Rainy days are hard. You’re trapped inside, bored, and trying your hardest to remember what the sun looks like. Rainy days during a pandemic are even harder. One way to get through it all though is to curl up at home with incredible takeout. From big bowls of Korean noodle soup to Jewish diner classics, here are 29 spots guaranteed to bring you some much needed rainy day comfort.
You can find us ordering from Borneo Kalimantan Cuisine the second a raindrop hits our windshield. Actually, we’re there regardless of the forecast. The menu at this Indonesian/Singaporean restaurant in downtown Alhambra is stacked with tremendous dishes, but it’s the Laksa Mee that always has our attention. This Singaporean curry soup is filled with shrimp, fish cakes, fried tofu, and marinated egg, and comes topped with scallions and corn for a pop of sweetness. Available for takeout and delivery.
We still don’t understand the exact science behind it, but French food seems like it was tailor-made to be consumed while precipitation falls from the sky. Whether you’re in the mood for a cheese-doused French onion soup, steak frites, or their massively messy Big Mec burger, there’s no better place to go full Sartre on a rainy day than with an order from Petit Trois. Available for takeout and delivery.
Usually, we could never recommend ordering food from a bowling alley, but Gardena Bowl Coffee Shop is the exception to the rule. Like any good diner, they have a version of every American breakfast staple in the book, but you’re here for their incredible Hawaiian food. Rainy day or not, the kalua pork and cabbage is smoky and fatty, and the Hawaiian Royal, a massive plate of eggs, rice, chashu, and Portugese sausage, is an all-out sweet and savory brawl inside your mouth. Delivery available on most major apps, call (310) 532-0820 for takeout.
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This might be the Holy Grail of LA gumbo. The roux is thick enough to coat a spoon and packs just the right amount of heat - enough to remind you that it’s there, but never so hot that it overwhelms the rest of the rich flavors. And the meat - plump pieces of shrimp, crab, and sausage - comes well-seasoned, making for a properly hearty stew. Served over a bed of white rice and with some seasoned French bread, this is the kind of comforting meal you need to get you through the cold, bitter days of a SoCal winter.
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Brent’s is an iconic Jewish deli that’s been around since the ’60s. And like a bed with a heated blanket and two mattress toppers, it’s one of the best ways to combat bad weather and sadness. You’re obviously going to want a giant bowl of matzo ball soup to start, but diving into the 650-item menu can feel a little overwhelming. So we’ll make it simple - get the black pastrami Reuben (sub in curly fries), stuffed cabbage, and split-pea soup. Available for takeout or delivery through most apps.
Trying to find a Japanese restaurant in LA that serves more than just ramen and sushi can sometimes feel like an arduous task. One that’s on par with reading an article before retweeting it, or spelling the word arduous. From the sweet-and-savory Nagoya hitsumabushi to the Japanese breakfast set that comes with perfectly portioned servings of rice, miso soup, sweet egg, and a flaky, oily broiled fish, a meal from this cozy restaurant in Little Tokyo is one of the best ways seek solace from the rain. Available for both takeout and delivery.
Don’t be misled by the name - Sapp is no ordinary coffee shop. This East Hollywood institution is one of the best Thai restaurants in LA, and the first place we head to whenever we feel like lying down in a bathtub for hours, William Howard Taft-style. They do serve coffee, along with a variety of iconic dishes like a coconut-heavy tom ka kai and dry jade noodles covered in pork and crab, but whenever it’s raining, you need to order the boat noodle soup. The deeply aromatic and cinnamon-y broth is filled with beef filet, tripe, tendon, and pork skin. If you still feel some type of way after eating it, just order a second bowl. Available for takeout and delivery.
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If the thought of eating chicken pot pie on a rainy day isn’t appealing to you, there’s a decent chance you’re A.I. and you don’t even know it. For all the non-robots who do find creamy baked chicken tucked inside of pie crust appealing, head to Jongewaard’s. The menu at this Long Beach diner and bakery (they’ve been open since 1965) is quite large, but stick to the chicken pot pie, and snag a piece of red velvet cake to eat in bed later. Call (562) 595-0396 to place an order for takeout.
