Taste of the Valley
N.Y. Famed Murray's Cheese Opens 100th Store In Studio City
While strolling through Ralphs at Vineland and Ventura in Studio City last week, I was startled to run almost smack dab into a large stall of cheese and various accouterments right near the deli section. I read a familiar sign — Murray's Cheese — a place I'd visited and loved some years back in New York. Needless to say, at that very moment, I thought I'd died and gone to cheese heaven, but without the smell. It turns out I stumbled upon the soft opening of the 100th store of this acclaimed New York establishment. According to many cheese aficionados, such as Emeril Lagasse and Anthony Bourdain, Murray's is the best cheese store in New York. Forbes even named it the "world's top cheese shop."
Murray's was established in 1940 in Greenwich Village, but since 2008 has expanded its operation to markets across the nation. The Studio City store is the first in Los Angeles and the 100th in the nation making Murray's a nationwide food shop. To celebrate the occasion, Murray's is having a grand opening party on Saturday, February 1 at 11 a.m. with free cheese tastings and an appearance by the Grilled Cheese Truck that will roll in and give away 100 free grilled cheese sandwiches.
Currently, Murray's carries approximately 130 varieties of cheese in its cases, but the number is expected to rise to 200 selections incorporating both domestic and international fare. Prices per pound run $4.99 to $29.99. There's also a featured cheese of the day. Murray's stocks almost anything needed for a snacking to gifts and party platters, including crackers, jams, cheese boards, marcona almonds, quince paste, beets, a variety of salami and various salts. If you want a very special accompaniment to the cheese, don't miss the Happy Goat Caramel Sauce. It's $16.99 a jar, but I was told a little goes a long way — and believe me, the combination of caramel and goat cheese is worth it. For something even more decadent, check out the version made with scotch. Also, deliciously rich is the Dalmatia Fig Spread.
But, what's cheese without olives? There's a packed olive bar at $7.99 a pound that also includes marinated artichoke heart stems, peppadews, marinated mushrooms, dolmas, tapenade and garlic. Murray's plans to expand to five more Los Angeles based Ralphs, including the soon-to-open 50,000 square foot Fresh Fare at Hazeltine in Sherman Oaks. For what it's worth....the more cheese, the merrier.
Murray's Cheese is located inside Ralphs at 10901 Ventura Blvd. (at Vineland), Studio City.