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May 3, 2009 07:39 AM

Best lamb purveyor?

Does anyone know who sells high quality lamb in LA? Whole Foods' lamb is rubbery and expensive for what you get, and Marconda's, while aged, is ridiculous at $60+ for a bone-in leg of lamb and even more for boneless! Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


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  1. I expect you'll get higher-end or specialist answers on this thread... meantime, for what it's worth... have gotten meh rack of lamb from Vons, really nice rack of lamb - meatier, way tastier - from Gelson's. And Costco has vac pacs that if I recall were pretty good, maybe better than pretty good.

    I don't buy a lot of lamb though, so see what other people have to say too.

    8 Replies
    1. re: Cinnamon

      I've had the loin chops and the boneless shoulder cuts from Costco. The loins are perfect for my tastes. Moist, tender meat with just enough lamb flavor. The shoulder cut was nice as well - moist, tender, with a nice cap of fat on it, but just too gamey for my personal tastes.

      1. re: bulavinaka

        These threads always do end up the same, don't they. This is the eastside post, where I recommend the delicious, often steeply discounted lamb at the Hows supermarkets, followed closely by a plug for the wonderful lamb at Alexander Meats in Howie's market in San Gabriel. Should I toss in a mention of the spectacular lamb you can sometimes order online from Heritage, followed by an obligatory moan about the price? Consider it done.

          1. re: Servorg

            Hasn't Niman Ranch been bought out because their business model of high-quality meat, expense be damned, wasn't tenable? I've heard their stuff has suffered since then.

            1. re: tchad

              The products I get from them seem as good as ever to me.


            1. re: condiment

              Is there anything special about the lamb? Aged? Prime? I like Alexander's steaks, though of course they could use 2-4 more weeks of aging. Thanks for the tip. I'll check it out.

          2. Bone rib lamb from Ralphs often goes on sale for less than $10 a pound. Although they sell it already separated and cut, you can get them uncut if you want to do it as a rack. To me, it was fine, although I trimmed some more of the fat off of it. Vons was also nice.

            2 Replies
            1. re: noshie

              Costco loin chops are delish. broiled or grilled.

              The racks, I cut to thin chops and quickly fry with some fresh rosemary, then pickup and chowdown - feels like I'm in Greece with a platter of them in front of us.

              1. re: toitoi

                Regarding the racks, had one last night, yet again, and I just use my toaster oven, pre-heat to 450 degrees, and bake for 15 minutes, give or take, depending on the thickness and weight. Bury the chops in fresh garlic and chopped rosemary held on with a light coating of some olive oil. Perfectly rare all the time.
                And they are always very good, and, if the package has not been opened, they will hold in the refrigerator for around a month or so, yet I never can wait that long!!!

            2. I know that a little grocery store in Manhattan Beach called Grow carries lamb, and if memory serves me correct, its from northern CA. they might have to order it in advance depending on what cut you want, but you should give them a call and ask about the quality.


              1 Reply
              1. re: young_chower

                Have you tried Harmony Farms? 2824 Foothill Blvd La Crescenta, CA 91214 - (818) 248-3068.

                Also, about once every week or two Whole Foods gets a leg of lamb from NZ and when I have bought that and prepared it, it has been fantastic. So it might have to do with where they are sourcing from.

              2. Just an FYI...Bristol Farms has their lamb loin chops on sale for the next 10 or so days for $12 and change per pound (normally $18+)...they were excellent!!

                1 Reply
                1. re: TravelPath

                  Just picked up lamb rack (they sell in chops but you can get as a rack) at Ralpsh for $8.99 a pound, and some nice, well trimmed Lido Lamb lambneck (my two local Ralphs has stopped carrying lamb neck and Top Valu's on Inglewood is sort of fatty) for like $3.49 a pound at Albertsons on Wilshire.

                2. My default answer for any meat inquiries is one that I don't see anyone else ever mentioning, which discourages me.

                  Hollywood Farmer's market.

                  For lamb, hit up Healthy Family Farms. They have a stand at the HW market on Sundays. Lamb might require a week pre-order. I've purchased a whole leg and racks. I still have a full rack in my freezer. It is without a doubt in my mind the best lamb I've ever had. Can I qualify my opinion by saying that I'm a professional cook and that I've spent time at places like Providence and Grammercy Tavern? The usual suspects found in high end restaurants are either from Colorado or Sonoma. The lamb from Healthy Family Farms is from Santa Paula, about 2 hours from L.A. It's not as fatty as Colorado or Sonoma, but the meat is far more complex and mild. IMO, lamb fat marbling leads to a stronger flavor. I don't know how young the lambs are at the time of slaughter, but based on the size of the leg I bought from HFF, it seems younger than most, which may be a good or bad thing depending on which you put first, your palate or your conscience. The meat is very sweet and mild.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: fooddude37

                    Sounds fabulous, what is the price per pound?

                    1. re: noshie

                      I don't remember exactly, I remember the leg was something like $28. (for the whole leg, not per pound!)