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The best cheese board and charcuterie plate options in LA

We love a good cheese board and charcuterie plate—especially when it's one of these beauties. Dig in!

Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
Assiette de charcuterie

There's a case to be made for considering a cheese and charcuterie board an actual meal. Dairy, protein, fruit compote—it's all part of a complete dinner, don't you think? You'll find plenty of such plates at French and Italian restaurants around the city, along with wine bars and a few fine-dining establishments. Want to know where to snag the best boards? We went out in search of the finest selection of cheeses and charcuterie in the city, whether you're considering it for an appetizer or an entire meal.

 

Cheese board and charcuterie plate picks

République

République has perfected a lot of things since opening in 2013 (steak frites, pastries, a killer brunch), but chef Walter Manzke's charcuterie board is pure wonder. The size alone is impressive, an expansive board filled to the brim with meats, bread and veggies. On it you might find house-made pickles, ham terrine, duck pâté, pork rillette, stone fruit chutney and duck liver mousse, accompanied by pastry chef Margarita Manzke's French baguette, Normandy butter and mustards. Take a requisite Instagram photo before diving right in. $32

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La Brea

Baran's 2239

Making a splash in the South Bay is Baran's 2239, a cozy restaurant helmed by executive chef Tyler Gugliotta. There's a lot to love about this place—the intimate feel, the fantastic craft beer selection, the basket of homemade focaccia slathered in parmesan and umami butter—but the charcuterie and cheese plate is worthy of a trip itself. Mix and match from slices of fennel salami and soppressata to 15-year Hook's cheddar and Beaufort Swiss cheese. Your stone slab arrives with pickled ramps, cherry sauce and homemade crackers, and will have you in a dairy coma in no time. Cheeses $6-$11, charcuterie $7-$10

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Hermosa Beach
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Patina

Nestled on the ground floor of the Walt Disney Concert Hall, the haute restaurant hums with perfectly-harmonized service and plates boasting a symphony of flavors. Diners come here to splurge on exquisite prix-fixe meals from chef Paul Lee, and while you'll pay a pretty penny, we'd highly recommend going a step further and finishing your dinner with the supplemental cheese cart. As the cart rolls out, a glorious array of around 30 cheeses are interspersed with bowls of dried fruit and honey. Bonne Bouche, Blu di Bufala and raw milk tomme have been known to make an appearance; while each slice is phenomenal in its own right, you can carefully curate your own cheese plate with the proper guidance from one of Patina's knowledgeable waiters. $20 for three, $25 for four, $30 for five  

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Downtown

Bestia

Ever since Bestia opened in the Arts District, rave reviews have come in for chef Ori Menashe's charcuterie and salumi program. If you're able to get a reservation—a beast of a process that requires calling two months in advance—you can start your meal with the salumi plate, a chef's selection of house-cured meats that might include proscuitto or fennel and chili salami. Eat the heavenly slices plain or top with a dollop of mostarda and layer over grilled bread. $22

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Downtown Arts District
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Chi Spacca

The popularity of Chi Spacca's salumeria, the city's first certified dry-cure program, is a result of years of trial and error from its original chef Chad Colby. Colby perfected his cured meats during Mozza's weekly Salumi Nights; with Ryan DeNicola taking over as executive chef at Chi Spacca, the program is still going strong. The Affettati Misti is a daily selection of cured meats, ranging from speck and salumi to trotter fritti and thick cuts of pâté. Pair with a glass of vino from Chi Spacca's fantastic wine list and make an evening out of it. $30 serves 2-4, $40 serves 4-6

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Hancock Park

Esters Wine Shop & Bar

Snuggled directly beside Cassia on Santa Monica’s 7th Street, Esters is a wine-centric retailer/watering hole with a sleek, modern interior and a breezy patio. Some 250 wines are for sale by the bottle and about 20 by the glass in the bar, but you'll want to do more than drink here. Esters offers both customizable cheese and charcuterie boards, where you can pick from cheeses like camembert di bufala, Piper's Pyramid goat cheese or Cabot clothbound cheddar. Charcuterie boards include chorizo navarre, chicken liver in a jar and saucisson sec; if you can't decide, the Baller Board serves all of the meats plus bread, butter and cornichons. Cheeses $5-$7, charcuterie $7-$13, Cheese Baller Board $54, Meat Baller Board $79  

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Santa Monica
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Church & State

