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Andrew's Cheese Shop: Where Cheese Meets Chocolate and Champagne

By Elizabeth R. Elstien

Travel + Leisure magazine voted Andrew's Cheese Shop one of the best cheese shops in America in 2014, and the accolades just keep on coming. It's easy to see why.

The shop features fresh sandwiches, cheesy events complete with alcohol, and even a Cheese 101 Course for those who want to learn and taste more about the history and origins of this food. Andrew's Cheese Shop also sells chocolates, wild honey, small-batch olive oils and vinegars, nuts and other specialty and gourmet products.

A noted cheese authority featured in Food & Wine, among other publications, owner Andrew Steiner converts shop-goers to cheese-loving converts. Each cheese comes with a card showing flag of the country of origin, background story, and picture of the milked animal.

The best cheeses in the world are derived from quality milk, whatever the animal they come from. "You need great milk to make great cheese. Period. For that to happen you need fresh grass, fresh water and well-taken-care-of animals."

Beginning as a waiter at upscale Patina restaurant to becoming its maître d'fromage, where he started the cheese menu and cart the restaurant became known for, Steiner opened Andrew's Cheese Shop in 2008 in Santa Monica. "This Place Stinks" is the retail store's humorous slogan, referencing some particularly smelly cheeses (Limburger anyone?)

Ask Steiner to choose a favorite cheese or two and he refuses. "I've never answered that question," he says, "and I never will because there is no answer. It's like asking me to choose between my 1,000 children. They're all different and change from season to season."

Step into the boutique shop and Steiner will create a specialized cheese offering for your gathering, wedding or other event. Order online and get your cheese of choice shipped directly to you or join the Cheeses of the Month Club for extra cheese goodness.

Usually sold out, sign up in advance for the monthly Grilled Cheese and Beer Night event, where customers sit at a long table and share six or seven grilled cheeses and lots of beer. Steiner happily sits right among them and serves as host, dishing out tidbits of cheese wisdom. Or check out the Fancy Schmancy Grilled Cheese and Beer Night, with a six-course feast featuring cheese and alcohol pairings and ending with a decadent dessert.

Customers come to Andrew's Cheese Shop for the cheese and stay for the incredibly tasty events - because the only Cheez Whiz here is the owner.

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About The Author

Elizabeth R. Elstien has worked in real estate for over 15 years as a real estate...

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