Artisan Cheese Gallery... finally!
For one reason or another every time I'm in near The Artisan Cheese Gallery on Ventura, and hungry, I always end up going someplace else. Now I know that I've been eating crap food all this time when I could have been dining on sandwiches of the Gods. Ok, a tad dramatic, but the eats were damn fine. I tried the Duck Confit on Fresh Ciabatta Bread. Before adding the duck, they give the bread a good schmere of fig spread and add a few slices of a slightly pungent cheese called Le Marechal (I had to write it down). They then put the whole deal in a sandwich press. It comes out warm and a bit gooey. Also, all of the sandwiches seem to come with a few chunks of Tony Packo Sweet-Hot Pickles on the side (which they also sell). It was the best non-deli style sandwich I've had in recent memory. Next time, the lamb...
One word of warning. The prices and selection shown on their website are totally wrong. The actual prices are higher, but the selection seems much bigger.
Ps, Yes, I know I spelled Artisan wrong in the headline, but it's Chowhound, so I can't correct titles, only internal text. Which I suppose is for the best. If they let us edit everything in our own posts, we might be able to gain access to NORAD or NASA or maybe the brewing control room at Anheuser-Busch.... wouldn't want that.
The sandwich sounds great. What do they get for this concoction of the god's? And, just so you know, if you are within the 2 hr. time frame for changing things in your post you CAN edit TITLES as well as the body of the post. NASA and InBusch better look out now. ;-D
All you have to do is click on the title within two hours of posting it and you'll be able to edit it.
I love the duck confit sandwich -- and I am really not a big sandwich fan. However, I am a bit disappointed with Artisan Cheese Galery. The place has changed significantly. When it first opened, it was a cheese store with a few tables that served a couple of sandwiches. There was no question that the emphasis was on the cheese.
The last time I went, however, there were fewer shelves with gourmet items, more tables, and most shocking -- a lot less cheese. I was really disappointed, because the Artisan Cheese Gallery filled an important niche in the Valley, a high-end cheese store with a wide selection. That no longer seems the case. Now it feels primarily like a restaurant with a nice cheese counter.
I initially felt the same way as you when I went in after their recent remodel.
But I was in there this weekend, and they do have just as many cheeses as before -- I know because I specifically asked. I think it's just the new layout.
Having recently tried the Beverly Hills Cheese store for the first time, I must say that I now love Artisan all the more. My wife and I were treated with more than a little snobbery at BHCS, whereas Melodie and Co have always welcomed and treated us like close friends.
Melody, the owner, is a gem, and her staff, with one exception, are all amazing pros! My husband's favorite sandwich is her Duck confit, and I have to try more. Problem is, every time I go, I'm there to order cheese. I end up ordering a lot, and then have a moment of gustatory guilt and cancel getting myself a sandwich!
A funny post script to this story...
After I was done eating the sandwich I was very curious what cheese they used, because on the printed menu it only said duck confit, fig spread and "cheese", which was oddly non-specific considering it's a cheese store. This question caused a near riot among the staff. It seems they didn't realize that the menu, which was apparently just printed only said "cheese", but not the kind of cheese. I thought they were going to beat each other up. I felt so bad.