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Best cheese plate in LA

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  • DB Mar 9, 2006 07:52 PM
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Reading the "dessert island" posts below made me realize that more than any of those desserts listed, I'd rather have a really great cheese plate. So where would you point me?

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  1. The best one I've had in L.A. was at the Old Patina on Melrose about five years ago.

    A.O.C. has good cheese, but miniscule portions at exhorbitant prices - $24 for 5 bites is obscene.

    Spago and Melisse had decent cheese, but it's been a few years for me.

    Best option, IMO, is to go bite the bullet, go to the cheese store of bh and drop $100 on 5-6 cheeses and invite 8 people over...

    Get some bread at the breadbar too

    Coachboy

    3 Replies
    1. re: Coachboy

      I believe that the Cheese Store will actually prepare a platter for you, adding in such details a gherkins and fruit.

      1. re: Jess

        I totally agree with the suggestions of Beverly Hills Cheese Shop and The Cheese Shop of Silverlake. But another good choice is Auntie Em's Kitchen--they have a wonderful little store with carryout food and foodie items--plus a great selection of cheeses (Cowgirl Creamery, etc.)
        As for restaurants, I'd have to say Melisse. And if you want something more casual, the little French place at the Farmers Market on Fairfax. (not the Grove, but the old section) Great people watching.

        1. re: Elaine

          I think the BH Cheese Store is the way to go. And it won't cost you $100 for 5 cheeses, assuming you buy just enough cheese for you to consume that day, when the cheese is at its best.

          I have to disagree with the recommendation of Monsieur Marcel in the old Farmers' Market at 3rd and Fairfax. Their cheese plates are cut in advance, put on plates, covered in saran wrap, and then put in a too-cold fridge. The result is that every cheese on the plate tastes like the blue cheese that is also on that plate. It's not surprising that they do this because their cheese storage in the main store is pretty atrocious. They've got blues mixed in with all the other cheeses, which is a dicey proposition.

    2. If money is not an issue, then it's PATINA, PATINA, PATINA and of course PATINA. :-)

      If you are on a budget, might I suggest BISTRO 561 in Pasadena?

      1. toss up between melisse and patina - though last time i was at patina - 2 months ago - did not wow me like it has in the past - i think it's the mentality, i wanted to be "one-upped" every time i go there.

        1. I agree with Coachboy that doing it yourself with a visit to the Cheesestore of BH would be tough to beat.

          The best restaurant cheese courses I have had in LA were at PATINA (current version downtown) and BASTIDE (before they closed to remodel).

          1 Reply
          1. re: Marco Polo
            j
            john gonzales

            The new/downtown Patina still IMO is the best cheese course in town. The selection is fantastic, the frommager very nice and knowledgeable, and the price is up there but worth the portions. He also has a nice complement of honey, nuts, quince.
            I think cheese is a bit less at Spago, Melisse, and AOC; but not the experience as far as quality/quantity/service. Try the epoisses.

          2. i did the cheese plate after a tasting menu at sona in November and it was very good.

            If you are further east and so inclined, order a cheese plate from the silverlake cheese store at sunset and santa monica. ask the owner to throw something together for you giving him salient details, such as the wine and the culinary sophistication of the people who will be eating it. He is a wizard...the wizard of cheese!!!!

            1 Reply
            1. re: hellolizzie
              j
              JohnnyLightOn

              Agree with you about Sona's cheese service! Had it after a tasting menu, as well. It was memorable. But the meal, in toto, was big $$$.

              Too bad there aren't wine-and-cheese bars around that just serve the cheese course with that same level of knowledge and selection. I would go all the time!

            2. Melisse had a very fine cheese service the last time I was there.

              AOC and Campanile also serve good choices. The servings aren't large but they shouldn't be. The key to a good course is perfect cheeses that highlight our friend, the cow.

              3 Replies
              1. re: JudiAU

                Please don't forget our other friends, the goat and sheep. Recently attended a class at the Beverly Hills Cheese Shop where 8 out of 10 of the samples were goat cheese. The St. Loup - St. Maure in particular blew me away.

                1. re: LBQT

                  Indeed! I particularly love sheep's milk cheeses. I was thinking of Clifton Paul Fadiman quote about cheese.

                  Cheese - milk's leap toward immortality.

