Does Los Angeles need another good butcher shop? Yes. Do we need a butcher shop using locally produced, sustainable meat and run by two women who just finished interning at Fleisher's and are now en route, driving across country to L.A. after pausing to get married legally in Connecticut? Oh, absolutely.
And that's just what's happening, as Amelia Posada and Erika Nakamura are loading up their car and heading west, having just signed a lease on what will be their own butcher shop, Lindy & Grundy's, set to open on Fairfax Avenue by Thanksgiving. Think Thelma and Louise meets Bill Buford's excellent book Heat.
Posada and Nakamura did not set out to become butchers. In fact, both of them spent many years as vegetarians, hardly the usual apprenticeship for anyone who ends up professionally wielding a meat cleaver. Nakamura, a Japanese-American who was born and raised in Tokyo, went to culinary school at the French Culinary Academy after moving to New York, and worked at Blue Hill Stone Barns before segueing into butchering. “The hot line was not for me,” she said by phone the other day as she was getting fitted for her wedding dress. Posada, who is Mexican-American and was born in Pasadena and raised in Santa Barbara, has a background in floral design.
When Nakamura headed to Fleisher's Grass-fed & Organic Meats to intern with owner Josh Applestone, Posada followed her — and thus the idea of a shop of their own was born. Why Los Angeles? Well, it's a homecoming of sorts for Posada. And both saw a need for not only another small butcher shop, but one that focused on locally sourced, naturally raised meats. Nakamura sees their years not eating meat (Nakamura didn't become a carnivore until college; Posada was a vegetarian for 14 years) as an asset now that they're not only eating it, but working with it professionally. “Coming from that idea of eating [vegetarianism], we'd hate to support an industry that's so irresponsible. We need to have our lifestyle be aligned with our political beliefs.”
Lindy & Grundy's (the name is a combination of the couple's nicknames) will carry pork, beef, lamb and poultry; the pair will make their own sausages, bacon and charcuterie, and they'll offer custom Asian cuts such as kalbi. Nakamura is excited about the location (“it's super close to Canter's and Animal“) and says that Applestone will be visiting to act as an advisor on the project.
Give them a little time, though. They have to drive out here first, stopping at Graceland and Dollywood and, probably, a few farms or ranches along the way. In the meantime, you can follow Nakamura on Twitter @TheButcherette and Posada at @thefemmebutcher.
Lindy & Grundy's: 801 N. Fairfax, Hollywood.