Macaroni and cheese: what’s not to love? There’s a reason that this simple food–al dente pasta submerged in a creamy cheesy sauce and then baked to golden brown perfection–has reached a cult-like status amongst comfort foods. Whether we’re talking simple classic dishes or outrageous luxe renditions, let these 5 restaurants be your guide to discovering macaroni and cheese that will melt in your mouth.
Both soccer moms and rocker moms often visit this casual-but-chic east side haunt with the sole intention of digging into Blair’s delicate take on mac and cheese. The comfort food is elevated to 5 star status with the use of white artisanal cheeses and a luxe key ingredient: truffles.
2 Elements Café
DIY enthusiasts should take the trip up the 110 to Old Town Pasadena for Elements Café’s custom mac and cheese. Guests can add any combination of chicken, oven dried tomatoes, mushrooms and truffle oil, and/or bacon until their perfect version of the cheesy casserole comes bubbling out of the oven. Diners hoping for hypertension should visit Element’s brunch and sample the mac and cheese with butter poached lobster, wild mushrooms, truffle oil and truffle butter. I bet the trip to the hospital is worth it.
3 Mastro’s Restaurant
Mastro’s Restaurant is the ultimate steakhouse but the restaurant certainly doesn’t slack on sides. The Gorgonzola mac and cheese may have you skipping your T-bone in favor of another order. I can neither confirm nor deny the following assertion, but, word on the street is that Mastro’s interpretation uses 5 types of tangy creamy cheese.
4 O Bar
Though it boasts a fully stocked bar, O Bar’s rep isn’t based on any particular bottle or brew. Rather, the joint has made a name for itself with its decadent Lobster mac and cheese with poached Maine lobster, a three-cheese blend sauce and Parmesan bread crumbs. Purists can order a traditional version of the dish and pork lovers are welcome to add bacon to the classic for an extra five beans.
5 Pete’s Café
Party animals can recharge in Pete’s Café's dining room after dancing the night away or keep the party going at Pete’s elegant loft-sized old-timey bar. While I can’t recommend a late-night belly full of carbs and cheese, mac and cheese fanatics should note that Pete’s serves their upscale rendition of mac and cheese, which is crafted with the addition of goat cheese and a hint of tarragon, until 2:00 am.