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Mac & Cheese Maven: In the Mountains, with a Salt & Vinegar Potato Chip Crust

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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.

One might not think of Agoura Hills as home to one of the more talked about gastropubs in the Los Angeles region, yet it has accomplished just that. 35 miles from downtown Los Angeles, Ladyface Alehouse and Brasserie can be found at the edge of Agoura Hills, set next to the Santa Monica Mountains -- in fact, the view from the patio faces Ladyface Mountain.

The suburban setting has lured Chef Ray Luna, who has a number of restaurants, including Spago Beverly Hills and Shutters on the Beach, under his belt. He's created a classy and fun menu to go along with the locally crafted beers. The menu carries items such as Croque-Monsieur Grilled Cheese sandwiches ($8), Sausage Plate with Three Mustards and Pretzel Bread ($12), Mussels and Fries ($13), Grilled Shrimp ($16), vegetarian French Onion Soup ($5) and Classic Belgian Fries ($5), which are either seasoned with sea salt and pepper, harissa spice or garlic and herb (and for an additional 50-cents each, housemade dips such as blue cheese fondue, red ale ketchup and curry mustard can be ordered).

And what's a gastropub without some good mac and cheese? Luckily Luna has brought a simply amazing four-cheese baked mac and cheese dish that is topped off with a salt and vinegar potato chip crust ($7). The potato chip addition may sound odd, even to those not a fan of that kind of flavored chip, but the combination of it with the rich cheeses makes for a new kind of taste in the dish. Keep in mind, the chips are not added overzealously and it adds a nice crunchy texture. This is a mac and cheese not to forget.

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All in all, the pub is a great addition to the local food and drink efforts in the area. In addition to their own crafted beers and guest ales, they also serve some wines from local wineries in the Santa Monica Mountains.

Previously with Mac & Cheese Maven
- Enjoying it Spicy with Wine at Corkbar in Downtown