have friends from Brooklyn? Who aspire to be from Brooklyn? Consider the “Buttah” dish as a gift — and yes, it’s microwave safe. $23.95.

  Calvin B. Alagot / Los Angeles Times

Bowl set

Brass is the new gold, right? Which means the Tom Dixon Form Bowl Set can add more than a little sparkle to a table. The set includes five dishes sculpted from brass sheets and finished in a gold wash. $100.

BOWL SET Brass is the new gold, right? Which means the Tom Dixon Form Bowl Set can add more than a

Serving platter

Melamine for the holidays? When it looks like this "Spoon Cavalieri" platter from the Mad Platters, the answer is yes. The company, according to its website, "features designs sourced from antique and vintage artwork." $28.

MELAMINE PLATTER Melamine for the holidays? When it looks like this
  The Mad Platters


This corkscrew, inspired by the Mexican holiday Day of the Dead, is made from steel and designed by Ariel Rojo and Stephanie Suarez. $30.

Calvin B. Alagot / Los Angeles Times

Olive-oil tasting kit

It's good to have options, and this Sampler Gift Set — with three virgin olive oils, three flavored olive oils and three balsamic vinegars — could make for a great kickoff to a multi-course dinner. $70.

  Lucero Olive Oil

Bullet barware

The cups are hand-blown; the bullets are copper replicas modeled after John Browning’s 1904 design for the Colt .45 (the WhistlePig rye is up to you). Two glasses, $100.

  Neptune Glassworks

Leather coasters

Designer Eric Trine is known for his colorful chairs, geometric tables, and household goods — including these leather coasters. Each set includes six coasters, made from assorted leathers. $20.

  Eric Trine

Dessert plates

The idea of "dessert plates" may seem like a throwback, but Sally Muir’s “Dog-A-Day” plates could win you over (and possibly inspire an evening of tapas — or desserts). There’s a black lab plate, a white dog, a Chihuahua, a whippet, and a dachshund, among others. $14 per plate.

For the Record

Nov. 28, 3 p.m.: An earlier version of this guide misstated the name of the author of “The Cocktail Guide to the Galaxy” as Andy Heidelberg on second reference. The author is Andy Heidel.

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