Los Angeles: 12 Places To Eat After 2 A.M.

Los Angeles has long lagged places like New York and San Francisco for late-night eating. We can point to a combination of early bar closing times, and early set call times, as the culprit. Regardless, here are 12 dishes — from ramen and donuts to Israeli salads and tacos — served around the city after 2 a.m. And keep in mind, we are grading on a slight curve, so "great" at 2 a.m. might only be "good" during daylight.

Joshua Lurie is the founder of Los Angeles-based restaurant and travel blog Food GPS.

1. Ikemen Dip Ramen

Tokyo native Takashi Adachi preaches "No Ramen, No Life" at this offbeat restaurant in a Hollywood strip mall. Male staffers wear fedoras, women rock vintage dresses and the main man specializes in "dip ramen" topped with unusual ingredients. The Johnny Dip contains green onions, Italian basil, cherry tomato and thick noodles topped with torched cha siu. A nice touch is the bonito, which rests on a pedestal near the entrance like petrified wood and dances to the heat after getting shaved to order. 1655 N. La Brea Ave., Hollywood, 323.800.7669, ikemenhollywood.com

2. 25 Degrees

The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel is undoubtedly the star-lined Boulevard's nightlife Mecca, and after stumbling out of The Spare Room, Library Bar, the poolside Tropicana Bar or raucous Beacher's Madhouse, a good option is the streetside burger bar. Tim and Liza Goodell's establishment might have décor befitting a bordello, with plenty of burgundy and mirrors, but they also have one of the best late night burgers in town. Stick with one of the prescribed combos or build your own burgers, choosing a meat, cheese and sauce. We prefer caramelized onions, bacon, arugula, onion, lettuce, tomato, pickle and Crescenza, a soft cow's milk cheese from Sonoma County. 7000 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, 323.785.7244, 25degreesrestaurant.com

3. Aroma Bakery Cafe

This spinoff of a popular Encino café resides just outside West Hollywood's Sunset Strip and draws Israeli ex-pats in droves. On weekends, which is when Aroma extends hours past 2 A.M., a crowd fills the wraparound patio to eat grilled meats, salads and sandwiches. The House Sandwich features a soft roll that could easily be mistaken for a bollilo, layered with hard-boiled egg, hummus, spicy red onion, diced tomato and cucumber and eggplant. Make sure to specify baked instead of fried. Regardless of how they cook the vegetable, you'll receive a heaping serving of Israeli salad with tangy vinaigrette. 7373 W. Sunset Blvd., Hollywood, 323.850.8120 aromabakery.com

4. Bossa Nova Brazilian Cuisine

The stretch of Sunset Boulevard between Fairfax and La Brea Avenues is like a spider web, catching drinkers as they stream from the Sunset Strip and Hollywood. A long-time stop is Bossa Nova, the sprawling Brazilian café that's especially deft at grilling fish, whether it's salmon, sea bass or specials. Fillets arrive with winning sears and come with rice, black beans, candy sweet fried plantains and toasted manioc powder. This is the rare late-night meal that achieves balance. 7181 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood, 323-4360-7999. bossanovafood.com

5. Donut Man

To say that Donut Man is an outlier is an understatement, but the 24/7 donut shop from Jim Nakano still draws people to the far eastern edge of the San Gabriel Valley via bygone Route 66. The former Orange Julius is best known for serving fresh strawberry and peach donuts, depending on the season, and our favorite year-round offering is the tiger tail. The foot-long glazed twist features a DNA helix-like pattern and streaks of sugar and cinnamon. 915 East Route 66, Glendora, 626 335 9111

6. Johnnie's Pastrami

Bob Bass took over a hot dog stand in 1952, and his widow Sue has made sure the planter-lined, glass-fronted establishment has stayed in the family, and maintained the vibe, ever since. Songs are a quarter apiece on tabletop jukeboxes, including "Girlwatcher" by the O Kaysions and "I Want You Back" by the Jackson 5. Most customers order the hot pastrami French dip, a heap of thin sliced, fat rimmed pastrami that takes a short bath in salty "specialty prepared sauce" and slides into a soft hoagie. The sandwich comes with pickles. Ask for a dish of pickled pepperocini or a squeeze bottle of spicy English mustard for extra pop. 4017 Sepulveda Blvd., Culver City, 310.397.6654. johnniespastrami.com

7. Keungama

After the neighborhood karaoke and hostess bars finally break up for the night – often at sunrise – Koreatown has plenty of 24/7 dining options and Keungama might be the best of them. [Read our guide to Koreatown]. One of the most comforting dishes in the Korean repertoire is sul lung tang, beef bone soup, and Keungama has a more than respectable version. The cloudy soup includes brisket, small intestine, tendon, belly and lots of noodles. Season with coarse Korean salt, pepper, scallions, and for fans of the pungent, kimchi. 3498 W. 8th St., Koreatown, 213.365.6788 mybigpot.com

8. Tacos Leo

Taco trucks are the lifeblood for a lot of late night diners in Los Angeles, and one of the best examples is Tacos Leo. Sure they've got other meats, but their biggest claim to fame is pastor. They grace a corn tortilla with spiced, achiote-stained and spit-roasted pork leg, sliced pineapple, onion, cilantro, and a choice of salsa. We recommend smoky, moderately spicy salsa roja. Better yet, they set up shop at a Union 76 station, so gas up after you chow down. Venice Blvd. & La Brea Ave., Mid-City

9. Krua Siri

The relentless Siri family debuted this specialized restaurant in 2011, and they take very few hours off in Thai Town. They feature dishes from Lampang, a small city outside of Chiang Mai, including chicken laab lashed with red onion, rice powder and dried chilies that rattle when jarred (like a rattlesnake). Dull the pain with raw cabbage and cucumbers. 5103 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, 323.660.6196 kruasiri.com

10. Pacific Dining Car

The best late night splurge in L.A. is definitely at Pacific Dining Car, a longstanding steakhouse that Fred and Grace Cook opened in 1921 to honor the Red Car that cut through the city. The current location is 24/7, resides just west of the 110 freeway, and is easy to find thanks to life-size, 3D cow signs. PDC specializes in dry-aged, corn-fed and 100% Prime beef. Popular cuts of beef include a bone-in rib-eye called the Cowboy Steak. 1310 W. 6th St., Downtown, 213.483.6000 pacificdiningcar.com

11. Krua Thai

Sherman Way is unofficially Thai Town North, with more than a dozen restaurants flanking Coldwater Canyon, and Krua Thai serves some of the neighborhood's best noodle dishes. We're fond of pad kee mao, which chef Rub Lawanon throttles with pieces of chile. The flat rice noodles also join mint leaves, tomato, onion, and a choice of meat. Pick ground pork, wait a few short minutes for the plate to arrive, and hold on to your chair, since this dish definitely packs heat. 13130 Sherman Way, North Hollywood, 818-759-7998

12. Myung Dong Kyoja

Yeon-Ha Park's mini chain dates to 1966, extending all the way to Orange County. The Koreatown branch is far from homely, with a high ceiling, brick walls and fluorescent bright lights. They specialize in kal guk su, a satisfying noodle soup. A murky chicken broth supports slippery noodles, ground chicken, pork dumplings and a flurry of vegetables including onions, carrots, floppy wood ear mushrooms and shaved zucchini. Spoon on a savory sauce of scallion, soy and garlic for more punch. 3630 Wilshire Blvd., Koreatown, 213-385-7789

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