LA area cheese shop: Best bang for buck?
I am in the uneviable position of providing cheese and charcuterie for a group of 14 people at the Hollywood Bowl July 4. I want to get a nice selection (may 4 cheeses and two types of charcuterie). There will be other food at the pot luck, so I don't need giant portions, but I don't want to skimp either. My questions:
1. Cheese Shop of BH vs. Cheese Shop of Silver Lake vs. Say Cheese vs. Andrew's vs. Artisan Cheese Gallery?: Where is the best overall value? Or is there an alternate? I'm driving from the South Bay to Studio City anyway, so I'm happy to stop somewhere in between.
2. How many ounces per person should I allot for? Again, there will be many other side dishes.
I don't know Andrew's but have been to all of the others. I would say SilverLake is going to give you the best combination of variety and price. Artisan is good too. BH is going to be more expensive, though none of these will be cheap.
I don't know in terms of ounces but I would assume, if these people are food lovers, that each person will want to try each cheese, so I would get four good sized servings (think 4 x 14 servings) or maybe six smaller servings. Be sure to mix it up: soft, hard, goat, blue, stinky, mild, etc. Have fun!
I've not been to any except for Andrew's. Andrew's has great quality and treats the cheeses properly but is expensive. I've found they charge anywhere from $5 - $20 more per lb than the exact same cheese at WF. The difference in care to the cheese can definitely be worth it, but I would not pick it as best overall value.
If you are looking for Parmesian Regiano, the Costco Wholesale for Business (different than regular costco) has an 1/8th of a wheel for $72 (~$7.50 a pound). I think they also have pecorino romano and a few other standards in the same giant size. The one closest to the South Bay is in Hawthrone on Prairie, a block or two north of El Segundo Blvd. Check it out.
Can't comment on relative price, but I had an AMAZING cheese and charcuterie plate at Cube on La Brea the other weekend and the price seemed reasonable. Can't recommend it enough, especially if you let them guide you on your choices. The amount seemed small at first but I was completely full at the end.
615 N La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036
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if you are willing to split up your shopping, it may be worth it to take a look at the cheeses offered at costco;
the one in culver city (on washington near lincoln) always offers a few excellent cheeses at astonishingly low prices among the more pedestrian offerings.