June 4 is National Cheese Day, so get ready to celebrate with some of the best cheesy dishes in the Los Angeles area. While some of these LA locations are renowned for their cheesy goodness, others happen to offer irresistible, cheese-covered items on their menus. Here’s where to celebrate everything cheese this summer.
Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
6290 Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
Remember when you were a kid and your mom made grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch? The Melt makes a sophisticated version of this kid-friendly staple that allows you to enjoy the warm feeling of comfort food goodness in the form of an adult-worthy sandwich. Diners looking to spice up that plain old grilled cheese can add sides ranging from tasty Portabello mushrooms, jalepeños and tomatoes to bacon, short ribs, turkey and ham. The best dish here is The Shorty with pepper jack and braised short ribs on sourdough served with spicy black bean soup. Some other offerings are The Mission with pepper jack and jalapeños on sourdough, The Italian Job with fontina and provolone on housemade garlic bread, and The Mac Daddy with cheddar and elbow macaroni on sourdough served with sausage and pepper soup.
Vegetarian Lasagna and Ravioli
Fritto Misto Italian Café
601 Colorado Ave.
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Some of the best cheese dishes are those crafted by the Italians. Nestled on the corner of Colorado Avenue and 6th Street in Santa Monica, Fritto Mistro Italia Cafe serves up some amazingly cheesy lasagna and pasta dishes. Make reservations for lunch or dinner – if not, be prepared to wait a bit, as Fritto Miso is quite popular. Good for semi-large groups, the concept at Fritto Miso is fresh quality ingredients and fresh food at affordable prices. Vegetarians will love the veggie lasagna made with seasonal vegetables, herbed ricotta and topped with garlic cream marinara. Cheese lovers should also check out the many variations of stuffed raviolis and the fried pillows stuffed with herb ricotta.
4059 Lincoln Blvd.
Marina del Rey, CA 90292
Just south of Santa Monica in lovely Marina Del Rey is Locanda Postino, a casual, cozy restaurant reminiscent of a small café you would find in Italy. The food here is amazing and there are plenty of wine choices to pair with your dinner. Cheese lovers will adore the Lasagnetta Rustica al sugo di Vitello — it’s homemade lasagna with a veal ragout and besciamelle sauce and is tasty, delicate, yet richly flavored. Accompany this with Burrata Caprese, made with fresh burrata with heirloom tomatoes, oregano and extra virgin olive oil as the appetizer and you will be “cheese” satisfied. To extend the cheese extravaganza, the ricotta cheese cake is usually offered. It is one of the best rare finds.
Macaroni and Cheese
The Belvedere in the Peninsula Hotel
9882 S. Santa Monica Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
The Belvedere’s truffle macaroni and cheese, made with elbow macaroni, black truffles, hen-of-the-woods mushrooms and parmigiano reggiano, is one of the best cheese dishes in town. Rich in taste, this mac and cheese dish is listed as an appetizer, but the portion is so ample it can easily serve as a full meal. The atmosphere at The Belvedere is garden style in a provincial French style setting. This cheesy dish creates the perfect excuse to head in for some peace and quiet and escape from the LA bustle to settle in and savor every bite of this fabulous dish.
Cheese Pizza and Calzones
2400 Main St.
Santa Monica, CA 90405
Last but not least, and loved by New York pizza-style lovers, is Bravo Pizza. Family owned and run since 1892, Bravo is located in Santa Monica, just a short drive from The Santa Monica mall and one block up from the beach. Bravo Pizza is straight out of New York; they don’t mess around here. This restaurant is known for its fabulous homemade sauce and serving up the best mozzarella in Southern California. The best dish here is the chicken parmigiano with roasted chicken breast, Italian seasoning, homemade tomato sauce and fresh mozzarella on a baguette. If you’re into a lot of cheese, try the Cheese Explosion, made with sautéed farm-fresh spinach, fontina, ricotta, house-smoked mozzarella, aged pecorino romano, olive oil and a touch of garlic. But wait! Your cheese addiction is not over yet. The best calzones can also be found here. Walk in, grab a slice and sit at an outside table and enjoy.
Leslie Cohen, Editor In Chief Cwebnews and VP Creative Affairs Paris Jewelry. Former business development manager for an international software company managing cyber intellectual property for Fortune 500′s and large internet companies. She has spearheaded projects in the internet retail space that involve media content management. Her articles appear on Cwebnews, Yahoo Content, The Examiner , Go Articles and more.