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Are there any "old school" butchers left in this town?

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  1. I think there is one in Palms? Sorry I can't be more specific but I've heard my friends talking about one before.

    1. Here's a link to an L.A. Times article that pretty well lists them all. My fave is Harvey's Gus. But, be mindful of the ordering protocol.


      3 Replies
      1. re: Bob Brooks

        The best, really absolute best, steaks I've ever had were dry aged prime New York strips from Harvey's Gus, pressed into kosher salt and fresh cracked ground pepper, and cooked over very hot oak charcoal. Meat ambrosia, I tell you.

        (I have to say, however, that I sometimes hesitate to recommend Harvey's Gus to folks looking for a general purpose butcher, cause it's really not a hold your hand, explain about this cut versus that cut, general purpose sort of place. You need to know exactly what you want, preferably well in advance.)

          1. re: Das Ubergeek

            Call at 24-36 hours in advance. Be specific and don't waste their time. Chat nicely with Gus when you pick up your meat, if he is in the mood. Or, to quote Mr. JudiAU, "don't screw it up for the rest of us."

        1. Thank's, it's a great start

          1. There are about four of them who work at Marconda's at the farmer's market. Mike, Dave, Louis and Martin are all great. The best part is they outstanding meat, as often attested to on this board, which is significantly less than a high end supermarket.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Paliman

              I will drive there from Pasadena just for their amazing 1" thick pork steaks. I bought a 12v fridge for the car mostly for that...

              1. re: Paliman

                I second the recommendation for Marconda's. Every piece of meat I have ever gotten there is just fantastic! And they are nice about talking to you about what you want. Also, those refrigerated bags that you can buy at the market keep food cold in the car for about 2 hours unless it is REALLY HOT (I wouldn't have trusted them last week) for those of you who haven't gotten around to buying a car refrigerator (!)

                1. re: Paliman

                  Agree with Marconda's. Order in advance and they will dry age for you.

                2. In Costa Mesa there is a great butcher on 17th Street called Celestino's. They also make their own jerky that is the best I have ever had.

                  1. Where are you located? There's a butcher store in Orange called Mattern that is very old-school.

                    1. Alexanders in the Howies Market on San Gabriel and Duarte is my favorite.

                      1. hi -
                        Huntington Meats & Sausages at the Farmer's Market
                        http://www.huntingtonmeats.com both Dan and Jim are helpful.
                        Farmer's Market - 3rd and Fairfax

                        6333 West 3rd Street

                        Los Angeles, California 90036

                        TEL. (323) 938-5383 - FAX. (323) 933-8577

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: bonbon7777

                          i second harvey guss', but they're wholesalers, so that's why no hand holding. i also like huntington meats.

                          by far the oldest school dude is Don Taylor at Taylor's Meat in sierra madre. he's famous for the way he cuts his rib eye. he cuts and ages everything himself. i went to buy a logo bag the other day and he said, "sorry, i just sold my last five to martha stewart; i guess she's staying with a friend in arcadia." but i'll still go there anyways.

                          here's a list from LAT:

                          Prime spots for old-fashioned cutting
                          By Charles Perry
                          May 18, 2005

                          Alexander's Prime Meats, Howie's Ranch Market, 6580 N. San Gabriel Blvd., San Gabriel, (626) 286-8871. Nearly all prime-grade beef from Harris Ranch. Dry-ages sides of beef.

                          Beef Palace Butcher Shop, 5895 Warner Ave., Huntington Beach, (714) 846-0044. Midwestern Angus beef, choice and prime. Dry-ages beef hindquarters and whole lambs.

                          Bel Air Prime Meats, Beverly Glen Market Place, 2964 Beverly Glen Circle, L.A. (310) 475-5915. Premium veal chops, certified Black Angus beef dry-aged on the premises, game. Smokes meat on the premises.

                          El Toro Gourmet Meats, 23522 El Toro Road, Lake Forest (949) 855-0215. Hormone- and antibiotic-free beef from the San Joaquin Valley.

                          The Farms, 2030 Montana Ave., Santa Monica, (310) 828-4244. Midwestern certified Angus beef, choice and prime.

                          Harvey's Guss Meat Co., 949 S. Ogden Drive, Los Angeles, (323) 937-4622. Midwestern beef, choice and prime; Napa and Colorado lamb; Kurobuta pork; game. Ages on premises.

                          Huntington Meats & Sausage, Los Angeles Farmers Market, 6333 W. 3rd St., (323) 938-5383. Harris Ranch beef, prime grade exclusively. Wide variety of sausages.

                          Jim's Fallbrook Market, 5947 Fallbrook Ave., Woodland Hills, (818) 347-5525. California beef, game; makes corned beef.

                          Marconda's Meat, Los Angeles Farmers Market, 6333 W. 3rd St., (323) 938-5131. Prime Angus beef; also Montana-grown Piedmontese beef, from a breed of cattle naturally low in fat. Ages lamb three weeks.

                          Owen's Market, 9769 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, (310) 553-8183. Harris Ranch beef, mostly prime grade, aged 2 1/2 weeks on the premises. Special-orders game.

