Welcome to dairy heaven. Rounds, slabs, wheels, slices and wedges of cheese fill the Cheese Store of Beverly Hills, a mecca for those who need to find a last-minute dinner party gift or hard-to-find cheese type. And if you want to taste, CSBH's twice-monthly cheese tastings are firsthand proof that epicurean culture exists in Los Angeles—you simply have to know where to find it. The shop feels like a secret room, fit with French windows and a retractable roof; decades ago the space was home to a fine dining establishment, but now it serves as a charming locale for the gourmet cheese shop's luxe events. Each CSBH tasting is themed regionally (Southern Italy, Bordeaux, Spain—essentially any place you'd want to honeymoon), and features two delicately selected flights of seven wines and 10 cheeses. Throughout the tasting, a cheese pundit and a sommelier will briefly describe each selection as it's presented, before allowing attendees to chat, eat and drink like 19th century European nobility. After two hours or so, properly wined and stuffed with Comtés, Gruyeres and Asiagos, guests are invited next door to the cheese shop for an after party, complete with discounted prices on cheese (there are upwards of 400 available) and another popped bottle or two.
Is there a more perfect food than cheese? If so, we haven't tried it. Pick a cheese shop from this list of L.A.'s best and indulge in creamy, salty, tangy (and sometimes odiferous) treats—not to mention some of the city's best sandwiches and cheese board and charcuterie plate options. Some of these spots double as wine stores or lunch spots, and all of them offer plenty of options for picnic ideas, dinner parties and—yes, okay—any time you want to treat yourself. There's even a vegan option! Say cheese.