Santa Monica Place offers FREE cheese Friday

Food & Drinks Fun Events

I know we’ve been going on about fitness and eating healthy in the New Year, but sometimes you have to reward yourself.

And what better way to do that than gorging on some delicious French cheeses.

This Friday, January 16th, our friends at the posh Santa Monica Place and The Cheeses of Europe are hooking you up with a FREE cheese tasting to celebrate the French varietals. Taste cheeses, sample wines and buy the premium stuff at special prices during this one-day-only event.

It’s a little slice of heaven, or in my case, smoked Gouda.

The tasting runs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the mall’s Center Plaza.

If your experience with French cheese is limited, here’s a chance to taste Brie, Comté, Petit Pont l’Eveque, Mimolette, organic Camembert, Le Bleu, whipped cheese Paysan Breton and a few more.

A great feature is that cheese experts will be on hand to help answer those deep philosophical questions like:

Which country makes the best cheese?


What should I do with the rind?

The event comes just in time for Cheese Lover’s Day, which, for those who don’t know, is January 20.

To help you celebrate, here are some Downtown Santa Monica spots known for their cheese plates, courtesy of Los Angeles Magazine:

“For Spanish quesos, wander over to Bar Pintxo, an intimate Barcelonan tapas joint nestled near Ocean Ave in Santa Monica. The restaurant specializes in its namesake pintxos (bar snacks), Spanish wines, and cheeses. Accompanied with an addictive quince paste, their plato de quesos allows you to create your own cheese place by selecting as many cheeses as you desire, with options including Manchego, Mahón, San Simón, Valdeón, and many more ($4 per cheese).

“Another Santa Monica darling, Tar & Roses, serves a choose-your-own cheese and charcuterie plate (starting at $16 for three items and going up to $29 for seven items). Ask for a seat on their romantic patio and divvy up a cheese plate that comes with tangy house-made pickles, dried cherry mostarda, nuts, and quince paste. You’ll likely need a reservation at this hot spot.”

• The Cheeses of Europe Pop-Up, Santa Monica Place, 395 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica, 310.260.8333

• Bar Pintxo, 109 Santa Monica Blvd,, Santa Monica, 310.458.2012

• Tar & Roses, 602 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica, 310.587.0700