The 16th-century writer John Heywood loved cheese. So, in addition to collecting a number of heady epigrams in his book of proverbs — “Out of sight, out of mind,” “Haste makes waste,” and so on — he also wrote verses about reading books and eating cheese. And thus it makes sense we now have Heywood Grilled Cheese, a shop that honors Mr. Heywood's love with high-quality specialty cheese in sandwich form.

The idea for the shop was, as co-owner Michael Kaminsky says, was a bit hazy. Kaminsky and his other business partners — all former or current residents of Silver Lake who also work in the music industry — signed the lease to the space next to Lark on the corner of Micheltorena Street and Sunset Boulevard, excited to open a shop in their favorite neighborhood but not knowing what, exactly, this shop would be. As one of the partners had a background in gourmet cheeses, the group decided to use their new space to reinvent the cheese wheel, so to speak, and offer grilled cheese sandwiches using the type of high-quality, specialty cheeses you would serve on a cheese plate.

And so the menu features, for example, the lovely, creamy Fromage d'Affinois and an English cheddar aged two years. Breads for the cheese come from a local baker, and there are a variety of spreads that wouldn't be out of place on a proper cheese plate: Fig jam, olive oil, honey.

All sandwiches come with a small cup of tomato soup and a salad, and you can build your own grilled cheese, or choose from the shop's own creations. So far, Kaminsky says the most popular sandwiches are the “Not Quite a Classic,” with a Double-Gloucester cheese on sourdough, the “Muy Caliente” (Fontina and spicy Jack with jalapeños on sourdough; if that isn't spicy enough, there's a bottle of Sriracha in the back) and, of course, the eponymous Heywood (English cheddar with caramelized onion confit). And then there is the requisite vegan option: “Bill Clinton's Epiphany,” a sort of aspirational sandwich that they like to think would have helped President Clinton transition from a Big Mac diet to a vegan one. And if you have your own grilled cheese-related epiphany, the shop plans to have one slot open on its menu for crowdsourced sandwich ideas.

The shop is open until 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, making Heywood a very welcome option for those who want to both party late and have fine cheeses readily available for post-midnight snacking. Or, as they say, You can have your cake and eat it too.

Heywood Grilled Cheese Shop; Credit: T. Nguyen

Heywood Grilled Cheese Shop; Credit: T. Nguyen


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