After I ordered my family's Thanksgiving turkey the other day at the Los Angeles Farmers Market, I wandered into the food shop Monsieur Marcel.
They've got some pretty melamine dishes -- plates, platters, small and large bowls -- that could trick the eye into thinking they're ceramic (priced from about $6 to about $30). I bought a couple, one for holiday potluck meals and one to give as a Christmas present.
Turns out that while they're made in China, they come from an L.A. company, Le Cadeaux. There are plain colors, plus several patterns reminiscent of France or Italy.
Norman Kosser, who previously owned a French homewares shop in Brentwood, said that a few years ago he sent plates to a company he works with in China and asked them to copy them in durable plastic. They're meant, he said, to have a "sophisticated country French feel."
-- Mary MacVean
Photo: Le Cadeaux