Cheese Store of Silver Lake
On Saturdays, I usually drive three miles from my house in Los Feliz to my gym in Hollywood. But today I decided to get my daily exercise by walking a mile from my apartment to Sunset Junction, where I checked out the Cheese Store of Silver Lake. While Berkeleyans rave about the Cheese Board in the Gourmet Ghetto, Los Angeles' Eastsiders can boast of their own shop that sells scores of different cheeses hailing of various provenances, half a dozen pates, scrolls of salami and quite a few bottles of olive oil and wine. The shoebox of a store is kept deliberately dim and cool to keep the cheeses fresh. They also had a generous sampling policy, which I tried not to abuse when I tasted the Marcona almonds (roasted or oiled and salted), a cheese that reminded me of Emmental, two types of olive oil and a soft cow cheese paired with a cranberry preserve. I was disappointed that they didn't have any more caramel flavored with fleur de sel. There was some excuse that the candymaker just gave birth to a baby. So the storekeepers tried to sell some of their lemon caramel inventory to me. I resisted. Instead, I picked up a cheese stick, which is basically a demi-baguette covered with cheese and herbs de provence. I also asked for a salami with kick. One of the employees gave me a thin round flavored with black peppercorns. I liked it and asked for 10 slices. She pinched her fingers to indicate that the rounds were the size of silver dollars. "Then 15 slices, please," I told her. I carried my stash three doors down to Casbah Cafe, where I ordered some red Rooibos tea and sat at one of the sidewalk tables.
Watching cars, people and puppies scoot by, I ripped apart the bread with my bare hands and unfurled the salami from its white paper wrapping for an impromptu lunch. I've been loving the quality of the pictures taken on my Lumix camera so much that I decided to enlarge the size of the photos on The Food and Music Club. This is when it's OK for your eye to be bigger than your stomach.