LAGuide

Where To Eat When You’re Hungover & Have No One To Blame But Yourself

Don’t eat a dry packet of ramen for breakfast.

There are hangovers, and then there are hangovers, those times when you wake up to discover that you may or may not have thrown up inside a pair of shoes next to your bed. This is a guide for the latter. Because when you finally recover enough to move without sprinting to the nearest bathroom, you’re going to have to eat. And while we can’t do anything about the regret soaking inside of you, or whatever’s in those shoes, we can tell you where to go when you’re looking to recover.

THE SPOTS

If there was ever an all-star roster of hangover foods, pho would be a first-round draft pick. There’s just something about the mix of fragrant lemongrass broth, various herbs, and rice noodles that instantly brings us back from that next-day brink of death. It’s also why you’ll often find us at Golden Deli on Sundays. The iconic Vietnamese restaurant in San Gabriel is our favorite place in the world to escape and bury our heads (and necks and as much of our arms as possible) into warm, steaming bowls of phở tai served with so many fresh herbs, you’ll think they ransacked some lady’s backyard garden. We also recommend the #89b broken rice plate—a beautiful heap of rice, grilled beef, and two egg rolls. And to be clear, you really need those egg rolls. 

John O’Groats feels like that restaurant in your hometown that your family’s been going to for decades, where the owners still think you’re in high school even though you’re 32. And that’s exactly the kind of comfort you need right now. Everyone inside this West LA classic is either reading the newspaper, swapping synagogue gossip, or eating the Biscuits From Heaven until they can’t anymore. Yes, they’re actually called Biscuits From Heaven and yes, it’s a very accurate description.

Ggiata is a newer sandwich shop in East Hollywood, and yet, the reason we love it so much is just how old-school the menu feels. You’ll spot sandwiches filled with things like crispy chicken cutlets drenched in spicy vodka sauce, meatball parmesan, and tangy grilled balsamic chicken with roasted red peppers. Though there are a few traditional cold cut options on the menu, most of Ggiata’s sandwiches feel more like entrees on bread - and that’s a great attribute when you can’t keep your head upright for more than 15 seconds at a time. 

If a giant bowl of matzo ball soup and some old-school Jewish hospitality doesn’t do the trick when you’re hungover, it might be time for an IV drip. Either way, try your luck at Brent’s first, the iconic Jewish deli in Northridge. By simply walking through the door and spotting booths filled with family gatherings and waitresses going on their third decade of employment, you’ll feel better. Grab some stuffed cabbage, a plate of curly fries, or a steaming chicken in a pot, and you’ll probably walk out fully healed.

Come to Sawtelle Blvd. on a weekend and you’ll find nearly every ramen shop with a line wrapped around the block. Listen to your pounding headache, and go to Menya Tigre instead. This tiny noodle shop never has a wait and also specializes in something you can’t find anywhere else in the neighborhood—Japanese curry ramen. The broth is a rich blend of curry and salty chicken stock that’s topped with a slice of braised pork chashu and fresh, crunchy bean sprouts and green onions. When it all comes together with the chewy noodles down below, it’s a delicious, well-balanced bowl of soup that’ll go a long way towards breaking your migraine.

My Two Cents is a Southern spot, and, as Southern spots sometimes do, they take hospitality really seriously. The people behind the counter shout a welcome to you when you walk in the door, and before you even order, they’ll tell you about the massive case of cakes, pies, and cobblers—instinctively knowing you’re in need of one after drinking approximately 17 White Claws yesterday. This tiny spot on Pico also happens to make one of the best shrimp and grits in the city. Buttery, meaty shrimp pieces bathe in a Creole beurre monte sauce, then are served over a bed of creamy parmesan grits. 

Cemitas Don Adrian in Van Nuys has been around for decades and their giant tortas only continue to get better. Their menu of 20-something sandwiches can definitely lead to some hangover-induced stress, so we’ll make things easier on you: order the milanesa de lomo de puerco. It comes with breaded pork loin, bright queso fresco, avocado, your choice of jalapeños or chipotle salsa, and stringy Oaxacan cheese (for an additional $1.99) - all sandwiched between a toasted sesame bun. The only thing that could possibly go wrong with your Don Adrian order is that you house your torta so fast while sitting in their parking lot that you accidentally give yourself another stomach ache. Sometimes it’s just not your day. 

According to leading scientists, there’s nothing that cures a hangover faster than a bagel and cream cheese - except for maybe a bagel and cream cheese and some of the best cured fish in Los Angeles. When we’re looking for that, we go to Maury’s in Silver Lake. Almost everything at this former pop-up pairs well with a Sunday afternoon and vague feelings of regret, from whitefish salad to labneh to traditional nova lox, but our favorite is the sable, which comes with buttery black cod, cream cheese, pickled onions, and tomatoes.

