Artisan Cheese Gallery - Studio City
Just drove by this place on Ventura Blvd. Does anyone know anything about this place?
It had tables out front so I couldn't make out whether it was more of a cheese shop or a cafe/restaurant. It would be great if the Valley finally got a good cheese store.
I had some very good foie gras that I got for a New Year's Day birthday party that I prepared for friends. Not a cheese person so could not offer input in that category, yet Melody is helpful, and back at the beginning of the year, chaos reigned supreme with the balance of the staff.
I go to the farmer's market almost every Sunday, and while I see the sign to remind me, I still do not go, but if I needed foie gras, I might, as it was very good.
We were in there a few months after they opened, and there was a previous post on Chowhound about that time.
While I think they carry some very wonderful cheeses, we found the place to be chaotic: our salesperson was not as knowlegeable as the owner, so she had to keep asking the owner (who was busy with her own customers) to answer our questions, each cheese was tediously wrapped and unwrapped multiple times and this was very slow, and there was no order for the cheeses, so there was a lot of time wasted, trying to locate each cheese. Additionally, they were not set up for tasting -- which is a necessary part of their business; there were only a couple of salespersons.
Tell me that they have improved their system. I would like to return, but I am not willing to spend an afternoon there. Yes, cheese tasting can be a leisurely and enjoyable experience, but not THAT leisurely!
Bob, check out the Whole Foods in Santa Monica on Wilshire -- if you can. This seems to be a very upscale store (perhaps their flagship? and catering to all those Westside singles -- lots of wine and cheese!) and their cheese selection is amazing. We saw some cheeses there for $25/lb. They have a good variety, and their selection here seems to be even better than their other stores -- which also have good cheese departments. AND you can taste as you like..the salespeople are very helpful.
It's more a cheese shop and a fancy-jars shop than a restaurant. I like it quite a lot. It's not The Cheese Shop of Beverly Hills, but it's a lot closer and the owner, Melody, is much more personable.
Be aware that Sunday mornings, when the farmers' market is right behind the shop, are very busy and so you may have to wait for service.
The cheeses are very good, but you'll need to take steps to keep them if you want them to last more than a day or two.
Its a decent spot to eat at for lunch, if you plan to have your meal for dinner you have to call it up ahead of time. Its more of a great spot to buy your cheeses for your own parties or cooking.
The one time I ate there I had the salad & grilled cheese sandwich which was tasty yet nothing to have me returning. They included a chocolate truffel for dessert too.
Hope this helps,