First the burger joints wanted to get in on the L.A. action. Now, it's grilled cheese concepts. We already have the home-grown Heywood, a Grilled Cheese Shoppe, in Silver Lake. Huckleberry, Joan's on Third and Grub all turn out credible versions. We've got the Grilled Cheese Truck roaming the streets. Clementine celebrates National Grilled Cheese Month in April with a grilled cheese menu that changes every day.
Now comes the Melt, a Bay Area grilled cheese chain from Jonathan Kaplan, who was behind the little hand-held Flip video camera. San Francisco chef Michael Mina is also on the Melt's board as an advisor.
The official opening date for the Hollywood spot, their 16th location in California, but the first in L.A., is Saturday. And on that day only, all customers who have been smart enough to obtain the secret password by visiting THE MELT's Facebook page will eat for free.
What are some of the melts? Aged sharp cheddar on artisan white bread, colby jack on whole grain wheat, jalapeño jack on sourdough and a few more. Plus soups, and sandwich and soup combos. Eco-friendly packaging, too.
We'll just have to see if the Melt's grilled cheese passes muster. Certainly, Nancy Silverton's version at Campanile of yore set the bar awfully high. But at $4.95 per sandwich, the Melt may turn out to be the Umami burger of grilled cheese.
The Melt, 6290 Sunset Blvd. (at Vine), Hollywood; no phone number yet. Sandwiches, $4.95; soup and sandwich combos, $8.75 and up.