Like two tortillas in a quesadilla, cheese brings everyone together. Whether you enjoy bleu cheese on a burger, or picnicking with gorgonzola and Fuji apple slices, there’s a cheese for every occasion. Chances are you’re already thinking of your favorite variety. To celebrate this universal love for cheese, let’s check out some of OC and LA’s best places to indulge in those cheesy cravings.
Oozefest III | Santa Ana, CA
On October 14, 2017, the 3rd annual Oozefest hosted by Foodbeast, returns to Santa Ana, delivering all kinds of cheesy flavors to your taste buds. The event will feature some of the gooiest dishes around courtesy of fantastic local vendors including Hopdoddy, Slapfish and more. It's an all-you-can-eat-and-drink event, so if you were wondering to cheese or not to cheese, we would go with the first option. Tickets available at: foodbeast.ticketspice.com/oozefest-3
The Recess Room | Fountain Valley, CA
If you’re love for cheese is so deep, you can feel it in your bones, the Recess Room’s Bone Marrow Mac & Cheese has your name all over it. A blend of fontina, mozzarella, béchamel and fun, spiral trottole comes together in a cast iron skillet. Tender meat and oxtail marmalade form the heft of this comfort food, while candied jalapeños pack the knockout punch.
Shuck Oyster Bar | Costa Mesa, CA
Salty, rich, and oh so smooth, the grilled cheese at Shuck Oyster Bar marries curds to crustaceans in a succulent partnership. You can choose Crab Louie, juicy lobster or even chorizo to stack between savory slices of cheddar and Parmesan. It’s even cut it into sharable strips that you can easily send swimming in a bowl of delicious clam chowder.
The Blind Rabbit | Anaheim, CA
Enter through the sake barrels and leave through the secret bookcase. But while you’re sipping the inventive spirits at this 1920s style speakeasy, indulging in the sophisticated Duck Confit Mac & Cheese is a must. Dapper servers will carry the tender dish concocted three cheese béchamel sauce and essence of truffle to your lamp lit table, and once the old timey piano starts playing, you truly are transported to an era long past.
Jinny’s Pizzeria | Santa Ana, CA
Sometimes, there’s no a need to reinvent the cheese wheel - or cheese pizza for that matter. At Jinny’s Pizzeria, they excel at simplicity, and their herbed ricotta highlights a delectable lineup of cheeses, always grated in house. That isn’t to say they don’t succeed at the more complex pies though, like their signature Bee Sting, which mixes spicy tomato sauce with pepperoni and dash of sweet honey. And extra cheese for just $2? Count us in.
The Iron Press | Anaheim and Costa Mesa, CA
Move over wine, cheese’s new sidekick is beer. At The Iron Press, they’re also challenging the notion that brews and breakfast can’t coexist. Enter the Chick Mac-Net; an ingenious creation built with Kraft mac and cheese, fried chicken, a cheddar waffle and a drizzle of maple syrup, which pairs wonderfully alongside a locally-crafted pale ale. Both men and women will find it simply irresistible.
The Attic | Long Beach, CA
In a cozy, unassuming house on Broadway, the next step in cheese evolution has occurred – Mac n’... wait for it… Cheetos! Tender pasta comes laden with cheddar, mozzarella, jack, green onions and crumbled, flaming hot Cheetos. If that doesn’t satiate your curiosity, their Sweet Fungi, Hey Shorty, and The Clucker offer even more extravagant toppings like sautéed mushrooms, braised ribs and fried chicken. Can’t decide? The Attic’s friendly and knowledgeable staff will help guide you to cheesy bliss.
The Melt | Irvine, CA
With locations across Texas and California, The Melt signifies one small step for man, one giant leap for cheese-kind. The chain’s trademark Meltburger comes oozing liquid golden goodness on top of an Angus and Wagyu beef patty, pickles, and Melt sauce, all of which is stacked on an artisan bun. Calories be damned, we’ll stop the world and melt with you.
Black Sheep GCB | Anaheim, CA
Grilled. Cheese. Bar. These are three words we never thought we would see together, but you should be glad we were wrong. At this Anaheim Packing House standout, the cheese comes to life right before you’re eyes. Manager Taylor Vuong layers the goods atop fresh bread from OC Baking, pops them in the press, and out comes magic, gooey to the core. For those seeking adventure in their sandwich, we suggest raclette, cornichons, pickled red onion, and potato chips.
Café Gratitude | Multiple Southern California Locations
Has this collection got you down? Fret not; Café Gratitude is there to lift your spirits. It’s affirmation based menu is chock full of delicious plant based ingredients, including cashew queso fresco for those with a lactose intolerance. Feeling fabulous? That means Raw Mexican Lasagna is your choice, made from heirloom tomato, squash noodles, cilantro pumpkin seed pesto, sweet corn, and cacao mole. Whatever you decide, you’ll leave healthy and uplifted.
Written by Ben McBee