Santa Monica, California, has a serious new cheese spot, Andrew’s Cheese Shop, offering more than 200 artisanal cheeses selected by proprietor Andrew Steiner, the former maître d’fromage at Patina in Los Angeles. I recently talked with Steiner to get his favorite cheese picks:

Timanoix “A cow’s-milk cheese made by Trappist monks in northwest France. The rinds are washed in walnut liqueur, so its walnuty, earthy and chocolaty. It’s like dessert.”

Pleasant Ridge Reserve “This rich, fruity, nutty cow’s-milk cheese made in Dodgeville, Wisconsin, is the best cheese ever made in this country. It’s fashioned after Beaufort cheeses, so there’s an Alpine feel to it. The dairy is at a fairly high altitude, which means there’s fresher vegetation and the cows are exercising their muscles more, so their milk is sweeter and richer.”

Monte Enebro “This goat’s-milk cheese from the walled city of Avila, Spain, is my favorite cheese in the world. It’s made by Rafael Baez, one of the great cheese masters, and his daughter, Paloma. They make only this one cheese, which is strong, goaty, rich and dense.”

Barely Buzzed “This is a really funky, peculiar cheese made by the Beehive Cheese Company in Ogden, Utah. I usually don’t like cheeses with flavorings, but this cow’s-milk cheese, whose rind is coated with lavender and dried ground espresso, is really delicious—and messy.”

Rogue Creamery Smokey Blue “This great cow’s-milk blue cheese is smoked over roasting hazelnut shells for 16 hours. It’s very tangy, smoky and nutty.”