Where To Eat When It’s Rainy & You’re Sad

When it’s lousy both outside and inside (your mind), here’s where to make the most of it.
Where To Eat When It’s Rainy & You’re Sad image

photo credit: Rick George / Flickr

There’s nothing worse than a clear, blue sky when all you want to do is curl up in something soft, fleece, and preferably fireside, and have a good cry. But once in a blue moon, it rains here, which is basically Mother Nature giving you permission to get upset about the fact your crush really did ghost you. So, dig out that umbrella you completely forgot you owned, get in touch with your feelings, and head to one of these excellent places to eat when it’s rainy and you’re sad.


photo credit: Matt Gendal



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Spa days, lazy mornings in bed, and the barley rice set at Borit Gogae: All things that will nourish you on rainy, blustery days. This calm, homey Koreatown restaurant does a $60 feast for two that includes three nourishing soups (perilla and chicken, scorched rice, and soybean stew), plus pumpkin porridge, an array of banchan, and green plum tea. Your street might be flooded with water, but at least your soul is flooded with soup. 

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 going to want a giant bowl of matzo ball soup to start, but after that, 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. In that order.

In a city with so many options for ramen and sushi, trying to find a place that makes simple, homestyle Japanese food can sometimes feel like an arduous task, on par with reading an article before retweeting it, or spelling the word arduous. Which is why Azay is such a revelation: from the sweet-and-savory Nagoya hitsumabushi (barbecued eel) to the Japanese breakfast set, which comes with perfectly portioned servings of rice, miso soup, sweet egg, and a flaky, oily broiled fish, a meal at this cozy restaurant in Little Tokyo is one of the best ways seek solace from the rain.

Don’t be misled by the name—Sapp is no ordinary coffee shop. This bare-bones, cash-only spot in Hollywood is one of the best Thai restaurants in LA, and the first place we head to whenever we get the overwhelming desire to lie 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, and if you still feel some type of way after eating it, just order a second bowl.

If the thought of eating chicken pot pie on a rainy day isn’t appealing to you, there’s a decent chance you’re an A.I. and you don’t even know it. For all non-robots who do find creamy baked chicken tucked inside of pie crust appealing, head right to Jongewaard’s. This diner/bakery has been in operation since 1965. The menu at this Long Beach institution is quite large, but stick to the tremendous chicken pot pie, and snag a piece of red velvet cake for when you’re home in bed later.

54 degrees might seem like a heat wave to your Midwest friends, but it’s pouring rain outside and you’re currently huddled under three layers of blankets. You need Sichuan Impression. The SGV classic recently opened up a third location in West LA 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 since the space is huge and ideal for all of your friends to join, we advise you to order all of those dishes.

When you hit the stretch of North Hollywood that’s just semi-trucks and loading docks, it means you’re close to Mi Ranchito Veracruz. This tiny order-at-the-counter Mexican restaurant has an excellent menu stacked with 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. Sprinkling the spicy red table salsa on top is also a must.

Usually, we could never recommend eating in a bowling alley in good faith, 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 what you’re here for is their incredible Hawaiian food. Rainy day or not, the kalua pork and cabbage is smoky and fatty in all the right ways, and the Hawaiian Royal, a massive plate of eggs, rice, chashu, and Portugese sausage, is an all-out-brawl of flavor in your mouth. And if that’s not enough to get your mind off things, they do have an actual bowling alley, too.

It’s been raining since 8am and you’re wondering if this is what seasonal depression is. Don’t wait to find out, and drive right to Daichan instead. This Japanese comfort food spot in a strip mall in Studio City is most well known for having brought the concept of the poke bowl to LA in the 1990s, but for today, you’re focusing on the curry noodles, Japanese-style fried chicken, and giant tempura rice bowls.

We’d drive through pretty much anything for the garlic naan at Al-Noor, and that includes torrential rainstorms and the 30-mile-an-hour speeds on the 405 it causes. Once you make it down to Lawndale, you’ll be eating the best Indian food in all of Los Angeles and nothing else will matter. Not even rain.

Phnom Penh Noodle Shack is a Cambodian breakfast spot in Long Beach that happens to be one of our favorite restaurants in the city. Open Tuesday-Sunday from 7am-3pm, this tiny place specializes in noodle soup made with pork bone broth, rice porridge, meat pies, and other delicious noodles. Wait times do get long on the weekends, but it beats sitting at home watching your apartment’s gutters clog after two minutes of persistent rainfall.

This is exciting. Someone just got out and abandoned their car in front of you on Pico and it’s unclear if they’re coming back. Follow them. Because they’re probably going to John O’Groats. The West LA breakfast staple is like walking into that one restaurant in your hometown you always go to 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.

Why go to one place when you can go to all the places at once? GCM wins the award for "best collection of food you remember seeing on Instagram," and though the crowds can get downright aggressive, a rainy day will thin out the lines. And we can’t think of a better plan to beat the endless downpour outside than stall-hopping all day from Eggslut to Shiku to For The Win to Wexler’s to—alright, you get it.

This is one of our favorite noodle spots in all of the SGV. Lao Xi is very low-key—the menu is pretty small and the decor is mostly huge posters of their signature dishes. It’s very welcoming though, which is important when you haven’t seen the sun in 48 hours. The staff will talk you through the menu, explain that all the noodles are made by hand in-house, and strongly discourage you from ordering too much food. Which you’ll do anyway because it’s storming outside. Don’t skip the Lamb Soup Noodles: small, round rolled noodles in a fragrant, herb-filled soup.

It started raining overnight and now your bones are hurting. The good news is 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 babies, our move is always Polka Polish. This family-run restaurant in Glassell Park has been a neighborhood staple for years and we’re thankful for that, because those cheese and potato pierogies are everything we want on a stormy day.

photo credit: iPic Theaters

iPic Theaters image

iPic Theaters


LA’s favorite way to dodge the rain? Canceling all plans, weddings, and funerals, and heading to the movies. It’s no secret LA has the best collection of movie theaters in the world and iPic is our favorite, especially since it offers in-seat dining. This deluxe cinema frankly makes the Landmark look like a backyard projector screen, and getting served filet mignon sliders and dry martinis in a first-class airplane seat is our rainy-day version of nirvana.

Let’s be honest. If there’s even talk of rain coming to Los Angeles, you’re canceling all plans, turning on Love Is Blind, and hiding under your covers until further notice. And at this restaurant, reservations are for one, clothing is optional, and the meal is coming to you. Thai food? Chinese food? Pizza Hut? Choose your own adventure and never stop dreaming in the warmth of your own bed.

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