Los Angeles has a reputation as a fairly early-to-bed city. This is largely due to the travesty of our liquor laws, which require bars to be completely cleared of patrons by 2 a.m. Many people think that restaurants shut down early, too. But if you know where to look, there is a lot of great food to be had at all hours, all over town — everything from ramen to curries to pancakes is available in the wee hours across L.A. Check it out.
10. Canter's Deli (24/7)
Were Langer's open even until 6 p.m., we'd be tempted to make a pastrami exception to our definition of late night. But for those midnight moments when satisfaction is about so much more than what's on the plate, we head to Canter's. There's something about lounging over a Reuben in the Kibitz Room bar adjacent to the main dining room, listening to a band we've never heard of (and at that hour, can't be certain we really like) and wondering if they might be the next Black Crowes. The final rock/jazz/pop set bacon bonus here: It's always time for breakfast. 419 N. Fairfax Ave. Fairfax; (323) 651-2030, cantersdeli.com.
9. Tacos Leo (Open till 3 a.m.)
“The nearest taco truck” is probably the best answer to anyone asking where they should eat late at night in Los Angeles, but given our great wealth of grilled meat and tortillas, it's worth calling out the truly great among the throng. There are few taco trucks in existence that offer such consistent and reliable comfort as Tacos Leo. It would be worthwhile to break down all the admirable components of Leo’s $1 tacos: the warm and pliable tortillas; the char-kissed, marinated pork freshly trimmed from the spit and dripping with juice; the soothing avocado sauce and musky salsa roja; and the dudes who wield long knifes and flick shards of pineapple into the air like they’re part of a Benihana performance. You barely notice the low, thunderous drone of butane burners filling the night air while you destroy your taco in a few bites and order another. 1515 S. La Brea Ave., Mid-City; (323) 346-2001.
8. BCD Tofu House (24/7)
There are so many options for all-night eating in K-town. Will it be “hangover soup” at Al Bae Ne, kal gook soo (a broth-y noodle and ground beef soup), pork mandu (dumplings) at Myung Dong Kyoja or that kimchi fried rice at Hodori and Nak Won House? All are Koreatown hangouts open 24/7 where we'd be happy to find ourselves on any given late night. But for midnight rounds of fried mackerel and soon tofu (a boiling pot of diced tofu with seafood, vegetables and red chilis with a raw egg alongside), we're going with BCD Tofu House. The dumpling soup is killer, too, and the banchan is endless. 3575 Wilshire Blvd., Koreatown;, (213) 382-6677; 869 S. Western Ave., Koreatown; (213) 380-3807, bcdtofu.com.
7. Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong (Open until 1:30 a.m.)
At its heart, Kang Ho-dong Baekjeong is a beer-and-meat hall plain and simple, and meat and beer are both good things post-midnight. Choices here are fairly easy — various cuts of beef or pork, or perhaps a set meal of one or the other (or both). The set meals offer a variety of cuts; we suggest the beef meal over the pork for quality, but go piggy if you desire. Either way, it’s a bargain — the smaller meal will easily feed three people, and it comes with a bubbling vat of kimchi stew to whet your appetite. If you like your beer and meat with charcoal smoke, cheesy corn and a soundtrack of loud K-pop, this is the place for you. Just don't show up right at closing time — even in the wee hours, the wait for a table can be long. 3465 W. Sixth St., Koreatown; (213) 384-9678.
6. E.P. & L.P. (Open till 2 a.m.)
At E.P. & L.P., you can eat Australian chef Louis Tikaram's modern Asian cooking until midnight in the dining room and until 2 a.m. on the rooftop. The chef grew up partially in Fiji, and he's brought some Fijian flavor to the menu as well as dishes with Vietnamese and Chinese influences, and the club-like vibe and bright creative flavors are perfect for post-midnight eating if you're into West Hollywood's glittery late-night scene. The view from the rooftop is one of the best in town, and the cocktails have cute names and taste great. Just make sure you're young and beautiful and well dressed, or at the very least that these attributes in your fellow diners won't make you crazy. Scene aside, the food itself is some of the best you can get at this hour. 603 N. La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood; eplosangeles.com. Rooftop bar, 5 p.m.-2 a.m. Mon.-Fri, noon-2 a.m. Sat. & Sun.; dining room, 6 p.m.-midnight daily.
5. Ruen Pair (Open till 3 a.m.)
It’s hard to convince people that one of L.A.’s must-have dishes is something called “salty turnip and egg,” but that doesn’t stop us from trying. Ruen Pair is known mainly as one of Thaitown’s best purveyors of late-night eats, a post-bar savior where you can gobble enough crab fried rice and spicy noodles to absorb some of the boozy damage you’ve done. It’s one of those restaurants where diners who would prefer to stick to basics can get a fantastic red curry, for instance, while others might feast on pork blood soup or raw crab salad. Go for whatever floats your boat, but be sure to get that salty turnip and egg, a kind of crispy omelette/patty that is slightly sweet and slightly salty and goldenly delicious at any time of day. 5257 Hollywood Blvd., East Hollywood; (323) 466-0153.
4. Du-par's (24/7)
Pancakes and pies are the stars of the show at Du-pars, both at the classic Farmers' Market location and all the offshoots. And really, at 4 a.m., pancakes and pies might be all you can wrap your head around. Du-par's bakes all its own pastries, as well; you're going to carb up here is what we're saying. They have a big menu of three-egg omelets, too. 6333 W. Third St., Fairfax; (323) 933-8446, dupars.net.
3. 25 Degrees (24/7)
Because 25 Degrees has such a touristy, heart-of-Hollywood-nonsense location, it is often overlooked by locals. But on that one night a year that you've got friends in from out of town and they want to go clubbing? End the night at this burger joint off the lobby of the Roosevelt hotel. The food is good, and if you're a hair-of-the-dog believer and it's after 6 a.m., get one of the spiked shakes. 7000 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; (323) 785-7244, 25degreesrestaurant.com.
2. Pacific Dining Car (24/7)
In a town with very few true late-night options (and by “true late-night” we mean past 1 a.m.), it's amazing that one of the most iconic dining experiences in town is available 24/7. The Pacific Dining Car oozes old-school charm in a 1920s train car, and the late-night menu, served from 11 p.m.-6 a.m., offers classic egg dishes, steaks, sandwiches and salads as well as blueberry pancakes or french toast. There's nothing like 4 a.m. steak and eggs to fortify you for the hangover ahead. 1310 W. Sixth St., downtown; (213) 483-6000; 2700 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica; (310) 453-4000, pacificdiningcar.com.
1. Tsujita LA (Open till 2 a.m.)
There is no more-perfect late-night food than ramen, and there is no more-perfect ramen in L.A. than Tsujita. And so it's a blessing that the Sawtelle mainstay is open until 2 a.m., offering Hakata-style tonkotsu ramen as well as fantastic tsukemen, its dipping broth thick and silky and rich. You will likely have to spend some time waiting on the sidewalk outside for your chance to sit and slurp, even past midnight, but once that hot porky broth hits your lips you'll know it was worth it. 2057 Sawtelle Blvd., Sawtelle;
(310) 231-7373, tsujita-la.com.