At Last Cafe
The cat is out of the bag on this tiny neighborhood bistro. At Last Café is often packed (thanks partly, no doubt, to an appearance on the Food Network), but it’s worth the wait to sample their classic American comfort food. At Last’s macaroni and cheese is, as expected, served in a simple, classic style, but is available with carnivorous add-ins like bacon, ham and grilled chicken.
If the suit-and-stiletto crowd at this West Hollywood hot spot is a little intimidating, perhaps The Belmont’s amazing happy hour deals will entice you out of your comfort zone. The mac ‘n’ cheese here is as luxurious as the shops nearby, but a heaping portion of the bacon, crab, tomato, smoked mozzarella, gouda, Swiss and provolone cheese mixture will only set you back $7 if you arrive between 4 – 7pm, weekdays. Even at full price, it’s worth every buttery, breadcrumb-topped, calorific bite.
If you happen to be in Old Town Pasadena at lunchtime, you’re going to want to go to Elements Café. Even if you aren’t in Old Town Pasadena at lunchtime, you need to make a detour! Mac and cheese enthusiasts contend that this place serves up hearty portions of the best creamy/hearty/buttery breadcrumb-topped macaroni and cheese around, and it’s even customizable. Their standard cheesy noodle casserole is available with wild mushrooms, chicken, bacon, and tomato add-ins; if you go for brunch it comes with butter poached lobster, white truffle oil and truffle butter. Decadence comes at a price, but diners claim that all versions of this dish are worth their weight in gold.
If you’re in Mid-Wilshire and want mac ‘n’ cheese – with a side of laid-back and relaxed – Luna Park is where it’s at. This high-ceilinged, candle-lit American bar/lounge offers their classic version with broccoli, and you can opt for Neuske smoked ham for $1.25 extra. Go for the macaroni and cheese, but stay for the crowd-pleasing cocktails and make-your-own-smores.
If you love steak, spending money and macaroni and cheese oozing with copious amounts of aged gorgonzola, then it doesn’t get any better than Mastro’s. This high-end chain steakhouse is entirely dedicated to the art of fine dining; the Gorgonzola Mac is entirely devoted to cheese. This decadent casserole doesn’t skim on the pungent stuff, and mixes in a total of five (count’em) different types of cheese, topped with a golden outside layer built like a dairy-concocted force field of pure yum.
More InfoThis bustling tribute to the traditional American table is tucked into the back of a strip mall – but that only adds to the restaurant’s charm. Nook fans claim that the Three Cheese Mac (parmesan, cheddar, gruyere) is the best in town. And if that doesn’t make you melty on the inside – this dish is served with a Caesar salad at lunch (when dinner rolls around, the macaroni and cheese becomes a side dish).
Taste on Melrose
Taste on Melrose is the place for you if your idea of heaven sounds a lot like “white truffle oil and mushroom mac and cheese.” Rich, creamy, perfectly browned and bursting with truffle flavor, Taste’s macaroni and cheese is delicious and by far one of the most popular, value-priced macaroni and cheese dishes in town. While many people go with the sole intent of ordering the rich-n-creamy casserole, Taste offers a popular prix fixe menu that also gets rave reviews (and sometimes features the signature casserole).
Roscoe's House of Chicken N Waffles
If you like your chicken served with waffles and your macaroni and cheese made straight-up old school, then it’s time for you to find a Roscoe’s. This chicken joint has five locations, all serving Southern specialties like greens, hot water cornbread and sweet potato pie. Their mac and cheese is yellow and creamy, covered in a gorgeous melty-brown crust and served in a bowl that’s running over with buttery goodness.
Koo Koo Roo
Koo Koo Roo is an LA chicken chain, but diners don’t just go there for the fowl. Although some complain that the quality varies from spot to spot, many rave that Koo Koo Roo’s macaroni and cheese is just as deserving of the culinary spotlight as any of their rotisserie dishes. The best part is that the classic comfort food here is priced to fit anyone’s wallet – so order an extra side and make the mac ‘n’ cheese your meal.