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Great cheese shops?

scuzzo May 12, 2008 10:47 AM

I'm hoping for recommendations for great cheese shops in the LA area, preferably towards Ventura, as that's where I'd come from.

I'm hoping for places that have great cheese at a fair price.

Thanks in advance for any feedback. I hope to make a cheese run on Friday!

  1. o
    Obessed May 12, 2008 10:50 AM

    Artisan Cheese Shop in Studio City is awesome. I would also recommend Beverly Hills Cheese Store.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Obessed
      perk May 12, 2008 10:53 AM

      I haven't been to Artisan Cheese Shop (thought I hear good things), so I don't know about prices. But Beverly Hills Cheese Shop is very expensive. Fabulous....but pricey.
      So not sure what your criterian is for "fair price."

      1. re: Obessed
        Diana May 12, 2008 12:23 PM

        second third and fourth Artisan. Melody, the owner, and her staff are amazing! Good sandwiches, too. they are trying to get a liquor license to sell wine, too!

        Their new temporary website

      2. s
        SeaCook May 12, 2008 11:00 AM

        Nicole's Gourmet Food in South Pasadena. She has free cheese tastings every Thrusday evening (during the farmer's market) and Saturdays all day. She makes excellents sanwiches too.

        1 Reply
        1. re: SeaCook
          ladilettante May 12, 2008 12:42 PM

          While I love Nicole's cheese *selection* and her store as a whole is great (I totally concur with the great sandwiches), Nicole's doesn't store their cheese that well. It often sits in plastic wrap in small slices for weeks and I've been disappointed with the quality when I take it home. When I've asked them to slice a piece fresh for me, I've gotten a sour response. Call me picky, but for $25+ a pound, cheese from a block is infinitely better.

        2. n
          nick_r May 12, 2008 12:21 PM

          The Cheese Store of Silver Lake is my favorite. It's far from Ventura, but as a bonus it's right next door to Intelligentsia...

          3 Replies
          1. re: nick_r
            zin1953 May 13, 2008 06:55 AM

            And a wonderful bonus it is, too

            1. re: nick_r
              mbh65 May 13, 2008 10:43 AM

              I second that vote!

              1. re: nick_r
                lotta_cox May 19, 2008 02:35 PM

                i hugely *hearts* the Cheese Store of Silverlake, and the owner's slightly grumpy attitude. He puts together cheese trays to die for.

              2. Ali B May 12, 2008 01:03 PM

                I went to Whole Foods on San Vicente @ Barrington (Brentwood) yesterday to buy some cheese. They have a decent selection, nothing amazing, but enough to get a variety if you need to get something quick for guests coming over last-minute and whatnot. I was looking for truffle cheese, which they did not have. Also, they had some cheeses there that had a sell-by date of April 13th! Um, that was a month ago! So make sure you check the label before you buy any cheese there.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Ali B
                  Clyde May 12, 2008 01:11 PM

                  same thing happened to me at the whole foods by me - out of date cheese- and the guy that worked at the particular whole foods said all they do is re-label it with a new date as the cheese does not go bad. hmmm.

                  1. re: Clyde
                    Jwsel May 12, 2008 05:14 PM

                    The problem with Whole Foods (and Gelsons, also) is not just relabeling the sell-by dates, but that they often do not do a proper job of wrapping the cheese. I have arrived home a few times to find that my cheese is grey and rotten. This has happened with Humboldt Fog from Whole Foods and St. Agur from Whole Foods and Gelsons.

                    I like Artisan, but think the Beverly Hills Cheese Store is still superior in terms of variety and quality (though it is pricier).

                    1. re: Jwsel
                      Diana May 12, 2008 06:56 PM

                      have to disagree about variety and quality.

                2. c
                  Clyde May 12, 2008 01:09 PM

                  i like the cheese shop at auntie em's kitchen in eagle rock. great selection. last time i was there i had a truffle cheese that was amazing.

