Say Cheese

By Joshua Lurie

Long before Trader Joe’s set up shop on Hyperion, Say Cheese—the 40-year-old gourmet market housing cheese, tea, wine, and cookbooks—was already a Silver Lake institution. But you can also enjoy your cheese, along with sandwiches and salads, at the adjacent café, an airy room with piped-in jazz, green walls of golden curlicues, and corrugated metal to shield the kitchen and coffee bar. Owner Glenn Harrell presides over a counter with more than 175 cheeses, and staff will gladly create a custom plate with complimentary amenities on the side. Our request resulted in slabs of tangy Humboldt Fog; Supreme Brie, a gooey double-cream cow’s milk cheese from France; and P’tit Basque, a firm Spanish sheep’s milk cheese, all plated with scattered pistachios and berries and served with soft slices of a La Brea Bakery baguette. For sandwiches, the Ortolano is almost pizza-like, with tender slices of roasted eggplant, bright sun-dried tomato tapenade, molten mozzarella, and salty Parmesan, all on toasted ciabatta. Griffith Park involves soft rosemary bread, fresh-sliced roast turkey, pepper Jack, tomato slices, alfalfa sprouts and avocado, all lightly dressed with balsamic oil. Say cheese. Or just smile. It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood.

sweet seats

The sidewalk tables facing Hyperion feature prime views of passersby, many of which head to and from Trader Joe’s, the neighborhood hub. The two tables inside near the window accomplish the same goal, and if you’re looking for privacy, sit near the south wall.

chew on this

If you want to go deep with cheese, this is the place to ask your questions. Staffers will gladly take you for a plunge into curds and rennet, tirelessly touting the benefits of Brillat-Savarin and espousing about Etorki.


Mon.–Fri. 8:30 AM–7 PM; Sat. 8:30 AM–5:30 PM;
Sun. 10:30 AM–4 PM

price range for sandwiches

$8.95 (Gay Paris) to $12.95 (Donatello)


Mon-Fri: 8:30 AM-8:30 PM (Cafe 7PM)
Sat: 8:30 AM-7 PM (Cafe 5:30 PM)
Sun: 10:30 AM-5 PM (Cafe 4 PM)