Do you have any recommendations for a place to purchase set of chef's knives- a retail location (or online) that sells some great knives for a fair price?
For online retailers of knives please post a query on the General Topics board, where all online and mail order sources are discussed. Thanks.
I just bought a set of Wusthof knives from Crate and Barrel. Fortunately my friend is a manager there and got me an obscene deal. I've been very happy with my purchase.
thee in manhattan beach.
located in the shopping center at the corner of rosecrans and sepulveda, the one with macy's at both ends.
Surfas in Culver City has a wide variety of pretty decent cutlery for not too much $$$$. Maybe try some of the Japanese stores like Marukai in Gardena...I recall them having some knives when I was looking around (I ended up getting a Shun set at amazon for cheap...a costco in Oregon I went to had a shun set too).
I like that Knife store in Manhattan Beach (the one by Origins)...the staff was pretty helpful and they had a good selection....
Last week Ross Cutlery downtown was having a sale on Henkels knife sets, and their prices for Global were comparable if not better than other stores (Surfas, Sur La Table). It's nice to go to a real store so you can see all your options, but I think for pure pricing it's hard to beat amazon.
Kida hard to beat metrokitchen.com for Global prices. Best I've ever seen. Even cooking.com has good prices. Certainly both of them beat the pants off of Surfas and Sur La Table.
Though I don't know your exact application, I recommend against getting a matched set. I'd spend almost all the money you're prepared to spend on a 8" chef's knife; then add other stuff as needed (probably a bread and paring knife, to start with).
Get a Mundial forged 3" or 4" paring knife - these are available for about $10 at kitchen supply stores. You can get either a forged bread knife or just a standard stamped wavy slicer (not as nice looking but cheap). Since you're in the LA area, I'd suggest checking out Action Sales in Monterey Park - they have some good deals on the Mundial forged stuff, or did the last time I was in there.
These folks have a good selection of the Mundial forged stuff for decent prices (though not as cheap as Action - last time I was down there, they had the black forged 10" Mundial chefs knives for about $19 or something).
As mentioned elsewhere in the thread, Ross Cutlery downtown has a great selection, though their prices aren't the cheapest. The big advantage is that you can feel them, and get advice from the folks at the counter there.
They do have some reasonable sets down there. But seriously - you probably don't want or need a set.
They do sharpening there too - if you bring them whatever knife you get, they will make it sharper than the factory edge. They do have some reasonable sets down there.
For the chef knife, I recommend something Japanese - Global (try one in person to see if you like the feel - a lot of people say they're kind of on the light side, esp. people used to the German knives), Shun, or one of the more out there brands (Misono, Hattori) if you want to spend a little more.
The Tojiro at the bottom of this link looks like a pretty good deal (the F508 Gyuto 180mm).
Later on, you might want to add a Santoku if you chop a lot of vegetables, or specialty knives if you cut a lot of meat or fish.
America's Test Kitchen is a devotee of Forschner Fibrox knives. I use them
and am very pleased with them. I have a 3-1/4" paring knife, an 8" chefs knife, a 9" slicer, and a Fibrox sharpening steel and that's it, all for
$70 at Cutlery and More on line.
I was able to use the 20% off coupons for bed bath and beyond to buy global knives (only at the shop on olympic near barrington). The coupons don't work for henkels or wustoff.
neither mitsuwa nor marukai has much in the way of knives. but i did find that the gift shop on second street that's right next door to where the old chinese noodle place was did carry MAC. also, anzen might have some -- the hardware store on first street. MAC is very good, probably the best value in commonly available good japanese knives.