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Mac & Cheese

April 26, 2001|JESSICA STRAND

It's one of the great American comfort foods: good old-fashioned macaroni and cheese.

* Eat Well: Laima Leko, owner of this hip, casual eatery, got the recipe from an old diner. The macaroni is mixed with a white sauce enriched with half-and-half, four cheeses (including blue and Parmesan), ground onions, hot sauce and mustard. Before baking, it's covered with melted butter and bread crumbs. (Macaroni and cheese, $5.25.) Eat Well, 3916 Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake, (323) 664-1624.

* Musso & Frank Grill: This institution serves a mammoth portion in its own casserole. The kitchen tosses long, thick macaroni in a cream sauce with Cheddar and Parmesan, covers the casserole with bread crumbs and sticks it under the broiler until crisp. (Macaroni au gratin, $11.) Musso & Frank Grill, 6667 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, (323) 467-7788.

* Fred 62: This version adds onion confit, roasted pasilla chiles and a bread crumb topping flavored with cumin and herbs. It's available as an entree or an appetizer (in individual-sized fried macaroni cheese bites). (MacDaddy and cheese, $6.62; macaroni cheese bites, $5.62.) Fred 62, 1850 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz, (323) 667-0062.

* Mimosa: Macaroni is blended with a rich cream sauce, Swiss cheese, Parmesan and bits of prosciutto, which give it a slightly smoky flavor. Baked until it develops a golden crust. (Gratine macaroni comme quand on etait petit, $13.50.) Mimosa, 8009 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 655-8895.

* The House: This small gratin is filled with large pasta shells mixed with cream, Fontina, Gruyere, and an artisanal sharp white cheddar. It comes topped with browned bread crumbs and chopped parsley. Order as an appetizer or get a salad to make a light meal. (Macaroni and cheese, $6.) The House, 5750 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, (323) 462-house.

* Kate Mantilini: They won't give away all the ingredients, but they seem to include elbow macaroni, Cheddar, Jack, sauteed onions and milk. What we do know is that it's deliciously gooey with a deep golden brown top. (Macaroni and cheese, $8.95, lunch; $9.95, dinner.) Kate Mantilini, 9101 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, (310) 278-3699.

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