Whether you are the average snacker or the food-obsessed, when it comes to super fresh, flavor bursting cheese , chances are you’ll find it here.
- Written byTalia Seehoff.
Artisan Cheese Gallery, with its bright yellow awning and French provincial decor, is to cheese lovers what Jim’s Fallbrook Market is to carnivores. Whether you are the average snacker or the food-obsessed, when it comes to super fresh, flavor bursting cheese , chances are you’ll find it here.
Glass display cases brim with all-time customer favorites like Fromager d’Affinois, as well as exotic imports, like the semi-soft Tome de Bordeaux. That picturesque, bad-daddy-of-a-wheel is flavored with herbs de Provence, hot peppers, peppercorns and fresh lavender. There are also noteworthy finds, like Up In Smoke from the River’s Edge creamery in Oregon—a smoked goat variety wrapped in smoked maple leaves.
Wine offerings are also distinctive. Wander over to the wine section, and you’ll discover boutique vintages like Mary Edwards and Paul Matthews.
“We have the cheese you don’t find in, say, Trader Joe’s,” explains wine buyer and store manager, Kristin Nuss Farrand. “A lot of foodies come in. They’re already into pairings, so we need to be able to wow them with choices.”
Fred Heinemann, along with his wife, opened the business seven years ago with the goal of bringing “a high-end, specialized cheese store to the Valley.” But it quickly became much more after the couple started offering lunch fare.
First, it was just a few basic paninis and salads. But as the business grew, so did the menu, which nowadays includes some rather inspired dinner entrees.
“The duck confit and the garlic-roasted lamb paninis are popular,” Fred shares. “People love coming in getting a glass of wine or beer and unwinding.” Recently, the shop expanded hours to stay open until 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
Coming here, though, is not so much an exchange as it is an experience —spearheaded by a well-versed staff that enthusiastically offers counsel. Trying to impress some snooty guests? Toss a handful of raspberry chocolate truffles on the plate. Want your platter to look like it was made by a pro? Use one cheese from each animal—cow, goat and sheep—and top it off with some or some imported multi-colored olives.The stink around these parts is that even nearby resident George Clooney is a fan, often ordering the Chopped Salad (no dressing, no cheese…) for take-out lunch.
12023 Ventura Boulevard, Studio City | 818-505-0207 | artisancheesegallery.com
The Vega family has been in the restaurant biz for decades. And they continue the family tradition to this day.