Butcher shop recommendation for West LA
Any recommendations for a good butcher shop in West LA (Culver City/Venice area)? I'm specifically looking to buy prime cuts of grass-fed, organic meats/pork/chicken, and bacon by the pound. If the shop carries heritage and/or game meats, that would be a bonus!
I'm sure this has crossed your mind, but Whole Foods meat departments are the best. The organic steaks and burger meat I get are always full of flavor. The chicken is usually good. I don't always buy the organic brand, but it is better than the non-organic Mary's they sell now. And here's the reason why I'm really posting: I forgot the bacon on one side of the store, and just didn't feel like going to get it, so I got the hand-cut bacon in the deli section. The gal cut it totally to my specified thickness, and it made the best BLTs we could ask for. My SO couldn't stop saying, this is the "best BLT ever." I don't know if he was just hungry or what, but that bacon was great.
Here's a list of meat markets/butchers from an older thread on this board.
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.
I am surprised by all the shout-outs for Whole Foods. I have universally found that they are not so good in terms of both meats and butcher service, especially lacking in the latter. For supermarkets on the West Side, Gelsons and Vicente Foods are far superior IMHO.
I agree w/ EREDSON, I have found the butcher service at Whole Foors really inconsistent.
At a few locations, you can find someone who is trained as a butcher and can cut meat properly, but othertimes the people behind the counter are pretty clueless. The quality of the meat is ehh.
My favorite butcher is Marconda's in the old Farmer's Market.
Two days ago I was craving steak, so I picked up a prime Piedmontese porter house steak. It so happened that they had aged 6 steaks for someone who didn't pick them up, so I was lucky enough to snag one. It was one of the most delicious steaks that I had in a long time.
Apparently if you like your steaks aged, and you are planning far enough advance, you can call them and they will age your steaks for you. The owner (I can't remember his name) is very friendly and full of information.
I think it depends upon which Whole Foods you patronize. In my experience, the one in Glendale has a pretty good service staff, especially in the Cheese, Wine and Meat departments.
I also recently was shopping at the Bristol Farms near Beverly Hills (in the old Chasen's space), and received excellent service at the meat counter. I didn't mention it in my first post, because I wasn't shopping for grass fed beef, so didn't notice if they carried it, but the butcher was helpful, courteous and knowledgeable.