Funny. I just wrote about old school butchers on my blog. Specfically about one in Colorado, but also in general terms about the disappearing old school type you seek.
That post is here: http://professorsalt.com/2006/11/09/h...
But to stay on point for OC:
Of the old school American type meat markets, I like:
El Toro Gourmet Meats (Lake Forest
)Celestino’s Meats (Costa Mesa)
Beef Palace (Huntington Beach)
Polka Delicatessen (Orange) doesn’t have a raw meat counter, but a good selection of locally made sausages of the Polish variety. The German focused Globe Deli is in Costa Mesa, but I haven’t been since a new owner took over in 2005, so I need to update status soon.
I like these ethnic supermarkets, too:
Wholesome Choice & Super Irvine (both Irvine, both Persian & both halal meat vendors). Lots of turnover on lamb and goat, so you’ll get good quality. Also non-American delicacies like lamb tongues. Baaaah.
Marukai & Mitsuwa (both Costa Mesa, both Japanese for sukiyaki, shabu shabu, etc)
Northgate Gonzalez Market & Gigante (both Mexican, each chain now has multiple units in the L.A. / O.C. region). Things like beef cheeks and house made Mexican chorizo are available here.
99 Ranch is ok for Chinese & SE Asian meats, including raw, uncured pork belly and Smithfield ham (which is a decent substitue for Xuanwei ham).
Dong Huong and T.K. Food Warehouse (both Vietnamese, both in Little Saigon) are good choices for Vietnamese needs, and great places to get bones cheap for home made stocks. Also, whole chicken & duck w/ the heads and feet on. Not gonna find any of that at Ralph’s or Von’s.
Not local to me and much more than a meat market: La Espanola Meats in Harbor City is the premier Spanish charcuterie maker in the US, and a leading Spanish food importer. Totally worth the drive, IMO.
Between all of them, you should be able to find or order any part of any animal you need. While I do buy quality meats at Costco, these indies fill a void for the nonmainstream stuff the big boxes won’t touch.