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Your phone just beeped with an “urgent precipitation alert,” and now you’re in a state of paralysis. Time to order from Cobi’s. The new curry house on W. 3rd St. has a small menu with excellent curries from around the world including butter chicken, dal, beef rendang, and the only bowl of laksa in West Hollywood. Make sure to order one of their signature puffs as well. Available for takeout and delivery.
To your Midwest friends, 54 degrees might seem like a heat wave, but it’s pouring rain outside and you’re currently huddled under three layers of blankets. You need Sichuan Impression. The SGV classic has a third location in West LA now with food that’s just as good (and spicy) as the original in Alhambra. Our favorites are the tea-smoked ribs, the mapo tofu, and the lamb on toothpicks. And yes, you should absolutely order all of them for your at-home deluge feast. Takeout and delivery available on most major apps.
Serving the Mid-City area for over 35 years, Natraliart is one of the oldest (and one of the best) Jamaican restaurants in LA. The menu is loaded with dishes like oxtails, saltfish, and curry shrimp, but the jerk chicken will always be the star of the show. Natraliart doesn’t lean on a heavy marinade or sauce to carry the dish - it’s the smokey, melt-in-your-mouth chicken that does the heavy lifting. If there’s one thing you want tucked under your arm on a rainy day at home, it’s takeout from Natraliart. Delivery available on most major apps.
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photo credit: Jakob Layman
Mi Ranchito Veracruz
When you hit the stretch of North Hollywood that’s mostly just semi-trucks and loading docks, it means you’re close to Mi Ranchito Veracruz. This tiny Mexican restaurant has an excellent menu of burritos and chilaquiles, but when it’s raining, you want the tamales. They’re served Veracruz-style (wrapped in banana leaves instead of corn husks), are perfectly cooked, and slightly sweet. Available for takeout and delivery.
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It’s been raining since 8am and you just Googled an image of the sun. Time for a meal from Daichan. This Japanese spot in a strip mall in Studio City is most known for having brought the concept of the poke bowl to LA in the 1990s, but for today, you should focus on the curry noodles, Japanese-style fried chicken, and giant tempura rice bowls. Available for takeout and delivery.
It’s hard to put into words how special Baja Subs is, but you’ll start to understand once you step foot inside this tiny market/convenience store in Northridge. Yes, you can come here for a pack of cigarettes, a Diet Coke, and a turkey sandwich from behind the counter, but Baja Subs is really all about the secret menu on the wall. It’s filled with some of the best Sri Lankan food you’ll find in LA - including an exceptional biryani rice, Sri Lankan noodles, and kottu roti. Call (818) 993-7064 to place an order for takeout.
There is no shortage of great dim sum in the San Gabriel Valley, but Lunasia is among our favorite places to get it. This Alhambra institution has fantastic food across the board, but it’s best to concentrate on their jumbo pork siu-mai, spinach shrimp dumplings, and green beans with pork. Lunasia is also one of the few dim sum spots that’s open all day and night. That way you can sleep in (the only way to wake up on a rainy day anyway) and get your order later without worrying about a mid-afternoon closing time. Available for takeout and delivery.
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Banadir Somali is a family-run restaurant and community institution just south of downtown Inglewood. Goat is the specialty here, and it’s so packed with sweetness and spiciness that it’ll ruin most other versions of goat you’ve ever had. If you order before 11am, you’ll be able to take advantage of their breakfast menu, which is ideal, because the shukshuka, ful, and crepe-like anjero bread are just as good as the goat.
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We’d drive through pretty much anything for a meal from Al-Noor, and that includes torrential rainstorms and the subsequent 30-mile-an-hour speeds on the 405. Once you’re at the spot in Lawndale, you’ll be picking up some of the best Indian food in all of Los Angeles and those glacial highway speeds suddenly won’t matter anymore. Delivery available on most major apps.
Phnom Penh is one of the best Cambodian restaurants in Long Beach, and one of our favorite spots in the whole city. Open Tuesday-Sunday from 7am-3pm, this tiny place specializes mostly in breakfast dishes like rice porridge and meat pies, but it’s their house special noodle soup with pork bone broth that we’ll brave even the foggiest of mornings to eat. You can choose between rice or egg noodles, but we prefer doing a mix of both. Available for takeout and delivery.
