It's National Grilled Cheese Month, and the cooks inside the Grilled Cheese Truck aren't the only ones tossing buttery bread and cheese on a skillet. We rounded up some restaurants around town that are honoring the gooey holiday with traditional grilled cheese and tomato soup combos, as well as entire intricate menus dedicated to the sticky sandwich. Though Passover ends tomorrow, Clementine is making their own matzah from scratch through April 16th–which you can substitute with any of the sandwiches on their special grilled cheese menu. Check out our list of the top 10 grilled cheese sandwiches in L.A., and read on for more comfort foods that will make you re-think your diet plan.
1. Grilled Cheese Invitational: Tickets are now on sale for this year's 8th annual Grilled Cheese Invitational, located at Los Angeles Center Studios on April 24th. And the event is predicted to be the largest and cheesiest yet. One sponsor, Tillamook County Creamery Association, is contributing several cheeses to the event. “Not only will they be whipping up thousands of samples of grilled cheeses made with their awesome cheese, but their Loaf Love Tour will be at the event offering up samples of their cheese as well,” said Tim Walker, Chief Instigator & Founder of the Grilled Cheese Invitational. In conjunction with National Poetry Month, there will be a cheesy poetry contest, with a grand prize awaiting the sappiest rhymes. For more on this year's notable changes, see our detailed write up. And for updates on judging registration and event vendors follow them on Twitter @grilldcheez.
2. Campanile: Fifteen years ago Nancy Silverton, former owner of Campanile, created an entire menu dedicated to grilled cheese sandwiches, in homage to her childhood. On Thursday nights you can be a kid again–with a slightly more refined palate–choosing from seasonal, regionally-inspired sandwiches, made with La Brea Bakery breads, ranging from the traditional croque monsieur filled with ham, gruyere, and wild mushroom, to Sevillana, made up of Serrano ham, fresh figs, manchego and honey. 624 S. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles; (323) 938-1447.
3. Clementine: Each year Clementine dedicates an entire menu to Grilled Cheese Month. Past favorites have included chili grilled cheese, queso mahon and chorizo, and provolone with hot Italian sausages. Week one of their 9th annual menu includes a pimento grilled cheese with goat cheese, cotija and havarti; “hot, sweet & smokey” with Spring Hill Farm's jersey jack, smoked mozzarella, and La Quercia speck; and a Qormeh Sabzi Melt with Winchester Farms Fenugreek gouda. 1751 Ensley Ave., Los Angeles; (310) 552-1080.
4. Doughboys: On a menu that features creamy Southern corn pudding, sloppy joes, and rice crispy pancakes covered in heavy marshmallow cream, the “after school special”–a grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup–starts to sound healthy. But if it's made with butter toasted French bread and three kinds of cheese (Emmental, white cheddar, and Fontina), maybe healthy isn't the right word. 8136 West Third St., Los Angeles; (323) 852-1020.
5. Il Tramezzino: In addition to several meaty and vegetarian paninis at this crowded Beverly Hills spot, the Brie cheese sandwich with sun dried tomato, grilled eggplant and basil garlic sauce is a menu staple, putting a Beverly Hills price tag on an American favorite. But then, $10.95 seems cheap for the neighborhood. 454 N. Canon Drive, Beverly Hills; (310) 273-0501.