Sometimes you have a bad day, and the only solution is starch with melted cheese. So for this edition of Squid Ink Food Fight, we pit the much loved macaroni and cheese entrée at Nook Bistro against the southern-friendly side serving at Baby Blues BBQ. At Nook, the $9 lunch dish (available as a side during dinner) is made with parmesan, gruyere and cheddar, topped with bread crumbs, and served with a Caesar salad (in case you needed more cheese). At Baby Blues, you get a side order of their parmesan, cheddar, jack and blue cheese version for a mere $3.

The macaroni and cheese at Nook is surprisingly mild, despite using cheeses that can have a sharp bite to them when required. The crust, with its nice crunch, is probably the highlight, but the interior is still quite creamy and will go a long way toward curing your white collar depression. It is a macaroni and cheese, I suspect, that Coldplay fans might enjoy.

The southern comfort of Baby Blues BBQ's mac and cheese.; Credit: N. Galuten

The southern comfort of Baby Blues BBQ's mac and cheese.; Credit: N. Galuten

But if you get worn down by the world as a whole, and few things bring you more comfort than the sounds of John Lee Hooker, Baby Blues is what you're looking for. It's sloppier there, packed into a small cup and served by the oft scantily clad farmer's daughter-esque waitresses, alongside whatever down home fare floats your boat, like Memphis style ribs, collard greens or pulled pork. As far as I can gather, you can't order moonshine with it, but the fluffy and much more heavily seasoned varietal still holds up without it.

Either way though, fancy or casual, creamy or fluffy, alternative or blues, your stomach deserves that cheesy brick its been asking for. Time to succumb.

Nook Bistro, 11628 Santa Monica Blvd # 9, L.A., (310) 207-5160., Baby Blues BBQ, 444 Lincoln blvd, Venice, (310) 396-7675.

LA Weekly