The West LA breakfast staple is like getting food from that one restaurant in your hometown you always order from because the owners used to babysit your parents in the ’50s. It’s warm, welcoming, and those biscuits are all you need on a rainy day. Takeout and delivery available on most major apps.
The temperature outside just dipped below 50 degrees and you’re sensing death is near. The only option at this point is to order takeout from the best Thai spot in the city - Jitlada. You likely won’t be the only genius who thought of this plan, so order early, because your withering body can’t afford to wait too long for the blazing hot jungle curry, turmeric wings, and the legendary jazz burger.
After two days of drizzle, your bones unquestionably hurt. The good news is that one of the world’s most well-known superfoods, the pierogi, is ready for you. And while there’s a decent number of spots around town serving these glorious dumplings, our go-to is always Polka Polish. This family-run restaurant in Glassell Park has been a neighborhood staple for years, and those cheese and potato pierogies all but dissolve in your mouth along with any lingering moodiness. Available for takeout and delivery.
With five locations around town, this is where you go when you want to experience the mother of all LA ramen. There are a few variations on the menu, but we recommend keeping it classic with the Daikoku ramen. It comes with a silky tonkotsu soup base that’s topped with tender pork belly chashu, a marinated boiled egg, bamboo sprouts, green onions, and a sprinkle of sesame seeds. This is the equivalent of riding in a 1970 Corvette Stingray, or watching Gilda Radner in her prime. Available for takeout and delivery.
Golden Leaf is a remarkable diner in a San Gabriel strip mall, with excellent ground pork chow mein and oyster pancakes. But our top pick here is the beef vermicelli soup, with heaping portions of green onion, suan cai , and spinach, in a marrow-rich broth. Golden Leaf also has their takeout operation figured out, with everything individually packaged so nothing gets soggy on the drive home. Call (626) 289-8377 to order.
This Southeast Asian spot in Pasadena opened in 2017, and there are a lot of dishes to love on their menu, like the Malaysian char kway teow, Pinoy crispy pork belly sisig. But their eponymous bone broth soup is very special. To make it, they simmer beef, onions, garlic, and ginger for 36 hours to create a thick, aromatic stock that we’d drink by itself. They then load it with a protein of your choice (choose the brisket or the oxtails) and tender wheat noodles. Don’t leave without an order of their fried oxtail tips, either. Available for takeout and delivery.
With everything from noodle kugel and matzo ball soup to whole chicken, Birdie G’s menu is the definition of rainy day comfort. The Santa Monica spot offers delivery and takeout daily from 4-8:30pm (preorders start at 2pm) with batched cocktails to go as well. Keep an eye on their Instagram for specials.
Myung Dong Kyoja (명동교자)
Myung Dong Kyoja in Koreatown has a number of excellent soups on their menu - the cold soybean soup has saved us during countless heatwaves. Come stormy wintertime, though, our heart only has eyes for their kalguksu. This chicken broth-based soup comes topped with ground chicken, pork dumplings, and vegetables, but what really makes this soup so special are the perfectly cooked knife-cut noodles floating inside. If heat is your thing, they also have a spicy version as well. Available for takeout and delivery.
The landmark Vietnamese restaurant in Garden Grove, open since 1982, is one of the most well-known restaurants in all of Orange County - even during a pandemic, it still has takeout lines. You can put a variety of different meats into the soup (the oxtail is their signature), but it’s about the broth. Simmered in oxtail for 12 hours and infused with star anise, it’s rich, cinnamon-y, and unlike any other phở you’ll find in California. Cash and takeout only.
Wood Spoon is a Downtown neighborhood standby with some of the best Brazilian food in town. The menu is made up of entrees like seafood stew in a coconut sauce, almondegas with creamy polenta, and our favorite chicken pot pie in the entire world. And that’s exactly what you need after surviving solely on Jolly Ranchers the last time it rained in LA. Available for takeout and delivery.