Where's the beef? It's at these Los Angeles meat shops, which will most certainly be bustling in preparation for this weekend.
We've outlined a few recommandations for what to get a several of the city's most respected butchers — locally sourced, organic, all that good business — but we also name-dropped a few off-the-path places you might not of tried yet.
As Homer Simpson once said, “All normal people love meat. If I went to a barbeque and there was no meat, I would say 'Yo Goober! Where's the meat?' I'm trying to impress people here, Lisa. You don't win friends with salad.”
Just kidding vegan friends, we made enough gazpacho for everyone. Turn the page for 6 great Los Angeles butcher shops, listed alphabetically.
The smell of carne asada hitting the grill is the smell of summer. You can save yourself some work by picking up some of the pre-marinated cuts at Carniceria Sanchez, neighbor to Taqueria Sanchez, which is one of the more underrated places to pick up a couple tacos on the Westside. You're better off asking finer cuts like ranchera, flank steak, or opting for pork loin marinated in al pastor spices. 4525 S. Centinela Ave. Los Angeles; (310) 391-3640.
Fancy channeling your inner gaucho and turning your patio into a miniature churrascaria? Catalina not only stocks a ridiculous variety of sweet spicy chorizo and linguica sausages — including Argentinian, Spanish, and Ecuadorian styles — but owner Felipe Corrado also hand cuts beef to order, meaning you can request whatever side of meat your heart desires. There are pretty good emapandas too, stuffed with things like chicken, spinach, and fresh cheese, if you want to take care of party appetizers too. 1070 N, Western Ave., Los Angeles; (323) 464-1064.
This tiny Armenian butcher shops in north Pasadena marinates their meat overnight in a zesty seasoning until their pungent and garlic-studded enough to put the roasted birds at Zankou to shame. You could go fancy and get a whole quail, but most people opt for the chicken wings by the pound. There's also house-made hummus, baba ganoush, muhammara, thick garlic sauce, and lavash bread, stretchy and pliable enough to wrap up your leftovers. 1715 E. Washington Blvd. Pasadena; (626) 798-2676.
The eponymous Mr. Guss usually sells his dry-aged prime steaks wholesale to places like Campanile, Jar or Angelini Osteria, but if you have the foresight to call a day ahead and reserve, you can grill up a side of beef mature and well-aged enough to join the AARP. The shop is something of a legend among L.A. meat purists, most notably for its insistence on not acknowledging the coming of the 21st century as long as possible. 949 S. Ogden Dr., Los Angeles; (323) 937-4622.
A properly cooked smoked pork chop from Lindy & Grundy, the cult-driven organic butcher shop run by Amelia Posada and Erika Nakamura, can be a life-altering affair. Chefs follow the shop's twitter feed as eagerly as customers, waiting for the pleasant surprise of a plump heritage pig or couple dozen pounds of beef bones coming in stock. This weekend you can pick up some wings marinaded in mojo or get some six week dry-aged beef for buy one get one free. 801 N. Fairfax Ave. Los Angeles; (323) 951-0804.
No mention of L.A.'s best butcher houses is complete without a reference to husband and wife team Nathan McCall and Karen Yoo, owners of Loz Feliz' McCall's Meat, which has been providing bearded weekend warriors in Northeast L.A. with insanely high-quality meat since it opened a couple years ago. This weekend you could pick up fresh ground chuck for burgers, bone-in ribeyes, or a filet of Copper River wild salmon from Alaska, which just came into season and is considered to be one of the most richly flavored types of fish in the world. 2117 Hillhurst Ave. Los Angeles; (323) 667-0674.
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