                          Pacific Ranch Market, 7540 E. Chapman Ave., Orange, (714) 639-9792. Iowa beef, choice and prime grades.

                          Taylor's Ol' Fashion Meats, Howie's Ranch Market, 14 E. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre, (626) 355-3344. Prime and choice Midwestern beef.

                          Vicente Foods, 12027 San Vicente Blvd., Los Angeles, (310) 472-5215. Four kinds of beef: Midwestern prime, certified Black Angus, hormone-free Angus and Kobe.

                          Whole Foods Markets. To find a store, check the phonebook or go to www.wholefoodsmarket.com. Midwestern Angus beef raised to the market's orders; some meat is dry-aged (most have aging facilities on site). Also pork, lamb, venison.

                        2. Also a fan of Marconda. How about this for a curveball: Beachwood Market up in Beachwood Canyon. Awesome meats and old school butchers. Some of the best ribeye I've ever had came from there. Warning: Pricey. But, if you just gotta' have it and you're not headed to Sierra Madre, Beachwood Market is a tasty alternative.

                          1. Does anyone know if it's possible to actually go to a local ranch & buy part of a cow from the farmer???? I use to do this in Seattle. I could visit the ranch pretty much anytime & make sure the animals were truly free range, organic & treated humanely. This rancher also worked with an incredible butcher who also slaughtered in humane ways. I loved their meat. I am hoping to find something like that here, in LA. I would be willing to drive a little ways to find it - just not too far.

                            1. I've also been curious about this for a while now, but for a different reason. I don't care about beef, because I don't eat much of it, but where in the this town can one go to get good game meats? I mean rabbit, hare, duck, guinea fowl, squab, partridge, pheasant, grouse, &c... I have found rabbit once in a bristol farms, but the only other thing i can find is duck, and it's almost always frozen, never fresh. I would also love to find a butcher who can give me a whole chicken, with feet and head, and chicken blood.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: dlayiga

                                You might check out Harmony Farms in La Crescenta for game. The poultry places in the LA Farmer's Market have rabbit and Guinea fowl, and I've been told that the Chinese poultry houses in Chinatown have rabbits as well. I'd imagine that they could also satisfy your desire for those extra chicken bits. What I have yet to find is a properly matured Guinea, old enough to require braising; all I've seen so far are those tender and boring little pintadeau, hardly worth the money or the time.

                                1. re: Will Owen

                                  Harmony Farms certainly has a wide variety of species of meat, but it's virtually all frozen. As for their "fresh" meat, I dunno. Every time I've gone in there it's smelled really nasty in that rotting corpse way that no butcher shop should ever smell like.

                                  I'd say if you really need actual alligator or zebra meat or something odd like that, than go there. Otherwise stay away.

                                  Harmony Farms
                                  2824 Foothill Blvd, La Crescenta, CA

                              2. Walt's Meats in Lomita and Torrance

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: WSB

                                  where is walt's? i am not finding anything on google

                                  1. re: WSB

                                    Walt's is closed. They used to be in the two Narbonne Markets. One in Torrance and one in Lomita, both on Narbonne Avenue. Both markets are closed now.

                                  2. I've had excellent meat from Bob's Market on Ocean Park Blvd in Santa Monica. It's part of a small grocery store, but the butchers are excellent and very eager to help. They also have a great sausage-making operation -- you can even describe to them what you like and they'll make a batch for you.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: glutton

                                      yup..bobs is the go. ask for richard

                                    2. I've always been a fan of Handy Market in Burbank on Magnolia. Great prices too.

                                      1. In OC, Beef Palace in HB on Warner is outstanding and very old school. Big fiberglass steer on the sidewalk. No credit cards, only cash or checks for example. They still use the original old cash register. Also very very reasonable pricing - you'd pay at least twice the price at Whole Paycheck, for what you can get here.

                                        They have dry-aged primal cuts, they'll cut to order a steak as thick as you like. Last time, I took home a nice thick dry-aged ribeye and a thick bacon-wrapped filet, $24 out the door ! Oh and you help yourself to baking potatoes on your way out, no charge.

                                        1. Manhattan Meats in Manhattan Beach (1111 Manhattan Ave Manhattan Beach, CA 90266 / (310) 372-5406) is really terrific - my wife and i have been going for about 10 weeks and it has become a sunday morning MUST DO, right after we hit our local farmer's market (mar vista). the meat is fresh, the staff is incredibly knowledgeable, the prices are very reasonable and the meat is about 1000 times better than what we have been getting at the supermarket for the last 5 years. it has changed out life - we are planning meals, cooking more often and experimenting with new cuts of meat. cannot recommend the place more highly!

                                          Manhattan Meats
                                          1111 Manhattan Ave, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

                                          1. one more thing about Manhattan Meats - it is located INSIDE of a small little supermarket - but it is NOT owned by the supermarket (which is not that great). it is apparently a separate business that has been open for 37 years - and the funny part it, i have never seen anyone buy anything from the grocer - people come in, say hello like they are old friends, purchase their meat and then split. kinda makes me feel bad for the grocer!

                                            Manhattan Meats
                                            1111 Manhattan Ave, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266