The Grilled Cheese Spot in Santa Ana only serves sandwiches—six Aron Habiger inventions, plus a build-your-own-sammy option for which eaters can choose from seven breads, 15 cheeses, nine veggies, six meats and the silkiest fried eggs this side of a creperie. You can eat on two metal counters that line the walls, but there are no seats. You can order to go, but all you get to hold your meal is a cardboard box. This is food on the go, quick and cheap, and even though it’s barely two weeks old, Habiger's shop has already hit a sandwich stride. His namesake is a beast of delicate short ribs and oily taleggio on ciabatta, and just when you think he tried a bit too hard, in comes pickled red onions to perfectly cut the richness. The Dusk Til Dawn’s name is strange—what does Gouda, bacon, fried eggs and grilled onions have to do with vampires?—but the fattiness of everything quickly zombifies the mind.
It's the restaurant launched by a simple $5 sandwich, this Grilled Cheese Spot, this cubby hole of a gem that's as close to an NYC state of stomach as Orange County has ever experienced. The sandwich, of course, is the Starving Artist at the... More »