Shopping: Cheese Challenge

FoodandWine Recipe

For the past 36 years, The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills pretty much had a monopoly in Los Angeles. Now, finally, it has some competition. Chris Pollan, a former rock-band tour manager and a Cheese Store alum, has opened The Cheesestore of Silverlake (no connection to the Beverly Hills shop), which stocks roughly 200 cheeses, including lots of artisanal varieties, rare goat's-milk versionsand extra stinky Alsatian Muenster (3926 W. Sunset Blvd.; 323-644-7511). And at the opposite end of town, in Venice Beach, Jason Stroh, who learned about cheese at Formaggio Kitchen in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has opened Stroh's Gourmet, a tiny deli with about three dozen carefully chosen single-farm cheeses, along with sandwiches made from terrific Serrano hams, prosciutto and the like. Lines often wrap around the block¬óbut patient customers are rewarded with generous samples (1239 Abbot Kinney Blvd.; 310-450-5119).

¬óBrad A. Johnson