Sure, you can brave overcrowded parking lots and squabble with surly Santas elsewhere, but you won't find small-batch bacon, sweets and treats, spices, rubs, oils, mole, mustards and jams–all made by local artisans–at the mall. But you will at Artisanal LA's holiday pop-up shop this weekend.

It's genius timing: When the marketplace hit downtown's Cooper Building last October, it was just too early to think about buying gifts for the holidays. Now we're knee-deep in the frenzy, most likely stocking up for Christmas, or needing perfect hostess gifts for the parties and visits cluttering our calendars.

While some of our favorites won't be there this time around, more than 30 artisans will be hawking their wares. You're bound to find something unique and delicious for that special someone. After all, everyone loves food…and bacon. Because there's lots of bacon, from Cast Iron Gourmet's small-batch pork to Morning Glory Confections spicy bacon brittle.

Some of the new vendors and items include Orgasmo de la Boca's smoked olives, Mothercluck's jams, and Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop's new salad dressings. You'll even find non-edibles like handmade kitchen aprons, soaps and gardening swag.

To counteract all of those sugary samples, nibble on roasted chestnuts on the patio–the marketplace is on the ground floor this time–or hit the Lobsta or Lardon trucks (yes, more bacon) parked outside.

Admission is $6 (cash only), with some proceeds going to LAUSD school garden programs. And since Artisanal LA's crafty sibling, Unique LA, is taking place right across the street, take your wristband for 2-for-1 entry (tickets are $10). You know, so you can buy something for those few friends who don't eat.

The event takes place on December 11th and 12th at the Cooper Design Space's Santee Shop (entrance is at 851 Santee St., just north of 9th); 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days.

Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.

LA Weekly