If you were unimpressed by the mac 'n' cheese you tried at Bay Cities Italian Deli, then you must have tried its other mac 'n' cheese. There are two distinct macs served at the Santa Monica Italian deli: one in the traditional saucy yellow, and the other a sprezzaturic, everything-but-the-kitchen-sink dish. The latter could never disappoint. The macaroni swells with eight of the most flavorful cheeses in the house; hunks of leftover bread lap up the residual oils. Bay Cities' mac is enough to give heartburn to an 8-year-old — and good enough for him to know it's worth it. Call ahead if you can and ask for the casserole-style in the hot case. The lunch line could go through an entire tray long before you get to order. 1517 Lincoln Blvd., Santa Monica. (310) 395-8279, baycitiesitaliandeli.com.
—Emma Courtland

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