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Great Nights Out: Pre-Bedtime Bites

Why skimp on flavor at 4 a.m.? From killer prawns to spicy bulgogi, these meals inspire

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The hunger pangs start when the bouncer pushes you onto the sidewalk at 2 a.m. By now your other four senses have succumbed to an evening’s worth of overstimulation, but not to worry—your taste buds can take it from here. We find comfort in the idea that there is and will always be an hour-long line at Pink’s. And the shaggy-haired gringos beside the Taco Zone truck are proof that carnivores still live in Echo Park. But in L.A. there’s no need to let even the post-last-call ritual be a wasted opportunity for culinary adventure. Downtown you can suck the heads of sweet fried prawns sprinkled with hot green chilies at Full House Seafood Restaurant (963 N. Hill St., Chinatown, 213-617-8382; open till 3), the fluorescent light of the lobster tank as pale as the rising sun in the east. Go on a Thai-food vision quest to North Hollywood, where the gloriously fatty duck broth and even fattier noodles at Sanamluang Café (12980 Sherman Way, North Hollywood, 818-764-1180; open till 4) will clear your head and possibly your soul. At BCD Tofu House (3575 Wilshire Blvd., L.A., 213-382-6677; open 24 hours) join the patrons of Koreatown’s karaoke dives who are soothing their pipes with charred strips of bulgogi and silken lumps of tofu in the accompanying soup. Had a rough night? The bits of bacon beneath the bread crumb crust on the mac and cheese at Kitchen 24 (1608 N. Cahuenga Blvd., Hollywood, 323-465-2424; open 24 hours) will make it all better, we promise.