Definitely in Our Wheelhouse: Wheel House Cheese Shop

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Post-Thanksgiving, the holidays upon us, what to serve guests? What to bring to that holiday party? Where to chill out after an evening at Culver City galleries? A spot to relax with a great glass of wine, some delicious cheese? The solution to all of the above may just be the Wheel House Cheese Shop, purveyors of over a hundred cheeses, as well as fine jams, olive oils, imported fish, crackers and bread, and gourmet meats.

Best of all, this spot has a garden with pretty plants, rustic benches, and table service – the cheese and cured meat boards, paired with a good vino makes for a wonderful respite from the hustle of the season – or any time of year.

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Owner Alex Josef says his goal is to “Educate the community about the quality of cheeses and meats from around the world.” His intelligent cheese case and delicious cheese pairing platters, go a long way toward fun, flavor – and education.

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The shop’s cheese case is organized by the region in which it was prepared,  and Josef notes that perhaps his most unique offerings are Le puits d’ astier, crafted in France by Rodolphe le Meunier; another unusual cheese is Parish Hills cider-washed cheese, created by a cheese-maker in Vermont.

Wheel House offers a cheese board and sandwich menu, with boards including a cheese, meat, and Wheel House combined cheese and meat option.  Sandwiches, served on a French baguette include a classic caprese, salami and brie, and ham and swiss – the latter using Jambon French Ham.

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We tried the Wheel House board, and it was a remarkable spread of contrasting flavors. Cheeses included nutty, sweet Pecorino Muscano, Brabander aged goat milk Gouda, buttery and silky Brie cream cheese, pork and pistachio pate, and Italian Speck. Also included: a deliciously aromatic quince paste imported from Spain, and tangy cornichons. Crisp toast squares and a small bowl of lovely nuts including Marcona almonds were also on our menu.

The boards were paired with Funk Zone Blend wine, combining Syrah and Viognier in a fruity, delightfully dry mix.

Wheel House has been open sixteen months, and serving wine and beer for two. However, Josef has spent many more months curating cheese. “Some of my favorites are truffle Sheep’s milk cheese, Swiss and Cheddar from Wisconsin, and En Dante cheese made in Central California,” he relates. “I once thought I’d become a chef, and then I got into cheese for fun. This is a passion project.”

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It’s easy to share Josef’s passion. The shop offers curated cheese and wine pairings and classes, too. Cheese 101 provides instruction in entertaining with cheese, and how to create a perfect cheese board by pairing different types and consistencies.

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And, just in time for holiday parties, Wheel House provides full catering services.

Wheel House also hosts family nights – recently, the shop screened the appropriate mouse/cheese classic, Ratatouille.
 Wheel House is located at

12954 W. Washington Blvd. in Culver City, and is open Tuesday-Sunday 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.

 

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