There are plenty of excellent bars in Koreatown, so it makes sense that there are also plenty of places to nurse a hangover. When we’re really in pain, we prefer porridge, and Bonjuk makes our favorite. It’s thick, hearty, and, according to the menu, healthy, including one bowl that’s supposed to cure weariness, and another that aids in detoxification. So basically, perfect for a hangover. We usually go for the pumpkin, the chicken ginseng, or the beef and mushroom - all of them come pretty unseasoned, which is good if you’re having stomach issues, but you can add in banchan to make them more flavorful.

Doubting Thomas is where you come to see the full spectrum of the human experience - on any given weekend, you’ll witness everything from smiling children enjoying morning buns and couples sharing the same newspaper over cappuccinos to recent college grads reflecting on the night before with very strong cold brews and thousand-yard stares. With its large, floor-to-ceiling windows and plant-filled interior, this cafe in Historic Filipinotown is one of the nicest places in LA to nurse a hangover. They’ve also got a bevy of tools to reanimate that corpse you call a body, including excellent coffee, a wide variety of pastries (we like the aforementioned morning buns and tiny jam-filled financiers), as well as their takes on LA breakfast faves like tomato toast with almond pesto and a very good pork shoulder breakfast burrito.

The breakfast burrito, by all laboratory analysis, was created for battling hangovers. Which is why, when it’s Sunday morning and you’re working through something brutal happening inside your head, you need to remember Phanny’s. The tiny spot in Redondo has truly life-saving breakfast burrito on their menu. They offer a few different protein options, but the carne asada with avocado is your order. This thing is big and salty, with a crunch from the crispy potatoes inside, and it’s served all day, if you really overdid it last night.

Don’t be confused by the name - Sapp Coffee Shop is one of the best lunch spots not just in Thai Town, but all of Los Angeles, and an ideal place to make a vow to your liver to never drink again. Most of the things on their massive menu are great (we would eat the brothless, BBQ pork-covered jade noodles every day), but what they’re best known for is their boat noodle soup. The incredibly complex and cinnamon-y broth is filled with beef filet, tripe, tendon, pork skin, crunchy bean sprouts, and rice flour noodles, and if you still feel hungover after eating it, you might need to consult a medical professional.

Bone broth is trendy, yes, but there’s a reason - it’s really good for when you’re feeling like a large pile of human garbage, because it’s got the nutrients your body needs following a night filled with sambuca shots. The sul lung tang (oxbone soup) at Han Bat is some of the best in Koreatown - and one of the quickest meals anywhere, if you want to minimize the amount of time you’re spending without a pillow under your head. Minutes after you order, a cloudy, salty, broth, filled with the protein of your choice (we like the brisket) arrives at your table, ready to be loaded up with accompanying sides like green onions, salt, pepper, and a couple different kimchis.

26 Beach is not a very good restaurant. But that doesn’t matter, because they do have one thing we like very much when we have a hangover: A 13-item menu of French toasts. There are traditional ones involving maple syrup and churro flavors, but when we’re hungover, the ideal combination is as much oil and carbs as possible. That means we go for the weirder ones - like a surprisingly good toast that includes ham, Swiss, and blackberry jam, and another featuring toast stuffed with sausage, fried eggs, American cheese, and sweet potato fries.

Bone Kettle is an upscale Indonesian restaurant in Old Town Pasadena, which might not seem like the kind of place to recuperate from a hangover. But at brunch, they serve huge, hangover-busting (and legitimately great) plates like pandan waffles with confit duck, loco moco topped with a duck egg, and spicy oxtail hash that chases the hangover straight out of you. But if you’re really feeling terrible, your move should be the namesake 36-hour bone broth - it’s super flavorful, and comes with great options like prime sirloin, fatty brisket, or our favorite, braised oxtails. They’ve also got excellent mango mimosas, if the thought of alcohol doesn’t have you looking for the nearest bowl-shaped object.

Many of the hangover cures on this guide are going to include some sort of rice/protein/sauce combo, but to be honest, they all pale in comparison to the loco moco. Originally from Hawaii, this giant plate of white rice, hamburger patties, over-easy eggs, and thick brown gravy basically wrote the entire book on next-day recovery. There are a few places in LA that serve this GOAT meal, but one of our favorites is at Back Home in Lahaina. Located in Carson, this is also a great place for Hawaiian staples like poke on wonton chips and haupia (coconut cream custard) cheesecake.

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