                  1. s
                    SeaCook May 12, 2008 01:58 PM

                    On a search I found this place Paradise Pantry:


                    It's in Ventura and my foodie sense (as oppose to spiddie sense) tells me it's a good shop.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: SeaCook
                      scuzzo May 12, 2008 08:40 PM

                      Hey, thanks! I've not heard of that, and I'll surely check it out soon. Their web site looks great!

                      1. re: scuzzo
                        scuzzo May 19, 2008 02:32 PM

                        Well I found the shop. I was sort of shocked at the prices. Every cheese selection was between $24 to $36 per pound. And they didn't really seem very friendly. I didn't buy anything and went to Trader Joe's.

                    2. Mr Taster May 12, 2008 04:32 PM

                      This is a very tricky request. "Great cheese" and "cheap" are incompatible, unless you're in France.

                      For mid to high grade supermarket cheese at a good price, there's Trader Joe's. For a larger selection of the same grade of more "exotic" supermarket cheese (at a much higher price), there's Whole Foods.

                      For great cheese, you've gotta pay the price at a proper cheese shop like Beverly Hills Cheese Shop or Joan's on Third.

                      Mr Taster

                      The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills
                      419 N Beverly Dr, Beverly Hills, CA

                      Joans On Third
                      8346 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Mr Taster
                        Frommtron May 12, 2008 05:02 PM

                        To piggyback here, I'd say you want Joan's if you want a great selection of Italian cheeses. You want Cheese Store of Beverly Hills if you want to focus on French cheeses. If you want a good mix from all over then BHCS probably wins that one, too.

                        1. re: Frommtron
                          Jwsel May 12, 2008 05:16 PM

                          The Cheese Store has great Italian and Spanish cheeses (among others). It's focus is definitely on European cheeses over domestic cheese, but I wouldn't ever recommend Joan's for cheese over the Cheese Store.

                          1. re: Jwsel
                            Frommtron May 12, 2008 05:38 PM

                            Sorry, but Joan's beats them for Italian cheeses. Like I said, CSBH has a beautiful and well-rounded selection but Joan's has a very impressive selection of Italian cheeses that I think is just as strong as CSBH's. Joan's is rather unimpressive for other cheeses though. That much is true.

                      2. OCEllen May 12, 2008 08:35 PM

                        A friendly place with a small selection of well handled (cared for) cheese and wine in Orange Cty is Frog's Breath in downtown Orange just north of the circle.
                        Link: http://www.frogsbreathcheese.com/

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: OCEllen
                          Diana May 13, 2008 06:53 AM

                          sort of far from Ventura

                          1. re: Diana
                            OCEllen May 13, 2008 09:02 PM

                            Some readers might appreciate other suggestions afield...good cheese shops seem rare in southern California.

                            1. re: OCEllen
                              perk May 14, 2008 11:34 AM

                              Thanks. I appreciate the suggestion.....

                        2. g
                          grubtrotters May 13, 2008 09:57 AM

                          You should check out Cube on La Brea.

                          1. j
                            Jack Flash May 13, 2008 11:09 AM

                            Honestly,you might want to check out what's available in Santa Barbara, which should be more convenient for you if you're in Ventura. I've heard really good things about C'est Cheese.


                            1. h
                              herculesmulligan May 13, 2008 10:09 PM

                              No one has mentioned Froma, on Melrose, just west of Fairfax. I had not heard of it until recently. Went a couple of weeks ago and was blown away by both the cheese selections and the owners knowledge. We have to have sheep cheese in our family, and there were at least six or seven different types, excluding Manchego! Worth the trip.

                              They also have great salumi, prepared food, and gourmet foods for sale.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: herculesmulligan
                                Diana May 14, 2008 06:07 AM

                                Manchego is not hard to find...

                              2. s
                                Simon May 14, 2008 11:16 AM

                                Say Cheese...on Hyperion in Silverlake...it has everything you need, and you can pick up some wine at Trader Joe's next door...

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