It’s the morning after a long and memorable night, one in which perhaps tequila made an appearance, and the pain is starting to set in. You didn’t alternate your drinks with enough water, or maybe you did not get enough sleep. Either way, the struggle IS REAL. We asked some of L.A.’s top bartenders to share their favorite hangover meals, because, well, this is the life they’ve chosen.
Gabriella Mlynarczyk, Birch, Accomplice Bar
Anything that includes masses of butter or pork fat. A super-sized bowl of miso ramen from Santouka in the Mitsuwa Market food court with extra chashu. Or three dozen oysters, fries, baguette with Normandy butter and jam, with a bucket of champagne at Republique. Other cures: I take massive amounts of milk thistle before bed to detox my liver. It usually minimizes the effects of a hangover.
Joe Swifka, Salt’s Cure
Soup dumplings from Wang Xing Ji out in Rosemead. The best soup dumplings I’ve ever had are from Joe’s Shanghai in New York’s Chinatown. Wang Xing Ji makes them ALMOST as good. Other cures: A few ibuprofen, a can of Coke, and a beer. In that order. Then soup dumplings. Then a long nap.
Nathan Hazard, The Coconut Club, Drink Special
Hard-shelled tacos and an Orange Bang from Taco Fiesta in Highland Park. It is quintessential 1980s flashback bliss. Not that I was dealing with hangovers in the 80s or anything. Other cures: Fountain Coke, Styrofoam cup, rabbit pellet ice, squeaky straw.
Darwin Manahan, 71Above
Salt and pepper pork chops, French-style beef, salted fish fried rice, walnut shrimp at Full House Seafood Restaurant in Chinatown. This would happen right after the drinking around 2 a.m. Other cures: Tell myself I’m never drinking again, cold shower, and Netflix, in that order. If I’m feeling like a baller, I’ll hit up Spaahbulous in Chinatown for a well-needed massage.
Matt Seigel, Delilah, Melody
Pho for breakfast at Pho Shop. It’s open 24 hours, so whether it’s late night or early morning you can get your fix. Plus, the super hot and spicy soup is exactly what you need. Other cures: A Coke Slurpee gets you that sugar and caffeine, plus the cold temperature wakes you up. Vitamin intake is something you should be doing regularly anyway, but B12 helps with alertness and gets you out of your hangover fog.
Bethany Ham, Birds & Bees
If there is one thing that makes me feel better it’s chicken and broccoli, and egg rolls with copious amounts of hot mustard sauce. Unfortunately, I have celiac disease, so I went a long time without finding a place that I could eat it, and then I found Hu’s (10450 National Blvd.). They will make any dish you order gluten-free for you, without the breading, and they will replace soy sauce with gluten-free soy sauce as well. The wait staff there are genuine, and the food is always delicious. Other cures: Make sure you are drinking water all night, and don’t get buggered up on an empty stomach. It seems simple, but so many people just can’t be bothered to do it.
Aaron Polsky, Harvard & Stone
Yukgaejang from Yangji Gamjatang. Also available on Seamless. The small amounts of beef usually found in the Yukgaejang get me feeling 100 percent. Plus, I love it for its boldness of flavor and its hearty spice. Like most Korean restaurants here, Yangji Gamjatang delivers it with banchan, so I can start my meal with a strong dose of probiotics from naturally fermented foods. Other cures: Get up and out and go on a few walking errands.
Dustin Newsome, Bar Clacson
I fell in love with the chilaquiles at Millie’s off Sunset many years ago, and it’s still my favorite! Nothing beats good nachos, and this dish is almost like savory and delightful breakfast nachos using yesterday’s tortillas. Truly a treasure, along with ibuprofen and coffee, they make the ultimate revival recipe. Other cures: Electrolytes and more water than you think you ever need. It’s so easy to forget, so I usually nail an Emergen-C with about a gallon of water before my pillow face plant, and that seems to curb the morning bad face.
Peter Lloyd-Jones, 1886
Pho at Saigon Flavor in San Gabriel Valley. Other cures: I have heard the best thing to eat for a hangover is a salad with a light protein, although a heavy breakfast has never steered me wrong. Recently at a bartenders weekend in San Diego, we all happened to end up at Great Maple Restaurant after a big night, and it was brunch for days! Also, most importantly, most all industry people know one glass of water with every drink keeps hangover minimal.
Malina Bickford, Cliff’s Edge
If there’s light at the end of my hangover tunnel, I’ll hit up Sapp Coffee Shop in Thai Town for their Tom Kha Gai. It’s a magical healing elixir. But when there is truly no hope in sight for me, I’ll just crush a HOT-N-READY on the couch in my underwear. Extra ranch. Other cures: Open two caplets of activated charcoal into a full 2-once shot of Angostura bitters, and shoot it. Chase with some really spicy ginger beer. I swear by this. It works heroically.