Los Angeles has plenty of late night dining. If you’ve ever bellied up to the counter at Cafe 101 in Hollywood for a waffle brownie sundae, waited in line at 3 a.m. for a “Jucy Lucy” burger from Fred 62 in Los Feliz or piled into a booth at Swingers surrounded by hungry drunks, you know this. Classic all-night diners are one of L.A.’s greatest treasures — and there are a lot of them.
But what about when you’re not in the mood for a greasy spoon? Those nights when you get out of an event at 11 p.m. craving something more elevated: a perfectly crafted cocktail, a chef-inspired menu, a thoughtful dessert. This is your night and the night is young. Usual suspects aside, here are 10 excellent L.A. restaurants that are open later than you think:
Son of a Gun
Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo's fish restaurant is open until midnight on Friday and Saturday and 11 p.m. during the week, meaning you'll be dining on linguine and clams with uni, chili and breadcrumbs instead of the scrambled eggs you thought you'd have to eat. If you’re extra hungry from waiting so long to eat dinner, try the fried chicken sandwich with spicy pickle slaw and aioli. 8370 West Third Street, Los Angeles; (323)782-9033, sonofagunrestaurant.com.
Popular and always bustling, Gjelina is full of beautiful people and beautiful food. By day, the restaurant serves farmers market veggies and pizzas, but they also offer an extensive late-night menu (every night until midnight) that includes a half-dozen oysters, a daily crudo selection, and a $30 Niman Ranch steak frites. 1429 Abbot Kinney Boulevard, Venice; (310) 450-1429, gjelina.com.
Chef Josef Centeno's flatbread sandwich, bäcos, are worth eating any time of day. Order Centeno’s original bäco with pork, beef carnitas and salbitxada or his famous chicken “ribs” with cucumber, sesame and cardamom, which are available until midnight on Friday and Saturday, 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 10 p.m. on Sunday. Their variety of shrub cocktails will keep your party going, too. 408 South Main Street, Los Angeles; (213) 687-8808, bacomercat .com
Husband and wife team of chef Ori Menashe and pastry chef Genevieve Gergis keep their highly popular restaurant open until midnight on Friday and Saturday and 11 p.m. the rest of the week, which means you might be able to snag a table and dine after hours on house-cured meats, bone marrow with spinach gnocchetti and handmade agnolotti. 2121 7th Place Los Angeles; (213) 514-5724, bestiala.com
Pizza is the ultimate late-night food. Class it up at James Beard Outstanding Chef Award-winner Nancy Silverton’s Pizzeria Mozza, which stays open until midnight every night. Yes, there are plenty of pizza joints in town open later, but those don't serve chicken livers with capers, parsley and pancetta. 641 North Highland Avenue, Los Angeles; (323) 297 0101, la.pizzeriamozza.com
This newish Silverlake hot spot is so popular that dining there late may end up being more of a necessity than a choice. But chef Zach Pollack’s chicken liver crostone with black plum mustarda is so good you’ll almost forget that you had to wait so long for a table. Alimento is open until midnight on Friday and Saturday. 1710 Silver Lake Boulevard, Los Angeles; (323) 928-2888, alimentola.com.
At Bar Ama, chef Josef Centeno's other spot, the menu is an ode to Tex-Mex, inspired by the food he was raised on in San Antonio. Frito pies and fat-kid enchiladas take you back to the border, where puffy tacos and fajitas are the norm. Bar Ama stays open until midnight on Friday and Saturday, 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 10 p.m. on Sunday. 118 West 4th Street, Los Angeles; (213) 687-8002, bar-ama.com.
Father’s Office-Culver City
It just wouldn’t be a late night dining list without a burger place. We suggest Chef Sang Yoon’s Father’s Office in Culver City for its infamously no-substitutions Office Burger, a dry-aged beef patty topped with caramelized onions, arugula, gruyere and blue cheese that you can order until midnight on Friday and Saturday. If continuing to drink helps you to digest (or maybe you just want to tell yourself that), the bar stays open until 2 a.m. 3229 Helms Avenue, Los Angeles; (310) 736-2224, fathersoffice.com.
Animal gives you yet another reason (as if you needed one) to dine on beef tendon, veal brains, sweetbreads and pig’s ears after 10 p.m. Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo's meat-centric restaurant is open until midnight on Friday and Saturday and 11 p.m. during the week. 435 North Fairfax Avenue, Los Angeles; (323) 782-9225, animalrestaurant.com. Little Dom’s
Satisfy cravings for a cozy late-night atmosphere by heading to Los Feliz neighborhood hang out Little Dom’s. A proper cocktail can be paired with comforting Italian-American food including spaghetti and meatballs, fried oyster sandwiches with crispy speck and Little Dom's famous fried rice balls. The restaurant stays open until midnight on Friday and Saturday and 11 p.m. the rest of the week. 2128 Hillhurst Ave., Los Angeles; (323) 661-0055, littledoms.com.