When you’re hungry, you just gotta eat… no matter what time of the day it is! Luckily, Los Angeles offers plenty of restaurants that embrace all eaters when late night cravings hit.
Every restaurant on our list of the Top 5 Late-Night Eats is open 24/7. So if you’re still thinking about that amazing meal after you wake up, you can go back and satisfy your taste buds right away. Chances are the same workers will still be there, and they’ll probably remember you from just a few hours before. Not to mention, all of the dishes highlighted can please post-drinking munchies and help nurse those nasty morning-afters.
1) Hodori Restaurant – Yukgaejang
Ask any Korean in L.A. for the most popular place to eat late at night, and few will forget to mention Hodori. Hodori is a staple in Koreatown and is known for its large assortment of Korean dishes, meaning that everyone will find their perfect pick-me-up.
Hodori is a favorite for both Koreans and non-Koreans who are looking for some quick service and delicious food after a night out. Not many establishments can say that their busiest times are from midnight-5am. Yukgaejang, a spicy dish consisting of shredded beef and scallion and enokitake mushroom toppings, is one of Hodori’s most popular dishes and is definitely big enough to feed two hungry stomachs. With written text lining its walls, Hodori proudly proclaims, “Bring me your tired, your poor, your hungry drunken masses yearning to be fed.”
2) BCD Tofu House – Soondubu Jjigae
If you’re looking for something to warm you up during the wee hours of the night and early morning, BCD Tofu House has what you’re looking for!
Although BCD, a.k.a Buk Chang Dong, is a huge restaurant chain with locations in California, New York, Washington, and South Korea, many who have dined at various BCD locations are adamant that the BCD on Wilshire & Kingsley is the best of them all. BCD specializes in Soon dubu jjigae—a spicy stew with large amounts of soft tofu that arrives at your table boiling in a hot stone pot. There are many different types of soondubu jjigae: original (with beef or pork), seafood, kimchi, dumpling, doenjang (soybean paste), ham & sausage, and for vegans, there’s also a mushroom soon dubu option! Most hungry customers opt for their special combos, which provide both steaming soondubu and sizzling Korean BBQ. BCD Wilshire is temporarily closed until February 2012, but the nearby Western branch is open for late-night soon dubu crawls.
BCD Tofu House – Western Branch
869 S. Western Ave #2,
Los Angeles, CA 90005
3) Keungama Korean Restaurant – Haejangguk & Gamjatang
Haejangguk (“soup to chase a hangover”), is a word that can describe any variety of delicious Korean soups and stews that are usually consumed after a long night of drinking. Keungama specializes in haejangguk, a hearty dish usually comprised of ox bone broth, veggie toppings, and coagulated ox blood. Keungama’s Gamjatang is a customer favorite, and its spicy broth mixed with pork neck and potatoes hits the right spot after one of those nights. Best of all, Keungama doesn’t use any MSG!
Keungama Korean Restaurant
3498 W. 8th St.
Los Angeles, CA 90005
4) Mountain Café (Ssan) – Samgyetang & Jeonbokjuk
This small restaurant is a hidden gem for those Korean “Angelenos” who want to avoid the late night crowds. Located in a tiny strip mall, Mountain Café (a.k.a. Ssan) is a bit hard to find because its name is absent from the outside of the restaurant. Mountain Café is a mom-and-pop shop that can probably seat about twelve people (which is still pushing it) so avoid going here with large groups. But, if it’s just a few of you, Mountain Café is definitely a spot that you should check out.
Its specialties include Jeonbokjuk, stomach-soothing abalone porridge that Mountain Café likes to serve with an egg yolk on top, and Samgyetang, a soup that comes with ginseng and a whole chicken stuffed with rice in a hot stone pot.
3064 W. 8th St.
Los Angeles, CA 90005
5) Pho 2000 – Oxtail Pho
Yes, Koreans can rock the pho out too! Remember, this is a Korean rendition of pho so Pho 2000 won’t have that authentic Vietnamese pho that you might be used to.
One favorite among customers is Pho 2000′s Oxtail Pho, a seolleongtang-inspired dish that comes with a steaming side bowl of tender oxtail meat. Pho 2000 is another popular go-to place for Koreans after a night of partying, so be ready for some crowds during the weekends. But don’t worry! Its huge bowls of pho come out fast, a feat that is especially appreciated by its hungry customers. After all, time spent waiting when inebriated always feels like an eternity.
215 N. Western Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90004
Look out for our Top 5 Late-Night Eats: NYC Edition next month!