Solo Occupancy: Late-night Los Angeles Dining

By Melanie Nayer

Ah, Los Angeles… the City of Angels, the Hollywood sign, la-la land. LA is to single women what cabarets are to single men: seedy, sexy, sultry and full of hidden agendas. So, what does a single woman do when she finds herself alone along the boulevard of broken dreams? She eats.

That’s right, ladies, late-night dining-at-its-finest takes place in all sorts of Los Angeles eateries, and we’ve got some hot spots for you to try on your next trip to LA. Don’t miss a few of our favorites next time you’re alone in the City of Angels:

NAPA VALLEY GRILLE: Wine country found a home in Westwood. Step into the warm dining room, ask for a seat near the exhibition kitchen, and escape into the evening. Chef Joseph Gillard and his team use organic vegetables and fruits, make their pasta in house daily, and hand-select all the meats and seafood/fish for the menu every day. Our suggestion: alert your waiter to any allergies and then tell him to bring you whatever the chef suggests. Quite simply, you’ll think you’ve fallen into food heaven. Whether or not you’ve saved room for dessert is irrelevant, because you’re going to have some anyway. Pastry Chef Manuel Ortega creates desserts that combine his experience in painting and architectural design with the science of baking and the art of plating desserts. Unless you’re craving something specific, order the Laura Chenel Goat Cheese Tart. Dressed with orange blossom honey, the tart will satisfy every want and desire you crave from a good dessert. One bite and you’re not sure what to take home: the dessert itself, or Ortega for creating it.

Napa Valley Grille (http://www.napavalleygrille.com/)
1100 Glendon Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90024
310.824.3322; Hours: Mon-Thurs 5:30 pm – 10:00 pm; Fri-Sat 5:00 pm–11:00 pm; Sunday 5:00 pm–9:00 pm; Happy Hour (Bar & Patio) Mon–Sat 3:00pm – 7:00pm, 9:00pm – 12:00am

PINK’S: It’s one of the most famous late-night eateries in Los Angeles, which is obvious by the lines of people waiting for a snack at all hours of the night. Your best bet? Get in line early and keep a power bar in your bag in case you get hungry. PINK’S is famous for its chili cheese dogs so if you’re going to go, you might as well go all the way.  We love it because it’s always lively. The people in line are excited to be here, the staff is super friendly and thanks to the combinations of hot dogs they put together, you won’t lack a conversation starter if you get bored while waiting.

Pink’s (http://www.pinkshollywood.com/)
709 N La Brea Ave Los Angeles, CA 90038
(323) 931-4223; Hours: Sun-Thu 9:30am-2am, Fri-Sat 9:30am-3am

MEL’S DRIVE-IN: This Hollywood staple is a must-see for any single woman on a milkshake mission. The diner’s 50s-style decor is fun, flirty and full of history. Check out the walls for some of your favorite photos of celebrities and TV shows. The original Mel’s is in San Francisco and served as a backdrop to  a little movie you might remember called “American Graffiti.” Today, Mel’s still creates great burgers and the best milkshakes this side of Rodeo. Depending on how late you stick around,  you might even spot your favorite celeb.

Mel’s Drive-In (http://www.melsdrive-in.com/)
1660 N Highland Ave Los Angeles, CA 90028
(323) 465-3111; Hours: 24 hours a day/7 days a week

TASTY GARDEN: This late-night Chinese restaurant is more than spare ribs and egg rolls. It’s known for its clay pot and French-style filet mignon and is one of the few authentic Hong Kong style cafes in the area. The menu features a variety of Hong Kong specialties as well as traditional Cantonese dishes. But, the Tasty Garden Restaurant is most famous for its Hot Pot Rice – a sticky rice combined with meat or vegetables that is cooked in a digitalized oven to save time and avoid over cooking. This oven can automatically adjust the time and the intensity of cooking based on the nature of the food.  This stuff sticks to the bones!

Tasty Garden (http://www.tastygarden.us/)
288 West Valley Blvd. #110, Alhambra
(626) 300-8262; Hours: Sunday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 1 a.m/weekends until 3 a.m.

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