64 Worst: Couch Dumpers vs. Nowhere To Eat After 10PM

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While driving back to Los Angeles after a trip up north a few years ago, I tuned into KNX to get traffic conditions for the best route back into town. A report came in: there is a couch in lanes. I couldn’t wait for those six minutes to go by to hear the next report: two car accident at the couch in lanes. (This is one reason I LOVE LOVE LOVE Los Angeles traffic reports.) Couches and mattresses seem to be very hard to dispose of for most people. But honestly, how hard is it to call 311 and schedule a bulky item pickup? I have to admit, I do like the recycle mentality: you can put stuff on the sidewalk or in the alley and if the item is decent, it will be gone within the day, sometimes within a couple of hours. But if it’s not gone, you can’t let it hang out for months, rotting in the elements. You know who you are and you can’t camouflage the rotting sofa with a Christmas Tree in January. We see them both. Do your civic duty.

Speaking of mattresses, I’m a great sleeper. I’m an early to bed early to rise kinda gal. However, there are times when I’m out with the husband, seeing a movie or going to a lecture, and we want to eat afterward. This can be very tricky and annoying in Los Angeles. If it is past 9:30 there just aren’t that many choices. (I know there are plenty of Denny’s to go around, but really, after you’ve seen Harry Shearer talking to Al Gore, Moons Over My Hammy® is not going to cut it.) For late dining there is Canter’s, Kate Mantilini and Swingers. (Please tell me how wrong I am, please, with great detail and addresses and menus in the comments section, please!) Why can’t decent, interesting, good restaurants stay open past 10? Is there no night life in Los Angeles? What gives?

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(Poll closes April 7.)

Read more of the 64 Worst Round I polls and results.

26 Replies to “64 Worst: Couch Dumpers vs. Nowhere To Eat After 10PM”

  1. Hmmm…we’ve never had a problem finding food to eat after 10pm when we lived in the Fairfax district. Our favorite was Greenblatt’s. On the pricey side, but at least it’s good unlike the places you mentioned, save Mantilini which is just okay. Tom Bergin’s has food after 10pm, and some of the places at The Grove will sell you a sandwich or appetizer after 10.

    Also, IIRC, El Floridita is open after 10. I know that I’ve have plenty of meals there edging upon 11pm. The Romanian restaurant next door is also open late. Csardas is also open pretty late, though that’s iffy, seemingly depending on how many Hungarians are kicking it on the patio.

    I haven’t lived on the westside for 10 years, so I won’t run down the places in Santa Monica and Marina Del Rey we used to frequents as I don’t even know if some of them still exist. I do know that you can get late night food over at Sawtelle. After a late day of working, with 2 starving babies, if we weren’t in the mood for Greenblatt’s, we’d head over to Sawtelle (10 – 15 min. drive from Melrose/Fairfax at that hour) and get some yakitori or udon.

    Over here on the east side, it’s a lot harder, but taco trucks and stands abound and you can’t get better and cheaper food. Too bad there’s no decent tacos west of downtown. Some of the sushi bars on this side of town stay open a little later than the ones in Hollywood. I’ve also found some tasty Cuban bistros over here.

  2. Little Toni’s on Lankershim in North Hollywood has some pretty good pizza until around 1:00.

    Corral Cafe on Burbank in, you guessed it, Burbank, is open 24 hours.

    We wish there were more late night places, also.

  3. I’m tired of the city streets littered with furniture.

    I’ve never had a problem finding places to eat late at night. Back in the day…Ben Frank’s after a night at the clubs was a favorite on Sunset. After that there was always some sort of diner late at night I could stumble into in the Valley. If you’re talking a fine dining experience…how late is too late?

  4. Oh my goodness! We just moved to Long Beach a couple weeks ago, and the third day we were in the new house, we heard a commotion on our front porch and the squealing of wheels. When we opened the door, there was a COUCH on our porch! So this is an ages-old LA tradition now?

  5. Boy, I don’t really have a problem with either of these things so I’m abstaining from the vote. It seems like LA stays open later than almost anywhere else I’ve ever been. Seriously, I’m sure New York is pretty happening after 10 PM, but there are major cities in this country where that gripe is actually true and valid. LA has so many late night eateries I’m absolutely flabbergasted at the charge.

  6. Dining out late — depends on where you are in the greater LA area. If you are east-ish, here are a few spots that would work:

    The Kitchen, Silver Lake. Fountain and Sunset Blvd. Great friend chicken. Totally a hipster hangout. Food is tasty. The place doesn’t really get going until after 10 p.m.

    BriteSpot, Echo Park/Silver Lake border. Sunset Blvd. This place gets panned on the WWW a lot but I have had good experiences. It’s basically a googie coffee shop staffed by hipster and their grandmothers, so don’t expect too much. But it’s open ’til 4 a.m.! Hint: choose the breakfast items.

    Astro Diner, Silver Lake. On Fletcher at Glendale Blvd. This is totally a googie diner. Cheap, friendly, fast. Quality is get-what-you-pay-for.

