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Surfas fills hole with cheese counter

December 4, 2008 | 11:10 am

SurfasYou know that gaping hole that used to greet you near the registers at Surfas in Culver City, where the coffees used to be? Well, it was filled, finally, last week -– with cheese. After weeks of construction, a gleaming new cheese and charcuterie counter is now open for business, its own island in the expansive specialty food and restaurant supply store.

Tucked near the freezer case, it’s staffed by cheese-o-philes eager to give you a taste of any one of the 80 cheeses in stock, including ripe Delices de Bourgogne, a cocoa-rind Cardona goat’s milk cheese from Carr Valley Cheese in Wisconsin, and my current favorite, a smoky, nutty Gouda-style called Vlaskaas, from the Dutch company Beemster. A small selection of charcuterie, which includes Fra Mani salumi and jamon iberico, will expand in the coming weeks.

Plenty of those cheeses and meats were employed in Surfas Cafe, which is where they had been displayed until recently. “Yeah, they sort of got lost in there,” says executive chef Brandi Quinn. “It made much more sense to have them in the store; the flow seemed better.”

After you’ve tasted a dozen or so samples, wander over to the restaurant supply section of the store, and consider which handsome cheese board you may wish to arrange them on for your Christmas spread, and which tool might be best suited to slice them with.

Surfas, 8777 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City; (310) 558-1458; www.surfasonline.com.

–- Patrick Comiskey

Photo credit: Surfas