The most obscure and offbeat Valentine's Day gifts to buy in Los Angeles


Sure, go ahead and bore your sweetheart to death with the usual flowers and chocolates for Valentine's Day. But if you're in the Los Angeles area and want to really impress your object of affection with something truly memorable, here's your guide.

Gift ideas

Weed bouquet
Roses are so yesterday. Send your sweetie a weed bouquet instead, and we're not talking about dandelions and crabgrass. There's just one little catch: your loved one has to have a medical marijuana card to receive a $400 floral cannabis bouquet from Lowell Farms. (Yes, we Californians did indeed vote to legalize recreational marijuana, but it can't be sold by retailers yet. Buzzkill!)

Canine cosmonaut locket
Looking for a gift that will send your valentine who loves dogs and/or space over the moon? A commemorative glass locket with five interchangeable photos of four-legged Soviet astronauts should do the trick. You can get one in the gift shop of the Museum of Jurassic Technology in Culver City.

A little something from the County Coroner
Bet you didn't know the Los Angeles County Coroner has a gift shop called Skeletons in the Closet. Because, really, who wouldn't want a "We're dying for your business" mousepad, crime scene beach towel or bodily fluids travel mug? Show your sweetheart you love him or her to death, heh heh.

Apocalypse survival kit
The future is looking pretty bleak these days, so make sure your valentine is prepared for doomsday with some helpful accoutrements from the Echo Park Time Travel Mart. A portable wormhole, barbarian repellent and evil robot memory eraser could come in handy someday soon.

Authentic L.A. artifacts
Sweet dreams are 99.5-percent guaranteed when you give your sweetie a vintage pillow cover with images of Los Angeles back in the '40s, way before smog and crowded freeways. You can buy it (and tons of other weird and wonderful vintage treasures, like a Mickey Mouse ashtray from the 1930s and a '60s protest doll) at the Shine Gallery, located in the Original Farmers Market.

Dining ideas

Dinner in a Pan-Am
Face it, a cheesy Valentine's Day dinner by candlelight in some dimly lit restaurant will barely score you a 1 on your honey's love meter. But making a reservation for a five-course dinner served inside an exact replica of a '60s-era Pan Am 747 at Air Hollywood will score you at least an 11. It's totally authentic, from the safety demonstration to the china (ah, the good old days of air travel). These dinners are only available on Saturdays (and cost as much as a plane ticket to New York).

Dinner in the Dark
At Opaque inside the V Lounge in Santa Monica, dinner is served in total darkness by visually impaired waiters who describe what you're eating. It's a very sensual and slightly awkward experience, forcing you to rely on senses like touch and smell. Under the circumstances, your valentine should totally understand that your groping around is just an effort to find your napkin. Dining in the Dark costs about $100 per person and is available Thursdays through Saturdays.

Places to go

A tour that reveals the authentic L.A.
Skip those ho-hum Hollywood bus tours and get tickets for an Esotouric tour for an offbeat look at L.A. history. Your sweetheart is probably (hopefully) way more interested in the lives of truly interesting Angelenos like Charles Bukowski and Raymond Chandler rather than any random Kardashian or Jenner.

Museum of Broken Relationships
Your valentine will be ever so grateful she/he has you after a visit to this museum. Although it sounds like it might have angry or sad ex-couples on display, the exhibits are actually mementos and souvenirs that have been donated by break-up survivors.

Spend the night with Marilyn or Montgomery
If you want to get closer to your valentine — as in clinging to each other for dear life — reserve room 1200 at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. It's where Marilyn Monroe once lived and apparently never left: guests have reported seeing her face in a mirror. Downstairs in room 928, the ghost of Montgomery Clift has allegedly patted guests' shoulders. Who you gonna call?



Laura Goldman is a freelance writer and native Angeleno. Check out her i Still Love Dogs blog and follow her on Twitter.