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Tour The Melt on Sunset Before Tomorrow's Launch

Elizabeth Daniels 12/12

The Melt has oozed its way downtown, and tomorrow the premium fast casual grilled cheese chain hits Hollywood (with freebies!). Up above, the very first photos inside The Melt's spic and span white and orange space, which management has completely overhauled since its Bodega Wine Bar days. There's a straightforward layout with booths and communal tables, and patrons seat themselves once an order is ready. Either order in advance from a computer or smart phone, then walk up to the front counter and scan a QR code.

Your order will automatically populate on the screen overhead, letting you know exactly how long until your grilled cheese is ready, which should be 60 seconds or less. If you walk into the shop and order there, you might have to wait a few extra minutes. But, overall, The Melt is about convenience and personalization. Which means that although the menu pushes a Michael Mina-consulted list of grilled cheeses, you can swap different breads and soup/sandwich combos to your liking. Also, all sandwiches can be made gluten-free.

The Melt is an old school concept with a new twist. Melted cheese on bread, one of the ultimate comfort foods, is certainly not new or novel. However, the chain takes an innovative approach by serving sandwiches in one minute or less in a sleek, fast casual environment, at an affordable price point, also taking into consideration that a renowned chef contributed to the menu, and when possible produce comes from local farms. Cheddar is from Tillamook and bread is sourced from an undisclosed bakery in San Francisco.

While The Melt focuses on grilled cheese, usually a meal fit for lunch, in the AM one can pick up steel cut oatmeal made daily from scratch, in addition to banana maple waffles or Eggs in a Hole, the most popular breakfast item. And Peet's Coffee, too.

The Melt serves Boylan Soda on draft plus wine, local craft beer and PBR for the hipsters. All plates, cups, and utensils are made from eco-friendly, biodegradable materials, there's no glass here whatsoever.

And what about those school buses? Right now The Melt has two trucks in Los Angeles which have, thus far, only catered private events. In the next three to four weeks they will begin traversing the town with a regular daily schedule of fixed "bus stops." While The Melt is planning 500 locations (both buses and brick and mortar locations) across the country in the next five years, there are definitely more LA locations in the works.
·All The Melt Coverage [~ELA~]