                2. re: JudiAU
                  f
                  Foodie Universe

                  I also really enjoyed the cheese service at Melisse (see link, bit about cheese is about halfway down). They served me unusual cheeses that I never would have tried otherwise, and you can have wine paired with your cheese. I know that at some places you can sit at the bar and just do cheese and wine--you may want to inquire about doing that at Melisse, since an entire dinner there will put a serious hole in your wallet (not that it would be a waste of money!).

                  For cheese to go, I like the Artisan Cheese Gallery in Studio City, which I found out about from Evan Kleiman's podcast and KCRW show, Good Food.

                  There's something about cheese from a cheese store or restaurant cheese service. It just tastes better than even the best stuff from Whole Foods. I can't pinpoint why.

                  Link: http://foodieuniverse.blogspot.com/20...

                3. The all-American cheese cart at Normans on Sunset is sensational. Also, in Santa Monica try Ocean & Vine. The chef is a cheese freak, makes a killer fondue, and gets great cheeses from Wisconsin that few have ever tried. Last time I was there we had 3 cheese courses, incl. the fondue!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Adsvino

                    I agree the cheese service at Norman's is great. Had it for the first time last night. The staff was well informed and a whole lot of fun.

                  2. I dunno, I so rarely ever let someone put together a cheese plate for me, when it's so fun to choose a wine or two, go to Cheese Store of Silverlake or the Artisan Cheese Gallery and put one together myself.

                    1. See Camden House review above.

                      1. I had a surprisingly wonderful cheese plate at Inn of the Seventh Ray a few months ago.

                        1. It's not like France where someone rolls up one of those sterling silver Christofle cheese carts. But I like the cheese and fruit plate at Magnolia in Pasadena for about $10-$11.

                          1. I have been very happy with the cheese service at Providence.

                            1. Julienne in San Marino has nice cheese plates they can prepare for you not to mention all the other tasty items they have.

                              1. AOC always has an excellent cheese plate. Alot of french stinkers! If you want your cheese to-go Auntie Em's has a great selections of artisanal cheeses, and a really knowledgeable staff to help you pick.

                                1. If had to a pick a best cheese plate in LA, I would hit PATINA downtown.

                                  For best value in town, BLD on Beverly Blvd. has a great cheese plate. You pick as many selections as you want at $6 per cheese. Regardless if you get one or six cheeses, along with them you get house-roasted almonds, fig cake, quince paste, pannini-pressed white country bread, and slices of (La Brea?) fruit nut bread. I was there yesterday and had the Pierre Robert triple cream and Humboldt Fog goat cheese. Delish!

                                  1. I had a cheese plate recently at Ford's Filling Station and also at Upstairs II. Haven't been to Cube but have heard good things.

                                    1. I agree with those telling you to do it yourself. I contacted Melody at Artisan, and she let me taste till my heart was overflowing. Together, we put together an 8 (!) cheese cheese plate for New Year's. My favorites were the triple creme, the stitlon, the tazmanian roaring 40's, and the italian birria rosso (beer washed). Heck, I loved them all.

                                      It was devine. I got some charcuterie, picked up foie gras pate at gelsons, got some nairn's and a baguette, popped open a good prosecco and sat my husband down for a wonderful romantic cheese dinner. We had with that a small salad and home made gigner frozen yogurt for dessert.

                                      He told me later, "to get this meal at any fancy place would cost in the three digits. It didn't cost near that. The cheese plate itself cost under $30, if not around $20.

                                      So go to Artisan..heck, do what I did and call Melody ahead of time.

                                      1. Il Moro has a beautiful cheese course - had it last week.

                                        1. Gotta put in another vote for Patina at the Disney Hall. The maitre fromager, Andrew Steiner, is a GEM -- wonderfully informative and incredibly imaginative in his rotating selection of cheeses.

                                          Tip: Go late just for dessert (cheese of course!). Andrew can't bring the cart to your table for oogling during the main dinner hours. The restaurant is too crowded. But we always go after a show at the Music Center/Disney Hall and he spends a good 15 minutes giving us a tour of day's cheeses on his cart. At $20 for the plate, it's really a bargain!

                                          1. This is a nice thread. Do any of these places have bar seating where someone can show up, order a cheese plate with a glass of wine or two, and then call it a night?

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: jake

                                              Il Moro for sure.