Los Angeles, CA
Marconda's Meats' display case is packed with beautifully marbled steaks, chops, shoulders, racks of lamb, and plump pork loin roasts. And then there are the sausages, Andouille, Italian, both sweet and hot, Mexican chorizo. They carry deli case standards like smoked turkey and black forest ham as well as varieties more likely enjoyed by the Rat Pack era, such as liverwurst, olive loaf, tongue (both pickled and fresh) and what they claim to be the best head cheese. They make their own corned beef and offer a small selection of cheeses and salads.
Marconda's Meats has been a staple at the Farmers' Market at the corner of Third and Fairfax since 1941, and all that time it has been family owned and operated. Locals swear that it's among, if not the best meat you can buy in Los Angeles. Marconda's beef comes from Montana and their lamb, from Colorado. A large sign proudly points out that no hormones or antibiotics are used. They carry all the cuts you'd expect (flat iron, filet mignon, New York) although they can also do custom cuts to order.
The staff is friendly and best of all, knowledgeable. While most supermarket butchers might respond to a question with an indifferent shrug, at Marconda's they are happy to tell you where the meat came from, how tough or tender it might be and offer suggestions on how to prepare it. Since the Grove opened, the original Farmers' Market has become a bit of an ordeal to get into, but Marcaonda's quality and selection are well worth it.