Beef Up

Santa Monica gets a proper butcher at A Cut Above Butcher Shop

We like to think every neighborhood deserves a dedicated butcher shop, as much as a post office and fire station.

Eddy Shin–a veteran of the Nick+Stef's Steakhouse and Primitivo Wine Bar–agrees. So much, in fact, that he has just opened A Cut Above Butcher Shop in Santa Monica to fill the void.

"I'd been dreaming about opening a shop in this area for years," says the Westside-based chef. "We wanted to give people in Santa Monica the full butcher experience."

Chef and owner Eddy Shin

Inside his shop, three long cold cases hold everything from ground chuck to Jidori chicken thighs, while behind the counters Shin and his crew break down huge primal cuts. Shin sources his animals whole, which means nothing goes to waste. Grass-fed beef comes from DeyDey Ranch, Berkshire hogs from Stone Valley Farm and pasture-raised lamb from Sonoma County.

There are dry-aged ribeye steaks ($25 per pound), sure, but also less common cuts. If you're not sure what to do with duck livers ($6 per pound) or lamb neck filet ($14 per pound), Shin is happy to offer suggestions.

Chalkboard of cuts

The other chef in Shin's kitchen–The Tasting Kitchen alum Pablo Garcia–uses scraps to make charcuterie and sausages, including gamey goose prosciutto ($27 per pound), hand-stuffed pork breakfast links ($7 per pound) and coarse country pâté ($23 per pound).

And what would a local butcher be without a deli sandwich? The Italian salumi ($12)–stuffed with coppa, mortadella, capicola, sopressata and salami–is meaty enough to sate even a butcher's appetite.