If you're looking for something for someone who uses a lot of spices, look no further: The Thai Mortar
You've probably seen this on The Naked Chef and thought it was stupid, pretentious, or both. You are wrong. The dinky little mortars you can get form uncle Billy are stupid, pretentious (and useless). These mortars are the BOMB (pun intended).
I picked mine up in Sydney from a little shop in (no shit) "Thainatown." If you're in SF, you can get these at M&V Trading on the south side of Irving between 25th and 23rd. If you're not in SF or Sydney, I suggest you suck it up and just order it online. Unless your town has a sizeable southeast Asian population, you're not likely to find this in the local stores.
After you pick it up, you can make my famous pork rub:
Mix roughly equal parts of:
Grind this into a fine powder in the mortar, rub it on your meat (ieww), and hit the grill. Remember though, this is a gift for a friend, so clean it up before you wrap it.
If you're worried about the mortar scratching up your friend's beautiful counter top, this makes a great accessory.