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Beverly Hills vs Silver Lake for cheese?

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Having read various opinions about both BH and SL cheese stores, I am wondering which one you prefer/would recommend in terms of service (advice, samples etc), selection, and price (though I am not expecting a deal anywhere in LA). My boyfriend and I are heading into LA tomorrow and want to pick up some good cheese. We like pretty much everything and are looking for 5 or 6 types for a New Year's cheese plate.

So where should we go?

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  1. To me there is no compare. Althought the folks at Silverlake are nice and they have a decent selection of stuff. The BH has much more variety and even more knowledgeable staff. Regardless of distance, I would choose BH over SL any day... that is unless P. has cravings for Coffee Milk... ;)

    --Dommy!

    1. I was just at BH and it was insane. So busy. I pulled number 19 (they were on number 2). A solid half hour later (probably closer to 45 min), they got to me. Service was great, not rushed at all. Just be prepared for a huge line if you go tomorrow -- they said it's been this way all through the holidays.

      1. ughhhhh not open tomorrow!

        So I guess it's Silver Lake for me. Any recommendations or favorites from there?

        4 Replies
        1. re: missholmes

          It's not just the holidays. Beverly Hills Cheese is a zoo every Saturday. (They are not open on Sundays). Don't go on Saturday unless you like crowds and waiting.

          Also, don't buy wine there unless you like paying insane markups. I made the mistake of doing that once and then found the same wine at a wine shop for something like half what I paid for it at Beverly Hills Cheese.

          They do have an amazing goat cheese butter (from Canada I believe) at Beverly Hills cheese that I have never seen anywhere else. The butter is in a self-serve case in the back with the yogurt. However, even if you self-serve, you have to wait forever to be rung up.

          Never been to Beverly Hills Cheese during the week. I would think it might be less crowded.

          1. re: omotosando

            I've been on Fridays and it's fine. I've also been there on other Saturdays and have never seen anything like this. It was insane. Felt like I was at Bay Cities deli waiting in the crazy sandwich line. Agree re the wine -- you can find much better prices elsewhere.

            1. re: omotosando

              I wouldn't judge them by the lines during the holidays. (That said, I was there this Sunday and waited for two minutes before someone helped me.) Most Saturdays during the year, you might wait 5 minutes before someone helps you. And that's fine with me because I need some time to get the lay of the land before I start making decisions. Even if lines are long, the service is never rushed and they are exceedingly helpful.

            2. re: missholmes

              Bev Hills Cheese store was open on Sunday/Dec 24th, opened at noon. my husband arrived at noon and already a dozen of people waiting. So call and check, possibly they will be open tomorrow...good luck!

            3. For what it's worth, bh has a very very wide selection of cheeses. They are expensive, but they have the unusual stuff. If you know what you want, and it's not that unusual, i'd call around for other places just for the price differential.

              for exploring, bite the bullet and go.

              1. Obviously I am in Silverlake ... but Beverly Hills wins for selection hands down.

                I hope that changes sometime ... but just the demographics between the two neighborhoods doesn't bode well for SL surpassing BH anytime in the foreseeable future.

                1. We ended up going to Silver Lake (30 mins before closing) and everyone was really nice and helpful--we even got free samples of wine!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: missholmes

                    ps: we got:

                    1. istara (yum)
                    2. midnight moon
                    3. some blue (can't remember it and the writing on the wrapper is a bit illegible)
                    4. triple-cremes

                    we also got some toscano salami (cut a bit thick but then again we didn't ask) and prosciutto and a 12.99 spanish red (40% cabernet, 40% merlot)which mysteriously disappeared in the night.

                  2. IMO there is no comparison-the variety at the Cheese Store of BH is exceptional.
                    they have the best selection of fermier and artisanal cheeses.
                    Currently they have some hard to find goat cheeses- individual banons (wrapped in chestnut leaves), la racotiere (beautiful!) and clochettes.

                    1. Silver Lake is my shop. It may not have the selection of BH, but it has a good selection and great service without the hassle and wait of BH. I'm very picky, and they have always been happy to oblige. I always leave happy.

                      1. Another alternative if you find yourself in the Valley is Artisan Cheese Gallery in Studio City. They have a wonderful selection & a friendly, knowledgable staff who give lots of tastes, careful consideration to what you're looking for & clearly enjoy sharing their love of cheese. (They also have great panini as well).

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: archer

                          I realize the original poster is beyond help at this point but --

                          One way to cut the lines at BH Cheese Shop is to put yourself in the hands of the staff. I have called, discussed general guidelines as to types of cheese, to whom and with what I'm serving, and cost, and then I just go and pick up without having to wait. I've give up the chnace to taste and make my own choice, but I've never been disappointed. (Of course, I've only done it twice.)

                        2. We are finally going to the Cheese Store of Beverly Hills tomorrow, (unless the employees decide to take a day off or some traffic catastrophe occurs). What would you recommend that is unique or especially good (or something the first-time customer may not be aware of) from them?

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: missholmes

                            I would recommend thinking of general types of cheeses you like (stinky, soft, creamy, hard, etc) then asking them to pick out some of each animal (goat, sheep, cow) for you to try. Buy the ones you like. It's fun to take home one of each (or more). Also, their baguettes are very good.

                            1. re: Jonah

                              Their bread comes from BreadBar. If you want a broader selection of bread, check out their stores on Third Street and in the Century City mall. My personal favorites are the pan de mie and the alpine bread with emmental cheese. Great place.

                          2. Went to Beverly Hills this morning--service was wonderful and prompt! The employees were, as expected, informed and unexpectedly polite. We tried loads of cheese and the samples came in generous portions. We ended up going home with 7 types of cheese, much more than we expected to. The ones that stood out most were the pecorino fieno e miele, trifuli, and a soft goasts cheese. We also got 3 different types of meat (prosciutto of unknown origin, Finnochiona Salami, and Lomo), a baguette, white wine, and really really good fig cake to go with the pecorino we got.