LA's best dishes: Mac and cheese smackdown

In the old-school corner: Pacific Dining Car. In the new-school corner: Cut. These two contenders serve up some of LA's best dishes. But who has the best mac and cheese?

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Mac and cheese is probably the first thing that comes to mind when you think of comfort food. It has everything you could want: cheese, cream, butter. Really, how could you go wrong?


RECOMMENDED: More of LA's best dishes


Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Pacific Dining Car

  • Price band: 3/4

Steakhouse stalwart Pacific Dining Car has been open Downtown since 1921, so we’d like to think that its old-school macaroni and cheese ($9) has pretty much been scientifically perfected as the go-to side order. It’s textbook mac and cheese: gooey scoops of Cheddar melted into elbow macaroni with a crunchy, cheesy crust.

Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Cut

  • Price band: 4/4

We would expect no less than over-the-top (and outrageously priced) from Wolfgang Puck who serves his $20 version with Quebec cheddar, mozzarella and crème fraiche—so rich, it’s practically fondue. Wait, is that chopped parsley sprinkled on top? As if.


LA's best dishes: Cut

LA's best dishes: Cut

Winner: Cut


As much as we loved the elegance of Pacific Dining Car’s mac and cheese, its delicateness was a withering defense against Cut’s hearty contender. The secret? Those cheese-drenched corkscrew-shaped cavatappi—a chewy, thick pasta that can hold its own alongside a porterhouse, which is kind of the point in a steakhouse side. If its $20 price tag gives you heartburn—and, really, you shouldn’t even be here if it does—just remember it easily feeds two.


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