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Real Butcher in Los Angeles? Also Chocolates?

I'm relatively new to LA from the East Coast. I've found a couple great cheese shops, wine stores, produce and farmer's markets, and Asian and Latin Specialty stores. But as yet, I haven't found a good quality butcher, one who dry ages and where I can find specialty cuts and products such as sweetbreads and veal kidneys. I'm told that for poultry the spot in the Farmer's Market is pretty good. Does anyone have any comments?

Also, does anyone have any recommendations for a great chocolate shop? Someone that has a high quality dark chocolate and makes them on the premises or close by...

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  1. Mariconda Meats and Huntington Meats at the Farmer's Market, Taylor's in Sierra Madre, Howie's Ranch Market in San Gabriel.

    3 Replies
    1. re: heckonwheels

      How's markets and Bristol Farms both employ people who aren't merely slicers and wrappers, but who know meat and how to cut it. My deeply carnivorous father-in-law has counted on How's on San Gabriel for years, and I've had some very good experiences at the South Pas BF. Alas, I do not think Taylor's is still in Sierra Madre - the place looked dark and abandoned the last time I was by there. Marconda is a good call; whenever I'm at the Farmers Market I look for some excuse to buy something there. Their giant inch-thick pork steaks are truly lovely things, either smeared with an oil and mustard mixture and baked, or skillet-braised with horseradish and beer.

      1. re: Will Owen

        Taylor's is still there. Howie's Market...which shared the same building with them...is no longer alive, making it seem dark and closed, but the meat market lives on.

        1. re: heckonwheels

          That's very good to know. Thank you!

    2. Boule, K Chocolatier, ChocolateBox Cafe, and Jin Patisserie might be a start for your local chocolate search. I believe that of the ones I've mentioned, you might be familiar with the family of K Chocolatier. The family originally started a specialty chocolate shop in New York back in the 70s.

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      K Chocolatier
      9606 Santa Monica Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

      Jin Patisserie
      1202 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

      Boule Pastry Shop
      420 N La Cienega Blvd West, Hollywood, CA

      Boule
      413 N Bedford Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

      Chocolatebox Cafe
      714 Foothill Blvd, La Canada Flintridge, CA 91011

      2 Replies
      1. re: bulavinaka

        I would add Teuscher to the list...the champagne truffles are sooo good!

        1. re: bulavinaka

          Thanks bulavinka. I think I'll spin by K or Boule on my way home this afternoon. I'll post my opinion.

        2. Harvey Guss is the tops but they can be finicky to deal with as a member of the public. If you want the specialty cuts then they might be the best though.

          Bulavinaka just listed the finest the chocolate shops in LA, in my opinion. I think Susina bakery has some nice chocolates, too.

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          Susina Bakery & Cafe
          7122 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036

          Harvey's Guss Meat Co
          949 S Ogden Dr, Los Angeles, CA

          4 Replies
          1. re: Frommtron

            Ditto Susina & Harvey Guss (but call ahead). The butchers at the farmer's market are good and way less of a hassle, aside from parking. I don't like the chicken there, though. I much prefer the ones at the sunday hollywood farmer's market.

            1. re: posh

              I wondered how much you pay and how many pounds are they for the chickens at the hollywood farmers market? When I went this sunday I saw a stand that had some cornish game hens for 8 bucks and some ducks for 24 but i didnt see any chickens!

              1. re: rezpeni

                I think posh was talking about the 3rd and Fairfax market - known to many as THE Farmer's Market, even though it no longer really is one.

                1. re: Will Owen

                  The chickens at the Grove/3rd and Fairfax are supermarket quality, and priced as such. I don't really understand why the butchers are amongst the best around but the poultry folks are so mediocre.

                  The ones at the Hollywood market are $4 a pound at the three stands that have them. They are quite tasty, though when I see how cheap they are at the supermarket I feel a pang of decadence.

          2. Try the butcher at Owens on Pico. He got me the best T-giving turkey breast ever. Also is a retailer unlike Guss, with a storefront (which I never use). I just call in orders.

            10 Replies
            1. re: Adsvino

              All, thanks for the butcher advice. And I assume that if I'm looking for some "exotic" items like fresh sweeetbreads or veal tongue that it is better to order a few days in advance?

              1. re: burglover

                Anything they don't stock, especially anything perishable like sweetbreads. I got some (Harris Ranch) from How's, ordered on Thursday and picked up Monday, or maybe the other way around. Anyway, there was no surcharge of any kind, and they were remarkably cheap.

                1. re: Will Owen

                  I just wanted to report I went to K Chocolatier this afternoon on my way home. The truffles are fantastic! Nicole, you may want to try them against Teuscher's famous (justifiably!) champagne truffles. Not much of a store (at least compared to what I'm used to in NYC or Paris, but the limited selection is very good. They specialize in only a few items, but after (embarrassingly) sampling nearly all, I can say it would be hard to go wrong at K.

                  1. re: burglover

                    I prefer Teuscher's, but agree that K's are excellent as well. That little area of beverly hills is like the chocolate nexus of L.A.!

                  2. re: Will Owen

                    Will, I looked up How's market on google. They seem to have a newish branch in Hollywood. Is this the same and would you know if their meat department is on par with the one you mention (I presume in the Pasadena area)? Looks like I have a new market besides Bristol Farms!

                    1. re: burglover

                      As far as I know, they're the same - at least they have the same (excellent) ownership. Their emphasis really is on meat; the produce and deli are adequate and not cheap, but the meat and seafood are very good, if a tad pricey, and they carry those Rocky organic chickens at good prices. They are also the last market I know of that does the double-coupon thing, and you don't need a club card to get that.

                      You can sign up for their weekly flyers, which they send by mail.

                      1. re: burglover

                        That new How's Market is in NORTH Hollywood. It's a huge place, and isn't doing much business as it's in the back of a mall that's doing badly. The market entrance is on a side street east of Lankershim, and parking is under the condos across the street from the entrance.

                        I have been very happy with their produce, only bought meat there once but it was excellent as well -- can't compare them to the other branches, though. Every Sunday, all the How's markets have an outdoor BBQ with tri-tip steaks and sandwiches to die for -- worth the trip.

                        http://hows.foodmagic.com/

                    2. re: burglover

                      I have gotten some great tongue, and cheeks, at Huntington Meats, and Dan and Jim are the kindest butchers around. If they don't have sweetbreads, which I think they do, they will get them next day usually. Also some great sausages made there.

                      1. re: luhkee

                        Is this the place in/near Arcadia? (Got some terrific ground sirloin there once.)

                        1. re: Funwithfood

                          No, it's at the Farmer's Market, Third & Fairfax.

                  3. Make sure you try Compartes for chocolate. Brentwood area, just south of San Vicente on Barrington.

                    1. Check out The Meat House, they have locations in Mission Veijo, Costa Mesa, and Brea. They can get any cut you want as long as it is legal in California. Also they have 45 day dry aged t-bone, porterhouse and bone in ribeye. Also they can get sweet breads. Check then out they can get it all not to mention they have a selection of over 40 artisan cheeses...