Located in the loading dock of the Biscuit Lofts in DTLA's Arts District, chef Tony Esnault's French bistro serves classic fare—steak frites, escargot, steak tartare and more—to Angelenos with big budgets and a taste for nuanced interiors (think: white subway tiles and leather banquettes). Start with a seasonal cocktail and oysters on the half shell, then progress to the housemade charcuterie boards. A few options are offered, but if you want big, the Grande Charcuterie is your best bet. Duck prosciutto, chicken liver mousse, pork butter, rabbit rillettes, house cured pork belly, pâté de campagne and chicharrón are spread out in a beautiful display, along with head cheese, mustard and pickled vegetables. $31

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Downtown Arts District

North Italia

Among the athletic shops, clothing stores and solitary SoulCycle at The Point in El Segundo, North Italia is a bastion for hungry South Bay residents in need of a serious carb overload. Before diving into plates of pasta and pizza, though, consider the Chef's Board: a beautiful, and massive, spread (while the menu says it serves 2-3, a few more could comfortably join in). The board features a selection of prosciutto di parma, artisan cheese, marinated eggplant, roasted pepper, castelvetrano olive and marcona almonds, along with grilled bread that makes for a solid scooping vehicle. $16

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El Segundo
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Forma

Do you like cheese? Do you like cheese on cheese on cheese? Then you will love Forma, a small Italian restaurant in Santa Monica that has dedicated not only its name but almost its entire menu to cheese. Their cheese selection is broken down into distinct categories—soft-ripened, washed-rind, blue-veined, semi-soft, semi-hard and hard. Each cheese is around $5 and arrives with a pairing of honey, jam, bread or some kind of dried fruit; we're big fans of the Humboldt Fog and the Honey Bee goat cheese. Enjoy with a glass of wine (or two) from Forma's fantastic wine list. Cheeses $3-$8

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Santa Monica

Osteria Mozza

Since opening its doors in 2007, this Melrose and Highland dining destination has grown into an empire that spans a pizzeria, to-go counter and retail shop and salumeria. But the heart of the restaurant is Nancy Silverton's mozzarella bar: Over a dozen small plates showcase the handcrafted varieties from cream-filled burrata, dressed with tangy leek vinaigrette and mustard breadcrumbs, to spongy bufala with lemon bagna cauda and umami-rich bottarga. If you can't decide on one, opt for the mozarella tasting: a flight of three mozarella balls and some fett'unta (oily bread). Mozarella tasting $26

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Hancock Park
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Augustine

A visit to Augustine is like stopping by your oenophile-buddy’s home to sample some rare vintage wine. This little slice of heaven along Ventura Boulevard is chock-full of outstanding vino, but you'd be remiss to skip out on the food here—especially the customizable cheese and charcuterie board. Choose from a bevy of cheeses like the semi-soft Ellie's Bleu or the semi-firm Don Juan Manchego, along with slices of Fabrique Délices duck salami, Angel’s Black truffle salami or Citterio sopressata. Jam, honey, mustard and nuts might accompany your board, along with slices of fresh bread. One for $7, three for $18, six for $32

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Sherman Oaks

Terrine

Chef Kris Morningstar partnered with Stephane Bombet and Francois Renaud to open Terrine, where he commands the kitchen of this Mid-City “Cali Brasserie.” Sit on the bucolic planter-lined patio with a central tree, strings of lights and red cushioned banquette seating for a glass of wine, some steak frites and this: the Assiette des Charcuteries. The plate comes with truffled chicken liver and savory toast, head cheese and rillettes, smoked winter sausage and pork loin. A small helping of pickled vegetables sit in the center for prime nibbling. $32

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Beverly
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Tar & Roses

After a fire caused chef Andrew Kirschner's Tar & Roses to close down for six months, the acclaimed Santa Monica restaurant is back in business—and back to serving their fantastic cheese and charcuterie board. The selection changes frequently, but you'll always receive a jar of seasonal pickles, dried cherry mostarda, nuts and membrillo (that's jelly made from quince fruit) alongside your cheese and meat selection. Three for $18, five for $25, seven for $32

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Santa Monica

Little Next Door

Miss your year abroad in Paris? Head over to the Little Next Door, where they’ll have everything you need to curb your French food cravings. Adjacent to the Little Door (literally…next to it), this brasserie-meets-bakery-meets-wine-bar offers an artisan cheese plate stacked with creamy, firm and funky selections, including Cremeux de Bourgogne, Humboldt Fog, Petit Basque and dried fruit. Ooh la la! $18

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West Third Street
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