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Restaurants & Bars 4

The Stinky Cheese Man & Lunch at Lucques

torta basilica | Nov 28, 200210:44 AM

Ventured out from behind the Orange Curtain Tuesday to Beverly Hills & their Cheese Store. If you like cheese, this is a must-do. We stayed there at least 45 minutes, trying all the different cheeses we wanted & purchasing some of those we loved. No one rushed us - I was in heaven. Found my infamous torta basilica, (to be served today) which I can't find anymore in OC, bought some Spanish Mavedral - just incredible flavor, some Parmesano Reggiano that is so aged it is dark brown &almost crumbles, but the taste - oh my God! A triple cream that just was oozing cheese out of the top of the crust - got a lick of that & had to have it - can't remember the name - damm! A truffle studded cheese that we had to have. Watched a guy slice a giant Maytag in half & the veins develop before our eyes - tasted like no Maytag I'd ever tasted before - so much fresher! Loved tasting off the knives - felt like I was back in Europe with a whole lot friendlier cheese sellers - wonder if they would give me a job...

Lunch at Lucques was less exciting. Sat on the patio - ordered a glass of Rully, which was the highlight. Kindof had to insist they give me a taste first before I committed to a 3 $10 glasses of wine I'd never had before. I ordered 2 appetizers - salad of serrano ham, parmesan curls, persimmon slices & pomegranite seeds. Great idea to combine these, but should have been a whole lot more exciting. Teeny little slivers of Japanese persimmon - maybe 4 - just didn't all the flavor I was hoping for. Then had the gingered squash soup - altogether ordinary. Brother had the gruyere sandwich, which was good, but again, not exciting. Mom's fish (we never were told what it was) with farro was just plain blah. Thought I'd cheer mom up by ordering the chocolate hazelnut tart for dessert, but it tasted like instant chocolate pudding in a premade pastry cup sprinkled with hazelnuts. They seemed a little disorganized & then the computer went down & we had to wait 15 minutes for the bill, which they finally just hand wrote out. Realize this was a Tuesday lunch before Thanksgiving, but probably would not go back. Can't wait to get back to the cheese store, though! We did not get huge pieces of anything, but walked out with an incredible selection of 7 very rare cheeses for under $40 - did not feel they were all that outrageously priced, considering cost of finding, import, storage & perishability.

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