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Burrata Alert - Surfas steps up

CulverJack Sep 27, 2006 05:02 PM

I was in Surfas yesterday for a few things. I've been really enjoying the incredible tomatoes practically screaming for good homes at the farmer's markets now, and I thought I'd see if they had fresh mozzarella, or even better, burrata. Didn't see any in the cheese case in the store, so I went to the cafe and there was a sign - literally. "WE HAVE FRESH BURRATA". What more could I ask for? I look in the cold case, and there is a 1 1b. tub of Gioia looking back at me.

Fanstastic! I bought the last one yesterday, but I bet they have more now. $8.50 for the 1 lb. container, and this stuff is simply great. Creamy, runny inside, clean tasting with a good bit of salty. Magic with tomatoes and good olive oil. Run, drive, or fly there and get some. You might call and make sure there's more, first.

And I challenge anyone on this board to walk out of surfas with only the item you went there for. It's not possible.

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  1. e
    epop Sep 27, 2006 05:15 PM

    i bought buffalo mozzarella at Whole Foods (S Monica) yesterday and it was sour. this is the 5th time. + i go on the delivery days.

    can't believe that it is this difficult to get fresh mozzarella in this town. fortunately
    the burrata situation is better.

    2 Replies
    1. re: epop
      markn Sep 27, 2006 06:11 PM

      I buy the Cantare fresh mozzarella at WF all the time, never had a bad one. It comes in 8 oz. tub for around 3.99.

      1. re: epop
        Das Ubergeek Sep 27, 2006 06:38 PM

        I buy fresh mozzarella at Monte Carlo in Burbank and I've never had a sour piece.

      2. Bon Vivant Sep 27, 2006 05:17 PM

        Thanks for the hot tip! I love that you can get a whole pound for a reasonable price (the place where I buy it sells small balls for $5 each.)

        If you can't get burrata a good substitute is the Mandara brand fresh mozzarella at Trader Joe's (they have it at Gelson's but it's $2 more per tub.) This mozz has the consistency of burrata but it has a slightly more tangy flavor which I prefer.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Bon Vivant
          revets2 Sep 27, 2006 06:15 PM

          i bought the mandara at TJ's with good expiration dates and it was sour and tangy. had to return them.

          1. re: revets2
            Das Ubergeek Sep 27, 2006 06:39 PM

            The Trader Joe's brand isn't any better. It's routinely sour.

            1. re: Das Ubergeek
              rubyella Sep 27, 2006 08:36 PM

              After many many sour fresh mozarella disappointments from Whole foods, Bristol farms and Gelsons, I've been getting it on a weekly basis for the last 6 months from trader joes on National in West LA and have only had 1 sour one (the package had a small tear under the lid that I missed). IT's not as tasty as burrata but its fine for my usual lunches.

        2. Amanda Enclade Sep 27, 2006 05:25 PM

          they also have the gioia burrata at bay cities for 9.00 a tub. they get deliveries on tuesdays and fridays I believe. yum yum---

          1. j
            judge dee Sep 27, 2006 05:31 PM

            The Gioia factory is in South El Monte, not far from the many Chinese chow places. Burrata sells for $5 a pound.

            2 Replies
            1. re: judge dee
              glutton Sep 27, 2006 11:55 PM

              is there a retail outlet at the factory? if so, do you happen to know the hours? I called, but nobody answered, which makes me wonder if they are open everyday or have very limited hours.

              1. re: glutton
                judge dee Sep 28, 2006 12:39 AM

                They sell retail from the front desk. I was there last Friday at 11 am, and I've called them a couple of times and got through. They are very friendly folks.

                Their mozzarella comes in six 8-oz balls. The smoked mozzarella are also in 8-oz balls and are packaged in 2.5 or 5 lb bags. In addition they offer mascarpone, ricotta, and burricotti (mozzarella filled with ricotta).

            2. e
              eriny Sep 27, 2006 06:08 PM

              I've also seen Gioia at Bristol Farms in South Pasadena. For regular mozzarella, I really like Cardone's mozzarella--he sells his homemade cheese at the Silver Lake farmers' market Saturdays and Atwater market Sundays. He's opening an italian deli in Silver Lake soon. The website is here: http://www.cardonesmozzarella.com/

              1. t
                torta basilica Sep 27, 2006 11:27 PM

                STOP IT!!! I've been known to grab my favorite olive oil & balsamic, some Maldon salt & pepper, and sit down & eat the whole thing! (well, at least the whole thing in 2 days - added heirloom tomatoes & basil on Day 2). You're killing my heart & hips!! I am in love with Burrata!

                1. westsidegal Sep 27, 2006 11:33 PM

                  for a restaurant burrata experience i recommend the nice-sized serving of olive oil drizzled burrata over roasted red peppers that have been dressed with a little vinegrette that they serve at metro cafe on washington place east of sepulveda.

                  1. h
                    hungrytaf Sep 28, 2006 01:58 AM

                    bay cities in santa monica carries a brand called lioni that used to be imported from brooklyn ( in bensonhurst - a block away from my italian grandparents) - and it has never failed me. now they are manufacturing it here - its not the same but its still better than the crap at whole foods etc.
                    recently i bought some from the cheese shop in silverlake (in the sunset junction building) and it was excellent - nice size, six dollars, great fresh flavor and texture.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: hungrytaf
                      epop Sep 28, 2006 04:16 AM

                      i've purchased this one 3x and come home only to find it sour. + i call in first to find out when it is being delivered. frustrating to say the least. someone in this town ought to start a mozz. business

                      1. re: epop
                        revets2 Sep 28, 2006 06:34 PM

                        some don't exactly consider el monte "in town", but gioia does make the best burrata in the southland. A16 in SF also uses. call for hours and days. Gioia Cheese Co. 1605 Potrero Ave. South El Monte, CA 91733 tel: 626-444-6015

                        this is the brand that many respectable italian chefs use and is sold at bristol. it's also available at tutto latte express in hollywood on vine at fountain.

                        also, very delicious burricotti, caciocavallo, marscapone, mozz, ricotta, and scamorza.

                    2. chica Sep 28, 2006 02:18 AM

                      I have the mind to go to Capo and ask them where they get their burrata for their salad.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: chica
                        Das Ubergeek Sep 28, 2006 02:33 AM

                        You could just call them (off-hours, like 3 PM)... except you may just be wangling an excuse for a trip to Capo! :-P

                      2. s
                        skwasha Sep 28, 2006 04:25 AM

                        I've had pretty good luck getting ahold of the 1 lb. tubs of Gioia at Bristol Farms on Sunset ($9.99 ea.) Though if you all start gankin my burrata I'll be PO'd! ;)

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