Hooked On Cheese: Best Of Los Angeles Cheese Shops

I recently spent a week basking in the glorious weather of LA, a city I truly love (as much as a San Francisco Giants fan can). LA has some spectacular cheese shops, and during my stay I checked out some old favorites and a few newbies. While there are many great options, these are the three I couldn't live without:

The famous Cheese Store of Beverly Hills was my first stop upon arriving to town. It's a seriously classy shop in the middle of Beverly Hills, and their case is always chock-full of perfectly aged cheeses. I was lucky enough to speak with Tony Princiotta, the long-time buyer and monger. He sampled me on some soft ripened goat cheeses that were stellar.

Next, I dropped by Andrew's Cheese Shop in Santa Monica. I've known owner and cheese-lover extraordinaire Andrew Steiner for over a decade (I was one of his shop's first customers when it opened in 2008). Steiner has perfected the art of curating a cheese shop: he never displays an overwhelming amount of cheese, but still manages to provide wide variety – something for everyone. He composed an impeccable cheese plate for me: a lovely slice of Sofia from Capriole Dairy; a wedge of Alp Blossom, an Austrian cheese covered in herbs and flowers; and a perfect Camembert. What hospitality!

On my way out of town, I rolled into Say Cheese in Silver Lake and chatted with proprietor Glenn Harrell over lunch in his café. Harrell has incredibly well chosen specialty products and interesting cheese selections that are elegantly displayed. I love the style of his shop: the cheese is 100% cut to order, full service...dare I say old school? Whatever you choose to call it, the store is undeniably worth checking out.

Also worth noting:
Wally's Wine & Spirits: It's all in the name: this Santa Monica mainstay will provide you with consistently great cheese and wine pairings.

Cheesemongers of Sherman Oaks: Regularly featured on the "Best of LA" lists, this shop specializes in pairing cured meats and accompaniments with their extensive selection of cheeses.

Follow Raymond's specialty food escapades on FacebookInstagram and his website. Additional reporting by Madeleine James.