My buddy Mark Madler knows how much the L.A. Times Food section usually bothers me – I used to spend every Wednesday ranting about how out of reach each story is to real people – but one story in the paper today had a gem worth saving. And, the food section maintains its integrity by staying bougie – this story was somehow put into Entertainment’s Night Life, rather than food. Go figure.
It was a tough job, so Chris Barton had to do it – he visited several of L.A. and surrounding area all-night eateries so we didn’t have to do it. Now, this, I’m sure, was not the easiest job (right) – he had to visit all these “greasy spoons” and actually eat – oh, who are we kidding? This is the type of gig every reporter wants!
The best part of it? A list of diners, their addresses, phone numbers and a small snippet about each one. It’s the most useful thing I’ve seen the Times produce to date:
It’s after hours, and you’re famished…
Hankering for bacon, eggs and some good company at 2 a.m.? A sampler of late-night diners, all open 24 hours unless otherwise noted:
101 Coffee Shop 6145 Franklin Ave., L.A., (323) 467-1175. 7 a.m. to 3 a.m. daily.
Unaffected Hollywood favorite finishes late nights right with a killer jukebox.
Astro Family Restaurant 2300 Fletcher Drive, L.A., (323) 663-9241.
Traditional fare and nontraditional people-watching at Silver Lake’s all-night option.
Bob’s Big Boy 4211 W. Riverside Drive, Burbank, (818) 843-9334. www.bobs.net.
A local landmark, the oldest remaining location of the nationwide chain remembers its roots with round-the-clock hours and classic car nights.
The Brite Spot 1918 W. Sunset Blvd., L.A., (213) 484-9800. 7 a.m. to 4 a.m. daily.
Vegan-friendly fare for an indie-minded mix of locals and young Eastside hipsters.
Canter’s Deli 419 N. Fairfax Ave., L.A., (323) 651-2030.
L.A. classic draws diners from Largo and other Fairfax bars, as well as its own raucous Kibbitz Room.
Conrad’s 820 N. Central Ave., Glendale, (818) 246-6547.
Also: 861 E. Walnut St., Pasadena, (626) 577-7603.
Foothill-dwelling regulars find an alternative to Denny’s at this traditional family-style restaurant.
Coral Cafe 3321 W. Burbank Blvd., Burbank, (818) 566-9725.
Open since 1957, the Valley diner caters to an after-hours bar crowd as well as coffee-sipping high school kids.
Dolores Restaurant 11407 Santa Monica Blvd, L.A., (310) 477-1061.
Retro-styled diner has earned a following among UCLA students and other Westsiders.
Earl’s Home Cookin’ 807 N. Tustin St., Orange, (714) 639-8590.
Bargain-priced specials and a full-service smoker’s patio caters to O.C.’s young and old “25/7.”
Fred 62 1840 N. Vermont Ave., L.A., (323) 667-0062.
The ’50s diner gets cooler with a stylish sense of humor.
The Kettle 1138 Highland Ave., Manhattan Beach, (310) 545-8511.
As the rest of Manhattan Beach goes dark, CEOs and sorority girls flock to this California-style diner.
Mel’s Drive-In 1660 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood, (323) 465-3111.
Also: 8585 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, (310) 854-7200; and 14846 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, (818) 990-0648. www.melsdrive-in.com.
Shiny ’50s diner replicant strives for the idealized feel of “American Graffiti.”
Norm’s 1601 Lincoln Blvd., Santa Monica, (310) 450-6889.
Also: 470 N. La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood, (323) 655-0167 and 15 locations throughout Southern California. www.normsrestaurants.com.
Big breakfasts and an inviting Googie-era sign draw steady crowds.
Original Pantry Cafe 877 S. Figueroa St., L.A., (213) 972-9279.
Homestyle cooking and a piece of L.A. history at a true classic that’s “never without a customer.”
Pipers 222 N. Western Ave., L.A., (323) 465-7701.
Koreatown fixture pulls in neighborhood night-crawlers with breakfast, “pizzadillas” and Korean barbecue.
Sitton’s NoHo Diner 11329 Magnolia Blvd., North Hollywood. (818) 761-3341.
Irony-free Valley diner keeps it real with friendly service and a local clientele.
Swingers 8020 Beverly Blvd., L.A., (323) 653-5858. 6:30 a.m. to 4 a.m. daily.
Also: 802 Broadway, Santa Monica, (310) 393-9793. 7 a.m. to 3 a.m. daily.
With an eye toward ’70s style, the fashionable nightspot has a reputation as a pickup joint.
Shore House Cafe 5271 E. 2nd St., Long Beach, (562) 433-2266. Closed for remodeling but expected to reopen Friday.
Also: 201 Avenida Del Mar, San Clemente, (949) 498-3936 and eight other locations in Southern California.
The all-night diner goes coastal with a bright, glossy menu offering something for every craving.
Twain’s 12905 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, (818) 760-9577.
Lived-in vintage diner offers end-of-the-night favorites to club-goers from either side of the hill.
‚Äî Chris Barton
One suggestion, however – it might have been worth a nice sidebar to note all the varieties of all-night Asian food that can be had all over metropolitan L.A.