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Jamon Iberico at Surfas

I got to try this stuff this weekend and it's amazing. Surfas is selling it for $60 a pound and the quarter pound I got was worth every penny. The super friendly guy who sliced it for us said that the Cheese Store of Silver Lake and Cheese Store of BH are both selling it as well, but for closer to $90 a pound. I also got the duck hash breakfast sandwich and one of the Vosges chocolate bacon bars. So delicious. I can't say enough about the friendliness of the Surfas employees and the prices relative to a lot of the other sources of gourmet ingredients around town. They also definitely have the best deal on epoisses of any place I've seen in LA.

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  1. Just a note, you can also get real jamon iberico (at similar prices) at La Espanola Meats in Harbor City.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Das Ubergeek

      Yeah, but even the jamon from La Espanola is not truly jamon iberico de bellota pata negra... Mrs. J.L. is highly selective about her jamon jabugo...

      We'll go take a look at the offerings from Surfas. Thanks for the heads-up!

      1. re: J.L.

        It's at the charcuterie counter in the Cafe. I may have to go back this weekend for more!

        1. re: J.L.

          Please report back, as per Mrs. J.L.'s evaluation.
          I haven't had my pata negra fix in a long time, my head is spinning!

          1. re: J.L.

            Really? They have a few jamon domesticos but they had imported stuff there too. I only make it out there when my need for their insanely good brandada and fuet override my need to stay off the @$#%ing 91.

            1. re: Das Ubergeek

              Though they don't carry jamon Jabugo, La Espanola still gets our undying love for having the best paella to be found for sale in all of SoCal. Their fuet is quite good, and occasionally they'll "smuggle in" a few bottles of actual Chufi brand horchata from Spain!

            2. re: J.L.

              Trust me - at $60 a pound, Surfas isn't selling bellota pata negro either - even in Spain, that stuff costs close to 200 euros per kilo, which is to say more than $150 per pound. And the bellota jamon won't start coming into the U.S. until later this year. (The shoulder, which has a shorter cure, is available by mail order.) But iberico, which comes from the same breed in the same place but fed grain instead of foraging for acorns, is plenty good.

          2. Oooo hopefully they'll still have it this coming weekend :) -- I, too, was very excited when they got the Vosges bacon bars (though I think the gianduja is still my all time fave).

            I think Surfas is a pretty good deal as a one-stop place for rarer foodstuffs, many CHers, however, will argue there are much better bargains around town.

            ~H.C.
            http://la-oc-foodie.blogspot.com

            1. Now precisely what is a Vosges chocolate bacon bar? I hope it's not what it sounds like it is. I know this is veering away from the LA board, but sign me up as a firm Vosges hater, whether consumed in LA or elsewhere.

              4 Replies
                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                  you people need to stop buying the bacon bars. they are MINE!! they are always out when i go and you know a bacon addict in the throes of withdraw groveling on the floor of surfas while normal people are trying to shop is not pretty.

                  1. re: tastycakes

                    don't blame me - i haven't tried them...yet ;)

                2. re: Dylan

                  LOL - they make other, less edgy varieties too (like the gianduja I mentioned above, which is dark milk chocolate with almond-hazelnut paste). The bacon bar is surprisingly good, though.

                  ~H.C.
                  http://la-oc-foodie.blogspot.com

                3. greetings mollyomo, thanks for the news. Did that friendly chap slice by hand, I hope? The hand carving to proper thinness is an art, whereas the speed of the mechanical slicer raises the temperature of the meat. The machines are considered verboten in places that take the product seriously, but maybe that's a euro/brit thing that gets sacrificed on the altar of commerce and efficiency over here?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: moto

                    He did indeed slice it all by hand and even let us each sample a piece as he worked!

                  2. Went by today for lunch... saw the big leg on the counter of the cafe... didn't ask for any because my boss is a vegetarian and somehow me drooling over shaved meat from what clearly is an animal's foot (hoof and all!) would have changed his view of me forever...

                    It looks exactly like the one LaTienda is offering...

                    http://www.tienda.com/food/products/j...

                    But both aren't as dark or 'cured looking" as the Pata Negra I've seen on Shows or sold at European On-line shops like this...

                    http://www.jamonesdomecq.com/product_...

                    So I am guessing there might be different grades of 'Pata Negra'...

                    Well... what ever it is, I do plan to get back soon and get some. :

                    )

                    --Dommy!

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Dommy

                      I think you're exactly right that there are grades, Dommy! Wikipedia confirms it and wikipedia is always right ;).

                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jamon_ib...

                      Looks like the jamon iberico de bellota (the highest grade) will become available in July 2008. I hope Surfas has access to that as well as the basic jamon iberico that's availble there now...

                      1. re: mollyomormon

                        Unless my knowledge of pig anatomy is way off, what they were slicing up yesterday was not even ham, but paleta, the foreleg. Not that it stopped me...