The Best Butchers In L.A.
The relationship you have with your butcher should be a very personal one, where there's a sense of trust and respect for the craft. (Have a go at using a band saw and you'll see why "respect" is an operative word here.) And considering the craziness we know about commercial agriculture and the importance of how animals are raised, it's increasingly important to trust your purveyor of protein. So while we hardly have as many butchers as some other major U.S. cities, there are a handful of truly excellent options right here in L.A. Here are our faves.
Photo by Guzzle and Nosh on Flickr
LINDY AND GRUNDY
These two badass butcherettes may have only been serving up hormone- and antibiotic-free meats on Fairfax for two years now, but their chops speak for themselves. Their high-quality protein may be a bit pricey, but it comes with the territory. They personally have inspected the farms and slaughter facilities that their meat comes from, and they break it down from primal cuts on a daily basis. They're also active Tweeters and Instagrammers, but be warned: they post their daily sandwich and other specials in photo form, and it will consistently give you hunger pangs when compared to your lame desk-side lunch.
Lindy and Grundy is located at 801 N Fairfax Avenue, Los Angeles, (323) 951-0804
This Original Farmers Market staples is one of the oldest masters of meat in the city. The staff is well-versed in all things protein and can help you figure out what it is that you're after, and will be happy to lend tips on how to prepare it. Dan Vance and Jim Cascone sell Harris Ranch prime-beef, two-dozen house-made sausages and plenty of pork products at an affordable price considering the quality.
Huntington Meats is located at 6333 W 3rd Street, Los Angeles, (323) 938-5383
MCCALL'S MEAT AND FISH
Nathan McCall and Karen Yoo, owners of McCall's Meat, stock their small Loz Feliz shop with sustainably raised seafood and protein, and they also do a bang-up job with their pastries. (We've been told their kougin amman rivals that of Bouchon, which is our personal favorite.) Stop by after prosecco brunch at Little Dom's and pick up some scallops or wild Alaskan Cooper River salmon for the grill, and your guests will surely be impressed. Opt for one of their bone-in rib eyes (which you'll never find at Whole Foods), and you'll have friends for life.
McCalls' Meat and Fish is located 2117 Hillhurst Avenue, Los Feliz, (323) 667-0674
Photo by jkwoo on Flickr
HARVEY'S GUSS MEATS CO.
For those that think butchery is a forgotten art here in L.A., think again. This old school butcher shop was founded in 1939 by Harvey Gussman's father Abe and is now the supplier to many of L.A.'s best restaurants. You'll need to call in ahead of time to get hooked up with some quality cuts since they primarily run a wholesale business, but it's worth your time. Also take note that they have limited hours, and are only open from 5 a.m. to 12 p.m., Tuesday through Friday.
Harvey's Guss Meats Co. is located at 949 S Ogden Drive, Los Angeles, (323) 937-4622
MARCONDA'S MEATS AND PURITAN POULTRY
The Original Farmers Market is chock full of butchers, it seems. Marconda's opened in 1941, selling mostly ground meats and sausages, and still makes a bulk of their living off sales of their meat loaves and sausages. It's truly a family-run establishment, with two or three generations of our family working together at the market on any given day. They also focus on natural meats. Their cases are stacked with beautifully marbled steaks, chops, shoulders, racks of lamb, and plump pork loin roasts alongside liverwurst, olive loaf, tongue, and heaps of sausages. There truly is something for every taste, old school or new.
Marconda's Meats is located at 6333 W 3rd St #514 Los Angeles, (323) 938-5131