It’s hard to avoid overindulging during the holidays, often taking us into the wee hours of nights filled with toasting, roasting and elevated baking, followed by the morning after when the soul needs to be fed. Here are some hangover cures that will heal the head and tide you over until sober January.
Our highly unscientific study polling local bartenders concluded that the number one hangover healing agent is a cheeseburger, and there’s just nothing like a chili cheeseburger from the Original Tommy’s, celebrating their 75th anniversary this year. Oozing with chili and cheese to get in between your fingers and plenty of onions, pickles and fat tomato slices, a burger will help you forget any self-loathing from the night before. To further aid in recovery, grab a thirst-quenching coke and those super hot crunchy peppers. Another satisfying option is their world-famous chili cheese fries.
Highly Likely chef Kat Turner’s Bodega sandwich with soft scrambled eggs and Wisconsin cheddar cheese sauce on a squishy bun is her West Adams version of a New York city egg and cheese sando. Top it off with their signature Highly Likely hot sauce, fermented and made in small batches in-house to help kick start your day. The cafe’s wide selection of coffee, including cold brews, lattes and an immune-boosting adaptogenic coffee drink made with chaga mushroom, cinnamon, and Madagascar vanilla will help set you straight onto your next journey.
For something soothing and warm, Little Fatty in Mar Vista offers a comforting selection of dim sum including the squid ink xiao long bao, chef David Kuo’s pitch-black soft pillows filled with pork and shrimp surrounded by a rich broth as well as his five spice Chinese donut. There’s also a soulful Taiwanese take on another classic, fried Hainan chicken on top of black sesame waffles with spicy winter melon syrup, ginger and scallions. Kuo plans on adding another traditional morning after dish to the menu in January, Hainan chicken congee.
For the sweet tooth, the intoxicating aroma alone of pastries baking when you walk into La Mascota in Boyle Heights is restorative. Their extensive selection of pan dulce is baked daily, including bread pudding, beso, concha, capirotada, chilindrina, chorriada, elote, libro, mantecada, niño envuelto, semita, oreja and puerquitos. The empanadas de piña at La Mascota, which has been on Whittier Blvd. since 1952, are a satisfying treat as well as their sweet pineapple and savory chile rojo and verde tamales.
If you prefer to take solace in spice, look no further than Jeremy McBryde’s chicken wings at Comfort LA either in Inglewood or DTLA. Both McBryde’s fries and wings are soaked in a saltwater brine and dredged in his secret mix of flour and spices, topped with a dusting of spice and finished off with his signature spicy-sweet sauce. “Chicken wings are just plain soul food and at the end of the day, soul food is the basis of American food and fried chicken is a staple of soul food,” McBryde – who goes through 12,000 – 14,000 wings, 320-350 lbs. of yams and 60-72 boxes of greens per week – told L.A. Weekly last year.
The breakfast burrito at Sloane’s Valley Village will help you forget all of your sins. Overstuffed with your choice of pork belly or bratwurst, hash browns, American and cheddar cheese, pico de gallo and two oozy eggs over medium, it’s served with habanero maple syrup. Pair that with a Barney Flats oatmeal stout float for a hair of the dog that bit you.
Menudo is of course one of the most classic and regenerative hangover cures we’ve come to know and nothing is more homestyle than the bowl you’ll find at Noemi’s Mexican Food, owned and operated by the Zamayoa family since 1968 in Norwalk. Top it off with crunchy white onions and cilantro for complete nose-watering satisfaction. A soothing vessel of their Birria de Chivo will also cure whatever ails you.
Any of the mind-blowing selection of about 27 different sandwiches at Cook’s Tortas in Monterey Park will help navigate you back on the path of the straight and narrow. Choose from the list of tortas to go painted on the wall, which includes everything from smoked salmon, cream cheese, pico de gallo and capers to a Milanese and Cajun fish. Top sellers include the Bombero, a generous stuffing of grilled beef, roasted red pepper sauce and avocado as well as personal favorite the shrimp po’boy, a saucy combination of battered shrimp, avocado, lettuce and red onion remoulade. There are vegetarian options, as well as al pastor, lengua, carne asada and molcajete for purists. Also worth a try is the #50 ranchito with grilled beef, chorizo, cactus salad, black beans, spicy guacamole and queso fresco.
For legitimate recovery results, your most sensible choice would be anything from The Juice in Atwater Village and Grand Central Market in DTLA. Made from organic raw fruits and vegetables dense with cancer-fighting live enzymes to get your system back in check, healing cold-pressed juice blends include everything from carrot coconut and charcoal lemonade to a holiday spiced punch made from cranberry, orange, pineapple and ginger. They also have a cleansing selection of nut milks and smoothies.
Nothing nourishes the soul more than a noodle, and JINYA Ramen Bar just debuted three new dishes, including Karaage Chicken Ramen and Impossible Gyoza on its limited-time Chef’s Specials Menu, in addition to the Yuzu Shio Delight permanent, full-flavored bowl. Karaage Chicken Ramen comes with chicken broth, crispy chicken dressed in chili sauce, green onion, spinach, seasoned egg and nori dried seaweed, served with thin noodles. The Yuzu Shio Delight is a combination of chicken and pork clear broth, pork chashu, kikurage, green onion, spinach, seasoned egg and nori seaweed with yuzu flavor, served with thin noodles.
Campos Famous Burritos has been bringing in hungover Santa Monicans for generations, making a b-line for their famous avocado burrito. Whether it’s students from Santa Monica College after a long night of partying or closing the bars on Main Street, Campos is a comfort zone for those who have been ordering at the counter since 1971. They also have menudo breakfast on weekends and about 20 different breakfast burritos.
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