It seems like hot new clubs and bars have been popping up all over L.A.'s revitalized Downtown lately – with even more planned once AEG gets the greenlight to build Farmers Field. Of course, that's all dependent on if and when the NFL gets its act together and brings football back to Los Angeles. Here's hoping. So with all of that late night partying going on, you're bound to get hungry. But are there any other places besides Taco Bell open late at night? You know, in case you're in the mood for something that isn't processed. That's where we come in handy.
Pacific Dining Car: Not only is it one of the few places in Downtown (let alone the city) where you can get 5 star service at 4 a.m., but the food's really good too. So that's always a bonus. The name could be a little misleading, but Pacific Dining Car is still one of the premier restaurants in Downtown for late-night grub. If you're in the mood for some prime grade beef, then you'll want to go with the baseball steak. It comes with a baked potato and plenty of bread – meaning you won't go home hungry. For breakfast try the filet mignon and eggs. The filet melts in your mouth. Need I say more? Prices can get a little steep (most items on the menu are over $20). So you might want to bring the credit card along, just in case.
1310 W. 6th St., 213-483-6000
L.A. Café: The place serves lobster-grilled cheese 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Heck they could leave out the lobster and just call it warm, delicious cheesy goodness and people would still buy it! So what more is there to write? How about the fact that L.A. Café also delivers every item on their menu, including tacos, burgers, salads, hot and cold sandwiches, even donuts, all night every night. Got a hankering for a pesto chicken Panini at 2
639 S. Spring St., 213-612-3000
Pete's Café & Bar: It's reminiscent of a lively café you'd find in a densely populated place like New York. But walk inside Pete's Café & Bar and you'll see that it's a lot nicer (and cleaner). Not only do you get fantastic views of historic downtown, but just about everything from the lamps, to the parquet flooring, is glamorous and elegant. Oh yeah, and the food's not bad either. The Hellman Burger is a whopping half-pound of beef and goes great with their blue cheese fries. For less than $20 you got yourself a delicious late night meal.
400 S. Main St., 213-617-1000
Tacos Mexico: It may not look like much from the outside. But this tiny taco stand on the corner of Broadway and 9th has been serving up fast, cheap and really tasty Mexican food to Downtown's residents since 1975. Tacos will run you a $1.25, with burritos costing just under $5. As far as cheap late night meals go, it sure beats Taco Bell (double zing!).
Corner of 9th and Broadway, 90189
Garage Pizza: What if you're in the mood for pizza at 3 a.m.? You can always try Dominos or Pizza Hut. But most close before midnight (single tear). For New York style pies late at night, however, look no further than Garage Pizza. Not only do they have an assortment of traditional options, like sausage, pepperoni, and mushrooms. But Garage Pizza also has a fairly decent selection of vegan pizzas – this is L.A. after all. As an added bonus, all pizzas are $15 on Mondays. So why not have it for breakfast, lunch and dinner? You're mom doesn't need to know.
100 ½ W. 7th St., 213-622-3390
24/7 Restaurant at The Standard: Feel like having a burger at 2 a.m. but don't
550 S. Flower St., 213-892-8080
Cole's: A French dip sandwich at midnight? Now I've got your attention! Although Cole's claims to be the originator of that famous sandwich (a statement that's decried by another famous downtown restaurant), there's plenty of other great items on their menu that you can order well into the early morning hours. Since it doubles as a bar – Cole's closes at 1 a.m. on Fridays and Saturday – you can stumble in after hours and order any of their dipped sandwiched – beef, pastrami, lamb – with a side of spicy garlic fries. And if you're really in the mood to pig out than you can't go wrong with the bacon potato salad – it's even better than dessert!
118 E. 6th St., 90014; 213-622-4090
The Escondite: Downtown offers plenty of spots for a late night burger. But only The Escondite has burgers named after minor celebrities like Dr. Joyce Brothers, Rip Taylor, and Herve Villechaize. Naming a hamburger after the actor that played Tattoo on Fantasy Island may seem kind of gimmicky. But when you factor in the slice of cream cheese and fresh jalapenos that come on it, well then, that changes everything. The Escondite is open until 2 a.m. and all their burgers are first rate, despite the celebs they're named after. Lesser appetites will want to try the buffalo mushrooms appetizers, which are basically deep fried mushrooms smothered in buffalo sauce. Can you say, yum-yum?
410 Boyd St., 90013; 213-626-1800
Kouraku: Anyone who's gone to college will recall those innocent days of subsisting on nothing but ramen noodles for breakfast, lunch and dinner. So why would anyone in their right mind ever want to pay a place like Kouraku to make ramen for them? Only because their ramen comes with shrimp, mushrooms, pork and all other types of delicious stuff, making it one of the best spots for authentic Japanese ramen in Downtown. Kouraku is open until 3 a.m. every Monday thru Saturday.
314 E. 2nd St., 213-687-4972
Wurstküche: The name may be difficult to pronounce, but the food is definitely not. We're talking bratwurst, hot Italian, kielbasa, Louisiana hot link – starting to see a theme here? Wurstküche translates to “sausage kitchen” in German, meaning you can get all types of classic and gourmet sausages, served on a freshly baked roll with your choice of any of their homemade dipping sauces, for under $7. They also specializes in exotic types of sausage, like alligator & pork, as well rattlesnake & rabbit. But don't let the names fool you. They may sound strange, but the exotic sausages are just as good, if not better, than anything else on the menu. Wurstküche is open until midnight, seven days a week.
800 E. 3rd St., 90013; 213-687-4444
Perch: Not only does this classy rooftop bistro offer a spectacular view of Downtown L.A., but it's also one of the only places serving up classic French dishes until 2 a.m. Perch's menu includes everything from blackened swordfish, to spicy fried oysters. They've even got buffalo frog legs for appetizers – how French is that? And for those with strictly American tastes, you're in luck too. Perch has traditional favorites on their menu, like bacon mac n' cheese, linguini pasta, and filet mignon. Perch may be open late night, but be sure to reserve a table on their website if you plan on stopping by on the weekend.
448 S. Hill St., 90013; 213-802-1770