Opinionated diners agree, Top 10 lists are highly subjective. For a city as large as Los Angeles, it's no wonder we missed a few great late night dining spots (see our recent Top 10 Late-Night Grub For Nocturnal Foodies). Which is why, dear readers, we decided to put together another kind of Top 10 list: one for the people, by the people, based on reader comments.
In no particular order, we offer you the Top Ten Late Night Joints in Los Angeles our readers felt we should have mentioned.
1. Tommy's Burgers: Ever since opening its original shack on Beverly and Rampart in 1946, Tommy's has collected a dedicated following. Some of our Squid Ink readers consider the original Tommy's to be a late night landmark (thanks Jackson Montgomery and “MoDigs”). This 24-hour hamburger shack is beloved for its chili-topped burgers and fries, stand up counters, and all night service. Choose your location.
2. Al Be Ne: No matter what time of day, this 24-hour restaurant has plenty of Korean comfort food to choose from. Located in a tiny strip mall with a sign that reads “Albea's Restaurant,” this any time eatery offers spicy soups like yuk gae jang, warm noodles (Squid Ink reader Tony Chen of SinoSoul recommends a $7 bowl of jjam pong noodle soup), and boiled dumplings. 3470 W 6th St. #6; (213) 388-1105.
3. Ruen Pair: Located in the heart of Thai Town, this underground favorite is popular for its traditional fare and 4 a.m. closing time. Diners swear by the chicken larb, papaya salad and The morning glory. Mon-Sun. 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 a.m. Valet parking only. 5257 Hollywood Blvd.; (323) 466-0153.
4. BCD Tofu: Located on the corner of Wilshire and Kingsley, this 24-hour Korea Town restaurant serves inexpensive and fresh, tofu-driven combo meals. Fill up with fresh vegetable bibimbab, or the Soon Tofu plate and all its accompanying sides. 3575 Wilshire Blvd.; (323) 382-6677.
5. Kitchen 24: Billed as a traditional diner, Kitchen 24 serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner 24-hours a day (except Monday, for two hours of maintenance). No Reservations Accepted. First come, first served. 1608 N Cahuenga Blvd.; (323) 465-2424.
6. Swingers: Packs of over-dressed party kids tempt fate nearly every night whenever they sprint across lanes of traffic to get to this kitchy, late-night diner located on Beverly Blvd. in Hollywood and on Broadway in Santa Monica. Good at the simple stuff like omelets, salads, and grilled sandwiches, these sister restaurants are open from 6:30 a.m. to 4 a.m. Go for basic food, not great service. 8020 Beverly Blvd.; (323) 653-5858 and 802 Broadway, Santa Monica; (310) 393-9793.
7. Lu Gi: If you live in the San Gabriel valley and consider late night dining to be any time after 9 p.m. then this San Gabriel Valley Taiwanese restaurant may be just the place for you. A Jonathan Gold approved joint, Lu Gi serves spicy bowls of make-your-own Sichuan hot pot until 11 pm during the week and 11:30 on the weekends. Open daily for lunch and dinner. Lot parking. 539 W. Valley Blvd., San Gabriel; (626) 457-5111.
8. Tasty Garden: Squid Ink reader, Jim Thurman, suggested we broaden our list to include more east side restaurants and suggested this late night Chinese restaurant known for its clay pot and French-style filet mignon. Open Sunday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 1 a.m and on the weekends until 3 a.m. 288 West Valley Blvd. #110, Alhambra; (626) 300-8262.
9. Baccali: A fusion of Hong Kong and Malaysian cuisine, Baccali in Alhambra serves Sunday through Thursday until 1 a.m., and on Friday and Saturday until 2 a.m. Diners' favorites include Malaysian roasted chicken with curry rice, chow fun, and lemon iced tea. 245 W Valley Blvd. Alhambra; (626) 293-3300.
10. The Indian: Readers suggested this Taiwanese San Gabriel restaurant–a late night restaurant known to many as the “Asian Hooters”–be featured on our list. Known for its stinky tofu and waitresses in skimpy Native American outfits, The Indian is popular with diners in the San Gabriel valley hungry for a little bit more than traditional late night eats. 633 S San Gabriel Blvd., San Gabriel; (626) 287-0688.
Brooke Burton is also the author of Foodwoolf.com.