7 Los Angeles Restaurants Shredding The Mac And Cheese Game

Everyone thinks Angelenos subsist exclusively on cold-pressed juice and kale salads — all without acknowledging that the City of Angels also gave the world the French Dip, the fast food burger and the Korean burrito. Truth be told, people in LA like the heavy stuff, calories be damned (see: Dogs, Danger), and that most certainly applies to macaroni and cheese, a dish you can find on menus all over LA from tiny barbecue shacks to high-end steakhouses. We even have Mac-O-Licious, a full restaurant devoted to the dish that opened in late September. With all this cheesy pasta love going around, we figured it was time to round up the best options so you no longer have to suffer through the stuff that comes out of the blue box.

1. Joan's on Third

When there's two and a half times the amount of cheese to pasta in a macaroni and cheese recipe, you know you're in for a treat. This 3rd Street (and now Studio City, too) cafe/marketplace is serving up deep-dish mac & cheese cubes ($6) that are so massive they look like cheesy Rice Krispy treats. Ricotta and cream cheese make up the base, but it's really the two full pounds of Gouda and Monterey Jack that take this baby home. Get through a whole tray and you won't need to eat for a week. 8350 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048

2. Connie & Ted's

Some styles of macaroni and cheese focus on getting the pasta just right. Some focus on the creaminess of the sauce. A less appreciated genre of mac and cheese mastery gets the main components just right, focusing on creating the perfect crust. That's what you'll find at Michael Cimarusti's Rhode Island beach–style restaurant in West Hollywood, where $5 gets you the best cheesy crust in town. It's no surprise considering Cimarusti has become a master of breadcrumbs, from his succulent Stuffies to Oysters Rockefeller. 8171 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90046

3. Bludso's Bar & Que

Barbecue joints are notorious for serving mac and cheese as a side dish, but how many of them serve versions that are even better than the barbecue they're putting out? At Bludso's, the La Brea version of Compton's best Q, the mac and cheese ($5/regular, $7/large) might just be the best thing on the menu – and that's saying a lot. Erring more on the dry and cheesy side of things, this version begs for you to add a little BBQ sauce to the equation for just the right mix of salty and sweet. 609 N. La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

4. Dockside / Playa Provisions

Playa del Rey has never been known as a high-end dining destination, but Top Chef runner-up Brooke Williamson is changing that with her culinary multiplex, Playa Provisions. At her seafood restaurant Dockside, Williamson serves a chili flake-spiked dungeness crab mac 'n cheese ($14) that marries the Bay Area's favorite seafood with every 5-year-old's favorite meal. Jack cheese dominates here without drowning out the crab, and breadcrumbs form a crust over the top to provide crunchy contrast in every bite. 119 Culver Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90293

5-7. Steakhouse Mac & Cheese

It seems like every steakhouse has created a macaroni and cheese recipe these days. While they all have their nuances, it's nearly impossible to pick a true front-runner among so many great options. Mastro's in Beverly Hills serves a version that separates itself from the pack with a heavy dose of gorgonzola and fontina ($13). Downtown steak emporium Nick + Stef's offers "macaroni and cheese, parmesan crust" ($8) that mixes Fiscallini Farms white cheddar and parmesan cheese. Chef Megan Logan says it has always been a guilty pleasure of hers as well as being their top selling side dish in 2013. BOA (Sunset Strip/Santa Monica) gets all gourmet with "mac, cheese 'n peas" ($10) that bathes orecchiette and peas in a smoked Gouda-cheddar Mornay sauce with toasted panko bread crumbs on top. Your cardiologist may not be happy, but you will be. Mastro's, 246 N Cañon Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210 | Nick+Stef's, 330 S Hope St #100, Los Angeles, CA 90071 | BOA, 9200 Sunset Blvd #650, West Hollywood, CA 90069

More Macaroni and Cheese Week on Food Republic:

  • Gorgonzola Mushroom Mac And Cheese
  • Smoky Bacon Mac And Cheese
  • Cheez-It Mac And Cheese