    And as the previous poster said, try Koreatown. But watch out for drunk Koreans on the road :-)

  7. There are a lot of places open after 10pm.

    All on Sunset, but in different areas: Bowery, Magnolia, Mel’s Diner (also in Hollywood), Sushi Dan, Bossa Nova.

    I know there are more in Hollywood. But, that might take a bit more research.

    As far as couches, someone puts one every month or so outside of my office in Hollywood. And, the cushions disappear and reappear, trannies nap on them in the afternoon, kids tag them and homeless people use them as a restroom. It’s pretty gross.

  8. there are major cities in this country where that gripe is actually true and valid. LA has so many late night eateries I’m absolutely flabbergasted at the charge

    I think since we’re so sprawling, there’s that perception that there aren’t enough late night eateries. There are many parts of LA County where that charge is true.

  9. You know, I just got my swerve on with a couple of friends in front of some apartments. We just sat out there on the couch and chatted it up with passerby(i?isms?). I’m sure the couch will eventually rot out there, but for the evening it was a great place to spend a Wednesday evening. We were all playing at ‘The Wire’ type gangsters. It was great.

  10. Try living in the South Bay – Damn near everything open late is either sub-par or way too much of the same old, same old. Thank goodness for taco trucks.

  11. For a city of this size and caliber, it should have more late night restaurants than street couches. Unfortunately it does not, thus “Nowhere to eat after 10pm” gets my vote.

  12. Please say: “I don’t know where there’s a good place to eat in this town after 10 p.m.”, instead of “There are no good places to eat in this town after 10 p.m.” Thank you.
    Signed- Satan, Chairman of “Defenders of L.A. & Anti L.A. Bashing League”
    p.s.- I do actually know of some good street couches you can eat on after 10p.m.

  13. I’ve found plenty of late-night dining options, besides the obvious diner-type (Canter’s, Bob’s, Mel’s) choices. I don’t know if all of these will fit the criteria of “good and interesting,” but I like them.

    The Electric Lotus (Indian) on Vermont near Franklin is open until midnight during the week and 1am on weekends.

    If you want Thai, head to Thai Town on Hollywood Blvd. My two favorites, which are both in the shopping center next to Thailand Plaza are Ruen Pair, which is open until 3 or 4 am (cash only) and Thai Patio, which I believe stays open until about midnight.

    In downtown Burbank, Wokcano stays open until 2am. My husband says their sushi is good and I’ve enjoyed a huge, delicious Chinese chicken salad there.

    The Poquito Mas on Chahuenga near Universal City is open until midnight or 1am.

    For a decent pizza and an awesome soda selection (if you like that sort of thing), there is Damiano’s (Mr. Pizza) across from Canter’s on Fairfax.

    Casita del Campo at 1920 Hyperion in Silverlake has good Mexican food and is open until 1am on Fridays and Saturdays only.

    And who doesn’t love the occasional In ‘N Out splurge? They are open until 1am during the week and 1:30 on weekends.

  14. Who cares about couches, nowhere to eat after 10 is a pain in the ass. No where that delivers after ten even MORE of a pain in the ass.

    Great place that delivers until 3am that’s NOT pizza.

    TG Express….

    http://www.tgexpress.net/

    This place is so freakin awesome, the best Thai food in the world that will deliver pretty much anywhere that anyone lives (well at least in my world, no one in my world can live outside the TG Express delivery zone…lol…but it’s freakin huge!!!)

    Oh yeah another place open pretty late Pete’s Cafe, until 2am. Great sit down non greasy spoon place where the food is actually edible (the pantry’s open, for vomiting) they also shuttle you to Disney Hall, Mark Taper Forum, and to and from Laker games.)

    http://www.petescafe.com/

    Browne

  15. Who cares about couches, nowhere to eat after 10 is a pain in the ass. No where that delivers after ten even MORE of a pain in the ass.

    Great place that delivers until 3am that’s NOT pizza.

    TG Express….

    http://www.tgexpress.net/

    This place is so freakin awesome, the best Thai food in the world that will deliver pretty much anywhere that anyone lives (well at least in my world, no one in my world can live outside the TG Express delivery zone…lol…but it’s freakin huge!!!)

    Oh yeah another place open pretty late Pete’s Cafe (on 4th and main), until 2am. Great sit down non greasy spoon place where the food is actually edible (the pantry’s open, for vomiting) they also shuttle you to Disney Hall, Mark Taper Forum, and to and from Laker games.)

    Browne

  16. And another place that’s good for late night all night eating. Alhambra and Monterey Park, Noodle World is open until 1am and St Honors that place used to be open all night. I haven’t hung out in Alhambra in ages since I was in high school and in college, but back in the day Alhambra was like Vegas, in lots of ways.

    Browne

  17. Back in the 90s, all some of us did was eat after 10PM. My usual places probably didn’t measure up to your standards, though. MPV in Alhambra, Sittons in North Hollywood, Canter’s, Shorehouse in Long Beach, Noodle World, Sam Woo, Luk Yue, IHOP, Tommy’s, Ruen Pair, Sanamluang, and a Korean place out in Hacienda Heights. This was before the current good-food boom, when our standards were more pedestrian.

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