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best cheese offering? carts or cheese tasting?

s
samtron608 Oct 27, 2011 09:40 AM

Hi everyone

my wife is a cheese lover but it never occured to me until now that I should take here somewhere with a cheese cart or cheese tasting menu.

Can you guys give me some rec's? im hoping for a place not too expensive like Providence. But something more in the middle.
Are there restuarants where i can just go for the cheese tasting?

Dont know too much about cheese offerings, so please forgive me if my questions are dumb!

  1. r
    Robert Thornton Oct 29, 2011 05:06 PM

    IMO it's absolutely LQ@SK. You don't have to get dinner even, you can drop in on the patio. Well priced for what it is:

    3 cheeses - $12
    5 cheeses - $20
    7 cheeses - $28

    $3 for each additional cheese
    $2 extra for truffle honey

    He pulls the cheeses early so they're the perfect tempture and he makes sure they're a point. I love the cart at Providence and was skeptical when I heard that LQ's was better, but it is.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Robert Thornton
      westsidegal Oct 29, 2011 06:03 PM

      any cheese guy/gal worth his/her salt would pull the cheeses early enough for them to be served at the proper temperature.. . . .

      1. re: westsidegal
        r
        Robert Thornton Oct 29, 2011 08:31 PM

        Agreed, that was my point. Nice to hear that you agree.

    2. s
      sablouwho Oct 28, 2011 04:14 PM

      I echo the recommendation of FIG. Also, if you go between 5-6 pm Tues-Thurs, the entire menu is half price!

      As an aside, their foie gras/chicken liver pate/mousse is also delicious!

      2 Replies
      1. re: sablouwho
        westsidegal Oct 29, 2011 09:42 AM

        i'm pretty sure that the pate is also one of Eric's creations.

        1. re: westsidegal
          s
          sablouwho Oct 29, 2011 01:12 PM

          Good to know! I will have to talk with him about it, hopefully I can pry a basic recipe out of him. Sad that it won't be able to be served after this year, if the rumors I hear about a CA law banning foie are true (I've not done my my due diligence on this one, obviously). I wonder how they will modify the recipe if this is the case?

          I make chicken liver pate at home which I must say is pretty yummy, but I mainly use chicken livers (from pastured chickens from a farm that I trust/have visited) and grass-fed butter, no foie, so mine isn't nearly as rich as FIGs, and has more of a mineral taste, which fortunately I have learned to acquire as chicken livers have lots of nutrients I need.

      2. j
        JudiAU Oct 27, 2011 12:02 PM

        The best cheese I've had in recent memory is in fact at Providence. However, I am pretty sure that they will allow you to come in just for the cheese cart and the price is not unreasonable.

        1 Reply
        1. re: JudiAU
          z
          zack Oct 29, 2011 12:14 AM

          Providence offers cheese cart service for $7 per selection. Here's the info from restaurant:

          Cheese and dessert are always available at the bar. Bar seating is on a first come, first serve basis.  If you prefer a dining table, we offer cheese and/or dessert tasting at the following times:

          Monday through Thursday at 6:00pm or 10:00pm
          Friday and Saturday 10:00pm only
          Sunday 5:30pm or 9:00pm

        2. Servorg Oct 27, 2011 10:09 AM

          Don't know if you caught the posts by Porthos or not regarding LQ? In any case see here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/805959

          2 Replies
          1. re: Servorg
            westsidegal Oct 27, 2011 10:23 AM

            from what i've heard, they specialize in french cheese.
            if this is true, it still leaves a lot of ground to cover.. . . .

            1. re: westsidegal
              n
              ns1 Oct 28, 2011 04:34 PM

              almost 100% french cheese.

              Had a 24 year comte the other day...almost as old as I am!

          2. j
            Juji Oct 27, 2011 10:04 AM

            This may not be exactly what you are looking for, but the grilled cheese and beer tasting at Andrew's Cheese Shop on Montana in Santa Monica is pretty amazing. And I second the recommendation for Fig.

            1. westsidegal Oct 27, 2011 09:54 AM

              the very best cheese selection and expertise that i have found in this town is available at FIG.
              the name of the cheese guy that knows so much is ERIC.
              his station is located at the end of the bar near the window, so he is very accessible.
              he is a very soft-spoken, polite, guy with a tremendous depth of knowledge about cheese.
              get a seat at the bar in front of his station.
              when you are sitting in front of him, HE will be the person telling you all about the cheese that is sitting on your plate.
              he will help you.
              (he will also be the person hand-kneading the warm mozzarella balls)
              the last time i was there he had about 30 cheeses available--about 25 were listed on the printed cheese menu he has, and others are in his private stash.
              they offer a number of pre-set cheese flights or he will construct a CUSTOM cheese flight that conforms to your preferences and appetitie.
              JUST GO TO ERIC and sit in front of him. don't bother with the waiters at the tables and don't bother with any other restaurants. NOBODY beats him for being able to construct/execute a cheese experience to remember.
              be patient, because at the same time he is helping you he will need to be doing his main job of creating all the cheese and charcuterie plates for the whole restaurant--he is the chef for charcuterie--not just a consultant.
              also, the cheeses will be accompanied, by hot-from-the-oven crusty bread that the restaurant bakes throughout the evening.
              (just warning you, though, at the opening on friday nights, i will normally beat you and everyone else to the best cheese seats. i will relinquish those seats at about 6)

              3 Replies
              1. re: westsidegal
                s
                samtron608 Oct 27, 2011 11:12 AM

                thanks! just what i was looking for!

                1. re: samtron608
                  westsidegal Oct 27, 2011 03:01 PM

                  n.b.
                  they do not take reservations for the bar seats.
                  they open for dinner at 5pm.

                  enjoy

                2. re: westsidegal
                  n
                  ns1 Oct 28, 2011 04:35 PM

                  cost of cheese @ Fig?

                  $28 for 7 @ LQ, with BYOW...

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