Realizing that I am more often a questioner than reviewer on the board, I wanted to take a minute to share my experience with you guys. I was a first timer yesterday at grilled cheese night at Campanile. We were fortunate to be a large group, and snagged a reservation. While we were waiting for the food to arrive, a couple people in my party were bemoaning the fact that without a group, they had had long waits in the past for a table, being reservation-less.
The place itself is beautiful. It has that indoor outdoor sort of feel due to brick walls and a huge roof window/skylight. It was packed to the gills with good looking, well dressed people. But the food!
I don't know if you can get the regular menu items on Thursdays. The menu we received was sandwiches, and only sandwiches (and some starters and desserts). But they have 12-15 different variations on grilled cheese. The sandwich I chose was insanely good. Mini baguettes, with the flavor and texture you can really only get from the true La Brea bakery right next door. Slathered with butter, topped with jamon serrano, and drizzled with scallion oil. That's right, no cheese. Somehow, I managed to order the only cheese-free sandwich on the menu! It was not intentional. I read the description, saw there was no cheese listed, and thought -- it's grilled cheese night, they'll stick some cheese on it. Well, no. But nevermind that, the sandwich was insane. Rich creamy decadent with butters and oils, perfect salty chewy ham, and that killer crunch/chew of the baguette that literally still has my jaws sore. It was sublime, and now I know I can bring my cheese-fearing hubby with me next time, so that I can try out their other sandwich inventions.
Which I must do, crowds or no. They had so many pleasing options. I apologize for forgetting for the most part which cheeses go on which sandwiches - it was information overload. There was a classic grilled cheese with grilled onions and grainy mustard; a gorgonzola, carmelized radicchio, walnut and honey; a ricotta, prosciutto, and tomato relish; a fava bean puree, bacon, and some type of cheese sandwich; a croque madame and croque monsier (although I might not get this one on account of the gloppy topping of bechamel); and countless others which I just cannot remember. Must return! All sandwiches were between $10 and $17.
Lest I forget the rest of the meal, we shared some starters: veal sausages, salmon cakes, and cheese fritters; and some desserts: an apple pie, a tiramisu, a chocolate bread pudding with brandied cherries, and a strawberry to the fourth dessert (strawberry ice cream, strawberry sauce, strawberries, you get the idea). All were good. Standout I think was the bread pudding. But the sandwiches were the stars.
It is an experience you should not miss.
And now that I have reviewed, I have a question :)
To those who have been, what are your favorite sandwiches there?
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