Today I trekked into the city for lunch with a friend I have had since my college years. We lunched at Alcove which was nice, certainly a good value for the money. Nice atmosphere…blah blah blah.
The real gem was discovered when I poked my nose into the “Village Gourmet” that shares a building with the Alcove. When I walked in I swore I was in Paris again at this little shop near Rue Linois across from the Mono Prix. I wasn’t, but it was the closest thing I have found yet in LA. An amazing find.
More on Village Gourmet after the jump
The cheeses were simple. Nearly all imported from what I could tell. A fair majority were of the “bleu” variety. It is proof that something that smells like feet fresh out of army boots can taste good. And they do taste good. The subtlety of each variety is amazing. They aren’t afraid to offer up samples to help sway you.
Today’s impulse buying focused all on the blue varieties. Some I had heard of but never could find others I simply never had heard of. The gorgonzola dolce was one I had been looking for and scored a nice wedge.
Never heard of lemon stilton but they had it. One taste. One word-amazing. In the words of my lunch companion it was like fresh air. It was wonderfully lemony that mixed well without overpowering the piquant quality of the cheese. The lemon lingered and was a nice pallet cleanser. I imagine eating slices with fresh fruit and a nice wine after dinner. When I can find the time to that is anyone’s guess. I bought all they had and gave half to the birthday girl/lunch partner.
What I found and had been looking for is a Spanish Goats Milk Blue Cheese I had heard about somewhere along the line on Food TV. They had a Carbrales Carbrales that fit the bill exactly. It’s hard to describe but here goes. It’s a golden tan with dark almost black veins. It has that tang of goat’s cheese with a more subtle blue flavor that tickles the back of your nose as you eat it. It’s a little salty, a little sweet on the finish.
I wanted it for tonight’s dinner. That’s exactly what I did with it. Mixed greens, pears, smoked turkey, glazed walnuts with light lemon Dijon vinaigrette and I was in heaven. The tang of the cheese offset the sweet of the fruit, nuts and turkey just perfect. Added boner is I have just enough Carbrales to toss on an egg for breakfast.
The staff was really friendly and made it very easy to over indulge. The place was merchandised beautifully. IT was so very easy to grab wheels of cheese and inhale their fragrance. All makes it too easy to over indulge. I’m not complaining. I’m just glad I lunched first as who knows how bad the damage to the card would have been on an empty stomach.
The boring details:
Los Angeles, CA 90027 (actually Los Feliz for you purists)