Thursday, March 4, 2010

*The Local Report - McCall's Meat & Fish Co.

1.9 miles, about 5 minutes, from my home in Atwater Village.

There's a new butcher in town and boy am I happy. It seems that the neighborhood butcher has gone by the wayside and that more and more people are relying on supermarket butchers. While the guys at my local Whole Foods are very helpful and knowledgeable, there's nothing quite like the personal rapport one develops with a local, neighborhood butcher. Like the one I am establishing with chef-butchers, and husband and wife team, Nathan McCall and Karen Yoo. I have been in several times and appreciate the hands on service they have given me. Whether it be advice on what cut to buy, or how to cook it the duo is more than accommodating. McCall and Yoo both have backgrounds as professional chefs; McCall cooked at Los Angeles restaurants Café Pinot and Sona; he also spent time in the kitchen of Spain's Michelin three star restaurant Arzak followed up with time at Daniel Boulud's Restaurant Daniel in New York City. Yoo, trained as a pastry chef, worked in the kitchens of Campanile, Sona and Restaurant Daniel. Given their experiences in professional kitchens they should be the go-to-butchers for both the professional chef and the home cook. Who better to buy meat and fish from than those who have the experience cooking it? It's a great combination.

To add to the package they only source their meat, as they state on their website, 'from traditional farms where animals are naturally and humanely raised on the best feed without the use of hormones or chemical enhancements.' Their 'fish is wild-caught and/or responsibly raised in the most natural environment.' They stock CAB (Certified Angus Beef) Beef, Kurobuta (Berkshire to us) pork, lamb, locally raised poultry (from KenDor Farms in Van Nuys), eggs, house made sausages (pork-fennel and garlic-paprika), and sushi grade salmon and tuna among other seafood. Check the chalkboard specials for such items as duck, rabbit, squab and leg of lamb. They also sell a hand picked selection of gourmet oils, vinegars, salt and pepper, and other specialty cooking products. Given their propensity to be local and sustainable they could almost be a butcher my great-grandmother went to albeit without the sawdust on the floor and the banging screen door. And that is a comforting thought. I'll be going to McCall's often. It is so close to home. Welcome to the neighborhood Nathan and Karen!

Chef-butchers Karen Yoo and Nathan McCall

McCall's Meat & Fish Co.
2117 Hillhurst Ave.
Los Angeles, California 90027
323-667-0674 (ph.)
323-667-0802 (fax)

*The Local Report(s): are occasional blog posts on restaurants, and/or businesses that either support the idea of one-hundred miles, and 'living life locally'; or are small, localized businesses in my neighborhood, and/or within one-hundered miles of my residence, that I prefer to support over the larger, national, corporate chains. For other The Local Report(s) please go the Archives section of this blog. Also, I'd love to hear from my readers about businesses that they support in their neighborhoods: write to me at charlesgthompson AT 100miles DOT com, or leave a comment here.

Upcoming Posts: Interview with Chefs John Stewart & Duskie Estes, owners of Zazu & Bovolo restaurants in Sonoma County. Cochon 555 Napa, a write up of the amazing pork festival that I went to in Napa. Reviews: My Nepenthe: Bohemian Tales of Food, Family and Big Sur by Romney Steele, The Spirit Kitchen: Everyday Cooking with Organic Spices by Sara Engram and Katie Luber and Kimberly Toqe.

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  1. Looks like they have an awesome selection of meats! Even Kurobuta pork!

  2. OK, just need to say that this local butcher is great. We were just wondering if there was a butcher nearby. Atwater Village isn't too close, but if you say it's good, it's good.

  3. Charles made a roast the other day and it came from this place. I loved the dish and am attributing it to BOTH chef and the great piece of meat!

  4. that's really nice when you can count on having good products to have good food !! cheers from Paris Pierre

  5. Local butcher shops are dying relics. It's a shame too, because it's just another indication of how separated we're becoming with our food. I've gotten lucky as of late, having made friends with a few butchers who I can count on for any cut I need, any time.

    How great that they offer Berkshire, and other naturally raised animal proteins. Gotta love that. And that they make their own house sausages. Again, hard to come by. I hope you continue to patronize McCall's. They deserve it.

    Funny too - I don't purchase meats at grocery stores all that often. But last year, I was getting cold cuts sliced at the deli at Albertson's (I was in a pinch) and while I was waiting, I started chatting up the butcher in the meat department. We were talking recipes, etc. I've been in there a few times since, and every time he sees me he calls out to me. I have to wonder if this guy is of the old breed - trying to make relationships with his customers.

    I like that, and I hope the spirit of "Sam the Butcher" never dies.

  6. I checked them out a couple of weeks ago and was pleasantly surprised. I bought a couple of pounds of their pork sausages which were very good. Also happy to learn the pork they use is sustainably and humanely raised.