Remember those days when a grilled cheese sandwich was basically a slice of Kraft cheese between two pieces of buttered white bread? Yeah, me too. But those days are long gone.
April has been declared National Grilled Cheese Month, so I’d be remiss if I didn’t give you the 411 on where you can score some incredible sandwiches masquerading as the venerable grilled cheese.
Looking for comfort food and just happen to be in Long Beach? Look no further, Ocean Market Grill has added a new item to their lineup – so new it’s still on the chalk board – known as the Lobster Grilled Cheese. Decadent would be a vast understatement. Filled with tons of lobster meat, layered with melted mascarpone and provolone cheese, with some tasty arugula pesto, and all encased in crispy sourdough bread that has been painted with garlic butter, you’re never going to think of grilled cheese sandwiches in the same way after this one. They go through about 20 pounds of lobster each week and you’ll know why after you take your first bite.
6332 East Pacific Coast Highway, Long Beach
Hours: Sunday – Thursday 11:00am to 9:00pm; Friday – Saturday 11:00am to 10:00pm.
Ever had a multi-colored, rainbow grilled cheese sandwich? If not, then you need to try the Unicorn Melt. Chomp Eatery introduced this last year and, due to popular demand, is bringing it back once again. It’s filled with several colored cheeses (all safe food coloring is used) placed on your choice of bread, then grilled or pressed in a panini press. This one is definitely Insta worthy!
1612 Santa Monica Blvd. Santa Monica
Hours: Monday – Friday 9am to 9pm; Saturday – Sunday 9am to 4pm
Billed as an Artisan Cheese Shop – and it truly is – Milkfarm is also home to a killer grilled cheeses sandwich. Envisioned by classically trained pastry chef and owner Leah Park Fierro, it’s based on a sandwich Leah once had in London at the Borough Market. It contains three different artisan American cheeses, leeks, shallots, onions, butter and olive oil and is finished with cracked black pepper, all served between two slices of stone ground whole wheat bread. It’s perfectly cooked and available every day.
2106 Colorado Boulevard, Los Angeles
Hours: Sunday 11am to 5pm; Monday – Thursday & Sat 11am to 7pm; Friday 11am to 9pm
The next time you’re out with friends late on a Friday or Saturday night on Sunset and get the munchies for something better than a burger, convince your besties to head over to The Carving Board to grab their signature sandwich, The Bentley. Generously filled with filet mignon, grilled onions, blue cheese (it’s got to have cheese to qualify as a grilled cheese sandwich), fresh spinach and bacon mayo on a ciabatta roll, you’ll be the recipient of many accolades for turning them on to this place and this “grilled cheese sandwich”.
7300 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles
Hours: Monday – Thursday 11am to Midnight; Friday – Saturday 11am to 2 am; Sunday 11am to Midnight
Thought to be the best grilled cheese sandwich joint in SoCal, Melt It! A Grilled Cheese Co. offers a grilled cheese sandwich known as The Cheesiest Mac n’ Cheese. Basically it’s some of the richest mac n’ cheese you’ll find, served between two pieces of sourdough bread. I recommend adding the pulled pork for an extra $2.50, which is money well spent.
105 N Hill Ave, Ste 103, Pasadena
Hours: Monday – Sunday 11am to 9pm
Located in the Anaheim Packing District, Black Sheep GCB (Grilled Cheese Bar), always has a line in front of it – and for good reason. Offering eight different grilled cheese sandwiches, as well as tomato soup that I highly recommend, my favorites are the #5, sharp cheddar and wine cured salami, and the #1, goat cheese, caramelized onions, roasted tomatoes and arugula pesto. If you’re looking for something with a little kick, try the #4, fontina cheese, bacon spread and jalapeños.
440 S Anaheim Blvd, Anaheim
Hours: Monday 11am to 8pm; Tuesday – Sunday 11am to 9pm
In what sounds like a sandwich that was dreamed up by a kid let loose in the kitchen, Burnt Crumb’s Spaghetti Grilled Cheese is a sandwich that you may not think you’ll like, but you would be oh, so wrong. Their most ordered sandwich, it’s filled with pressed spaghetti, fresh mozzarella, and marinara sauce that oozes out of two pieces of grilled sourdough bread. Make sure to order a side of their hand cut fries with the garlic aioli. It’ll make you forget all about ketchup as a side.
Two locations: Los Olivos, 8549 Irvine Center Dr. Irvine; Pacific City, 21058 Pacific Coast Highway, Ste M100 Huntington Beach
Hours: Open daily 11am to 9pm