Life can be rough sometimes. Your love life is a mess, everything in your apartment keeps breaking, and your boss just told you that she needs an attitude adjustment from you immediately. Some weeks can be great, but other weeks dissolve into complete dumpster fires. And when sh*t hits the fan, we need those comfort food spots that always have our back. Whether you're looking for a greasy burger, a big plate of spaghetti, or a dessert to cry in, these are the LA spots where you need to be after a bad week.
There hasn’t been hot water coming out of your shower since Tuesday and your landlord won’t respond to any of your distress signals. Make moves to Masa, one of our favorite Eastside spots that's home to some of the best deep dish pizza we’ve had outside Chicago. The food is across-the-board delicious, and the atmosphere inside this family-run operation feels like you’re back visiting your hometown for the holidays. Critical move: call and place your pizza order right as you leave your house - deep dish takes awhile.
Cafe Birdie might be relatively new, but this Highland Park comfort food spot is where we want to be most after sh*t hits the fan. The place feels like your rich aunt’s house in the country, with a menu full of everything from pork cheek ragu to Moroccan fried chicken. Need a few stiff drinks? There’s a hidden bar in the back called Good Housekeeping that will dull the pain of your week.
Your girlfriend of three years told you on Tuesday she needs some space for a while. Head right to Roscoe’s - the legendary chicken and waffles joint and LA’s ground zero for not giving a f*ck. The original Hollywood location has been around for over 40 years, and its bare-bones, diner interior is the kind of place you’re just as likely to spot an A-list celebrity as you will all your other single friends.
Polka Polish is one of those places you don’t tell many friends about, because you've been going for years by yourself and want to continue eating in your pajamas in solitude. The family-run joint in Glassell Park has excellent Polish classics across the board, but your boss asked you twice this week "where's your happy version at?," so you’re here for one reason: pierogies. One of god’s great gifts to man, these little dumplings come stuffed with everything from sauerkraut to bacon to jalapeños, and you’re going to want all of it.
There aren't many comforting aspects of walking around Beverly Hills after four days straight of working overtime, but as long as the destination is Nate ’n Al, everything will be ok. The 70-year-old Jewish deli is an LA landmark and nothing beats a Saturday morning scarfing down some stuffed cabbage and bagel and lox.
A part of your car you never knew even existed broke on Wednesday, and $850 later you’re suddenly not as financially comfortable as you were two days ago. While there are plenty of places to grab a good burger in this town, our choice for when life is at its most dire is Pie 'n Burger. The Pasadena classic has one of the best meat sandwiches in Los Angeles, and its throwback Americana feel is just the kind of escapism you need.
You’ve had one of those head colds that never goes away all week, and you’re completely exhausted and irritable. Take a breath, and find your way to Doughboy’s. The quiet cafe on 3rd street doesn’t necessarily stick out amongst its more well-known neighbors, but all that means is zero wait time for you and your dripping nose. Their Grandma’s Rainy Day special comes with a fantastic tuna melt and a gigantic bowl of chicken noodle soup to cure your ailments. Grab a red velvet cupcake for the road.
That cute guy from Tinder you were totally into just dropped the not-looking-for-a-relationship bomb, and you’re officially 100% done with men. Done, done, done. Head directly to Magnolia and stick your face right into that famous banana pudding. Is this the best dessert in the universe? We say yes. And at $5.50 a pop, you’re definitely grabbing a few for when you’re hiding in your bed later.
Your co-worker Alan has been doing that thing all week where he speaks passive aggressively to you because he got a bad yearly review on Monday. Get soup dumplings into your life immediately. Din Tai Fung is a classic, and while those weekend wait times can get a little intense, a trek to Glendale to eat as many dumplings as possible is a fine way to cure to shitty week.
We don’t need to tell you that Mexican food cures all, but when the workweek has continued to just club you over the head repeatedly, our suggestion is always Casa Vega. The 60-year-old Valley institution is the kind of place where you crawl into a big large booth, get blitzed on margaritas, eat some lobster quesadillas, and watch everyone from the Kardashians to your tax guy do the exact same thing.
When it comes to Thai Town, you pretty much have your pick of comfort food spots that will do you right. But our choice is always Pailin. The warm, tiny space doesn’t have anywhere near the foot traffic (and chaotic energy) of some of the more well-known spots in the neighborhood, and that’s ideal when you want to sit in silence by yourself and stare at a wall. Their khao soi is the curry noodle soup of your dreams.
Sawtelle Blvd. is pretty much the epicenter of comfort food, but for our money, nothing beats a voyage to Mizu 212 for some shabu shabu, AKA cooking your meats and vegetables inside a steaming pot at your table. If you’re looking for some good food that won't make you feel terrible, this cozy little spot is where you go. Tips: sweatpants are encouraged and whatever you do, order the special sauce on everything.
When in doubt, a plate of meat will always make life a little better. Maple Block hasn’t been open all that long, but this Culver City spot has quickly risen the ranks to become of our favorite BBQ in the city. The brisket is the move here, but if you want to go full-steam into childhood nostalgia, grab an order of those pimiento cheese sandwiches served on white bread. Save room for the cobblr though - after this week, you deserve it.
Genghis Cohen is not the best Chinese food in Los Angeles. But for a city that lacks dependable casual Chinese spots to get you through the tough times, this 30-year-old joint is an outright savior. The large space on Fairfax is a total neighborhood haunt, where at any point you can find the majority of your neighbors eating the same number of wontons as you are. But if you’re in the market to have those New-York style egg rolls and Walnut Shrimp come right to you, order their reliable delivery right to your lap.
Saturday night at Jones is admittedly a bit of a scene, but if you come during an off time, you’ll find the vibe extremely conducive to eating your feelings over a bowl of spaghetti and meatballs. But you’re really here for that apple pie at the end - it's served in a skillet and has no business being as good as it is.