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Mac & Cheese Maven: SOUTH in Santa Monica

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Southern Californians love their mac and cheese. There's a mac and cheese dedicated restaurant in downtown, there's a menu item at one eatery that relates it to drugs, some deep fry it balls and other shapes and we even put it in grilled cheeses.

Our latest mac and cheese find was unexpected. Usually, sports bars don't offer much quality when it comes to food since their primary focus is keeping the TVs going and the drinks flowing, but at SOUTH in Santa Monica, they've done it right.

Listed under "Southern Specialities," the large dish boasts a perfectly creamy cheddar texture with large elbow macaroni ($8 or $10, appetizer or main dish). It's topped with a heavy dose of melted -- note, not baked -- mozzarella cheese and a few pinches of herbs. Even though SOUTH doesn't follow the current trend of baking the top layer of cheese, this was still a comforting and delicious experience. And to make it an even better coronary experience, finish off the meal with some dessert -- as in their deep fried Twinkie or Snickers bar ($4).

Previously: LAist's review of SOUTH when it opened in 2008