The LA Break-Up Guide: Where To Go When It All Falls Apart
13 places to cope when the inevitable strikes.
It happens to all of us. Your love life is good, communication is strong, and suddenly, it all crumbles. Maybe someone isn’t feeling it or feeling someone else, or after five years of cohabitating, you’ve simply realized the sound of their eating cereal makes you want to light everything on fire.
But that’s where we come in. For every all-night screaming match you’ve had over dirty dishes, there are five crispy martinis ready to go for you somewhere else. For every time you just want to give up, there’s a beautiful plate of smoking hot BBQ ready to cure your soul. Here’s where you need to eat and go when everything falls apart.
photo credit: Jessie Clapp
Here you thought working from home was going to bring about a new sense of intimacy for you and your significant other. Instead, all you have to show for it is five new house plants, late-night Twitter dependency, and a deep disdain for the exact way they naturally breathe. It’s time to call it. Luckily, Casablanca is waiting for you and your impending emotional breakdown. The classic Venice spot is one of our favorite old-school Mexican restaurants in town and a place that feels custom-built to save you from emotional freefall. Tortillas are being cooked-to-order in the main dining room, live music is happening most nights, and there’s even a margarita cart that’ll roll right up to your table.
Everybody knew it was a red flag when he gave you keys to his place on the second date, but you were blinded by love. Two months and one very bad pelvic tattoo later, it’s officially over. Time to let off some steam at Farmhouse Kitchen, a colorful, kitschy Thai restaurant in West Adams imported to LA from the Bay Area. With neon pink lighting, a giant back patio, over-the-top shareable entrees, and cocktails that are served in foot-high plastic crowns, it’s clear that this place caters to those in need of some heavy-handed escapism. For food, we particularly love the yellow curry, Thai-style fried chicken, and the panang neua, a braised short rib shank covered in rich panang curry.
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photo credit: Andrea D'Agosto
The Serving Spoon
She gave you nine months to lock down a steady job, and you just couldn’t make it happen. At least you got a solo win in Fortnite, right? Time for Serving Spoon, an Inglewood institution and your spot for delicious soul food and deep contemplation of your life choices. No matter what day of the week you come here, expect lines, but on the other side of that wait are tremendous plates of fried catfish, chicken drumettes, and some of our favorite waffles in town. If you can snag a seat at the counter, do it and be treated to endless conversation with the waitstaff, which hopefully includes tips on how to finally get a job.
photo credit: Britt Lucas
It wasn’t a text or even a well-written email. Two years of dating and you just got dumped via a public Tiktok. Time to heal your bruised ego at Gigi’s. This French spot in Hollywood is, by all local definitions, a scene that rivals most Teen Choice Awards spillover rooms. You’ll spot tipsy influencers, their tipsier agents, and 11 different versions of Sydney Sweeney—none of whom are actually her. At Gigi’s, slinking up to the bar for a well-made martini and an incoming order of fries is a power move.
Cilantro Mexican Grill
Turns out there is a threshold for the amount of time you can spend with one person in an apartment, and you crossed it a long time ago. You need an overdue break—from them, from life, from sitting at home every night while being repeatedly mansplained that it takes a few seasons to get into Suits. Time to get out of town. You don’t know where you’re going yet, but you do know you’re stopping at Cilantro on your way out. Located inside a Chevron right off the 170 in North Hollywood, this tiny Mexican counter serves incredible burritos (we love the sweet char of the carne asada) that provide some much-needed nourishment before a long drive north to reclaim one’s sanity.
Al-Watan Halal Tandoori
The last few years have taught you a lot about yourself. You can snack all day without ever feeling full, you’re an Olympic champion at waking up three minutes before work, and under no circumstance are you ever living with another human being ever again. Thank your significant other for their time and celebrate your new life of solitude with a feast from Al-Watan. The long-standing Pakistani spot in Hawthorne has excellent food all around, but you’re here for the mixed tandoori. It’s a steaming plate of chicken and beef that’s been marinated in spices and cooked in a clay oven with mesquite, and the kind of dish you pick at for several days afterward and it’s still delicious. Now that’s companionship in your book.
Ham Ji Park
You created a fake Grindr profile because you suspected he was cheating (he wasn’t), and now you just got caught cheating with someone on Grindr. Go take your toxic trust issues to Ham Ji Park. The popular BBQ spot in Koreatown is different from other grill-your-own outposts in the area, because the two things on your order are prepared in the kitchen: The pork ribs and the pork-neck stew. That might seem like a lot of pork for one meal, but you’ll need it as you calculate in your head how much therapy is going to cost for the next ten years.
Lawry's The Prime Rib
She told you not to get “Saturday’s Are For The Boys” permanently imprinted on your front door, but you did it anyway, and now you’re sleeping on Travis’s couch in East Hollywood again. Now go take your hypermasculinity issues out on a giant prime rib at Lawry’s. The original location of this national treasure feels like you’re dining in the top-floor restaurant on a cruise ship, but with food that's actually memorable and a waitress whose name might be Mrs. Collinsworth.
In-N-Out (At LAX)
After five years of swiping right, first dates at Crossfit classes, and being told “you’d be perfect for voiceover” even though you’ve established yourself as an elementary school teacher, you’re not breaking up with a person—you’re breaking up with Los Angeles. Have a safe flight and be sure to stop at In-N-Out en route to the airport. The crowds at the LAX-adjacent location border on anarchy most days of the week, but considering you just walked out of a fully furnished apartment with a note to your landlord taped on the door that reads “handle it,” chaos is in your comfort zone.
This is what you get for setting up your two best friends. They eventually break up, despise one another, and then make you take sides. Skip all that and go into hiding at Wi Spa in Koreatown. This five-story metropolis is an LA institution where 40 minutes becomes four hours in the blink of an eye. Sign up for private acupuncture, slurp spicy chicken stew at the 24-hour cafe, or roll around in hot clay balls with strangers in matching uniforms. It’s a beautiful, phone-less world at this Korean spa, and that’s just what your soul needs.
Bob Baker Marionette Theater
After dropping $170 on flowers for your six-month anniversary, she told you she’s decidedly looking for more of an “East Coast mentality.” You’re not even sure what that means, but you’re mad, and the only thing that's going to calm you down are some puppets. Bob Baker Marionette Theater is one of the rare LA experiences where, for about 45 minutes, you have the opportunity to completely leave your body. The Highland Park institution has puppet shows every weekend and they are magical, thrilling, and terrifying—the exact brand of escapism you need.
Sky Zone Trampoline Park
Be honest with yourself. You weren’t ready for a serious relationship and they were leaving print-outs of Tarzana real estate listings on your windshield. Sometimes you’re just on separate paths. And while their path was straight to the home loan office, you’re grabbing the crew and hauling ass to Sky Zone. This indoor trampoline park in Van Nuys is a mecca for anyone seeking zero-gravity highs and low-grade ankle rolls. At Skyzone, it’s absolutely acceptable to throw rubber dodgeballs at teenagers. All in the name of stress relief, of course.
The Sidewalk Outside Revolver After Last Call
Of course you’re going to miss him, but your sex life also had the vigor of a high school production of Our Town. Nothing a night out in Weho can’t fix. But in the event several hours of bar-hopping with your friends proved unsuccessful, just get yourself to Revolver on Santa Monica and Larabee by 1:30am. You don’t even have to go in. Just stand there and let the magic unfold.