Photos: Mac & Cheeza Previews their Delicious Cheesy (& Vegan) Dishes

It's such a delicious food, you'd think someone in Los Angeles would already be doing this. Last night Mac & Cheeza previewed their comfort food to a lucky couple hundred Downtown Art Walk strollers who savored over the menu, which sets the counter service restaurant up to be like the Yogurtland/Menchies or Subway Sandwiches of Mac and Cheese.

Choose your noodle-type (regular or rice for the gluten-free folks) and your cheese (regular or soy for the vegans). Then choose your veggies (like peas, jalapenos, spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes and green onions), meats (such as bacon, ham, veggie sausage, chorizo and BBQ chicken) and toppers (cheese blend or spicy toasted walnuts) at $1 extra each.

Once your dish is prepared right in front of your eyes, it's sent through a baking conveyor belt to create the ooey-gooey experience we all love.

The downtown eatery has been in conceptualization for a couple years now, but co-owner Larkin Mackey has been a life long fan. "I've been obsessed with mac and cheese since I was really little. So I was like 'why hasn't anyone done that?'" he explained, reminiscing on how his Grandma would make it for him as a kid.

As fans of Mackey's food at his Eagle Rock restaurant, Larkin's, the offices of Councilmember Jose Huizar and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa helped push Mackey and co-owner Josh McBride (both also happen to live downtown) to come downtown to 8th Street, where the neighborhood's renaissance and redevelopment continues to push southward from the Historic Core.

Mac & Cheeza plans to open officially within a few weeks and will be closed until then. However, they will be doing previews here and here, so keep your eyes peeled for e-mails if you sign up for the newsletter on their website. When they do open, hours will be 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and until 2 a.m. on weekend nights. Additionally, Mackey's brother is opening a Bakersfield location this weekend.

Mac & Cheeza, 223 W. 8th Street, L.A., CA 90014