A good ole fashioned butcher
Having grown up in England I miss having a local butcher who could always be counted on to give good advice for selecting meats. I live in Sanata Monica and have been very lucky living near Santa Monica Seafood but just curious if there is a meat equivalent in the SM / West LA area.
If you are willing to brave the wilds of mid-city, the two butchers at the Farmer's Market at Fairfax and 3rd (Next to The Grove) are awesome, Huntington Meats and can't recall the one on the opposite side of the market but both do me right, and if you're a burger man Huntington has Nancy Silverton's burger blend which is AWESOME! Also Farmer's Market Poultry across from the large fruit and veg stand is really outstanding and besides everything from old stewing hens to free range, bottle fed, private school educated chicken, they have goose (I know Brits dig the goose :-) ) pheasant, fois gras lobes and super friendly service. Enjoy the hunt!
The butchers at Vicente Foods are marvelous. Ask for Dan, the manager of the meat dept. However, all of the butchers can be trusted. These butchers are the ones who tell me to avoid certain cuts of beef on a given day or tell me that the beef is exceptional on another given day. Truly, an exceptional meat dept in a neighborhood Brentwood market.
Vicente Foods is the equivalent of SM Seafood, but with a lot more variety and even more personal service.
Three I would recommend near you is Bob's Market on 17th at Ocean Park in SM. Its well staffed and they have very good selections of Meats. Plus they make their own sausages including the best version of English Bangers I've had, but I am not much of an expert.
Also I would try Victors Meats on Exposition at National in Palms/West LA. It is one of the Few stand alone butchers I've seen and there selection is decent.
You might try The Albertson's on Sepulveda at Palms. The Guys behind the counter I dealt with a few years ago were up to snuff and would cut you what you wanted then and there.
1650 Ocean Park Blvd, Santa Monica, CA
Victor's Meats & Delicatessen
10002 National Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034
3443 S Sepulveda Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034
I've gotten very helpful service at our nearby Bristol Farms - I was looking for lamb for a cassoulet, and they had no shanks, but when I asked about neck the young fellow dug some out and trimmed and sliced it exactly as I asked, then sold it to me dirt cheap. They aren't all snooty as one might expect, at least not in South Pas. Probably not out your way, either. I've gotten more helpful, amiable service from butcher counters in higher-end stores than from any of the "mainstream" supermarket meat handlers...