The Best Comfort Food In Los Angeles
We've put together a list of our favorite comfort foods—from the best bowl of pho to the tastiest pastrami sandwich—that will bring you back to your childhood days or cure that unrelenting hangover.
Photo of Bludso's BBQed ribs via NomsNotBombs on Flickr
BBQed Brisket @ Bludso's
Kevin Bludso uses his granny's recipe to crank out what we believe to be the best Texas-style 'que in town. The smoky brisket is tender and juicy, as are the ribs. They're best consumed with a hearty dose of Bludso's bangin' house-made sauce (we recommend the spicy version). Sides don't fall short either. Get the mac 'n cheese or the collard greens. Thankfully, there are two locations open now, the original in Compton and a more gussied-up version on La Brea that serves cocktails and beer, so you can always get your fix. --Krista Simmons
Bludso's is located at 811 S Long Beach Boulevard, Compton, (310) 637-1342
Soup Dumplings @ Din Tai Fung
Gone are the days that you have to drive out to the SGV for DTF's epic soup dumplings -- also known as xaio long bao or XLB. There is now a location at the Americana at Brand in Glendale that serves the traditional delicate pork dumplings as well as fancier offerings like white truffle dumplings and a full bar program. But beware that the lines are just as long. Perhaps the purveyors of bite-sized balls of broth will have to open a second location next door like they did in the SGV. They're the ultimate comfort food for a wicked hangover or a cold winter's night. --Krista Simmons
Din Tai Fung is located at 1088 South Baldwin Avenue in Arcadia; (626) 446-8588
Photo of Roscoe's chicken and waffles via Muy Yum on Flickr
Fried Chicken and Waffles @ Roscoe's
If a fat plate of juicy fried chicken and fluffy waffles doused in syrup doesn't make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, there's nothing that will. Take it over the top with a side of collard greens and you'll forget all about the daylight-savings doldrums. There are six 'Scoe's locations throughout the city, so you can get your fried chicken fix no matter whose house you woke up at. --Krista Simmons
Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles has six locations throughout the city, with the original location at 1514 North Gower Street in Hollywood; (323) 466-7453
Mole @ Guelaguetza
The Lopez family's Guelaguetza restaurants are beloved in Los Angeles for their authentic Oaxacan fare and festive, welcoming atmosphere. Tuck in to a toasty, smoky tipple of mescal while you wait for a piping hot plate of soul-warming mole negro, made with your choice of chicken breast or chicken legs. It comes covered in rich, bold black mole made from a paste of chiles, nuts, seeds, spices and Oaxacan chocolate. It may be rainy outside, but you'll immediately feel like you're on a South-of-the-border vacay. --Krista Simmons
Guelaguetza is located at 3014 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, (213) 427-0608
The long lines at Daikokuya are a testament to how delicious the rich and complex pork broth is in their signature tonkatsu ramen. The pork belly in the dish has been cooked for so long that it actually melts in your mouth and the soft-boiled egg compliments the flavors perfectly. Slices of green onions float on top of the bowl to give the ramen some extra kick. If there's a line to get in, you might as well grab a drink at the Far Bar next door while you wait. And don't forget to slurp your noodles!
Daikokuya is located at 327 East 1st Street in Little Tokyo; (213) 626-1680
If you have a hankering for a hot pastrami sandwich, Langer's Deli is your trusted source. This L.A. institution has been serving up these beloved sammies since 1947. There's something to be said about the marriage of flavors and texture here. If you get the #19, you'll be hit with the smoky and tender thick-cut slices of pastrami sandwiched between rye bread, creamy Russian dressing, and the crisp crunch of coleslaw.
Langer's Deli is located at 704 S Alvarado St. in Los Angeles; (213) 483-8050
Pho is kind of the perfect comfort food—a little salty, a little spicy and totally restorative. You don't need to trek out to the San Gabriel Valley to get a decent bowl of it. The magic potion at Pho 87 is the charbroiled pork pho. The charred, bold flavor hits the spot. If you're hungover, there's no hair of the dog here, but Vietnamese iced coffee or Thai iced tea should do the trick. (Bring cash!) --Emma Gallegos
Pho 87 is located at 1019 N Broadway in Chinatown; (323) 227-0758
Lasagna @ Angelini Osteria
The lasagna verde at Angelini Osteria's bustling Italian restaurant is comfort food at its best. Hearty and rustic, the lasagna verde is their take on a classic dish that is topped with crispy fried spinach leaves, and has layers upon layers of perfectly square pasta noodles, cheese, and savory beef and veal ragu. The full name of the dish includes the words "Omaggio Nonna Elvira," which means "homage to my grandma Elvira," so you know it's serious business.
Angelini Osteria is located at 7313 Beverly Blvd. in Los Angeles; (323) 297-0070
A grilled cheese sandwich coupled with a warm bowl of tomato soup may whisk you back to your childhood, but The Grilled Cheese Truck takes it a step further and whips up their sandwiches for your greasy adult palate. The cheesy mac 'n rib dares to replace slices of cheese with actual gooey cheddar mac n cheese, combined with the sweetness of the BBQ pork; the caramelized onions give the dish an extra kick. And don't forget to get a side of tater tots!
The schedule for The Grilled Cheese Truck can be found on their website here
Braised Short Rib @ Cliff's Edge
Mmm meaty. Cliff's Edge's prime short rib is tender and juicy, with a roasted bone marrow put right in the center of the dish. Autumnal root veggies like turnips and carrots accompanying the dish will make you feel like you're at home, and make sure to sop up the short rib in the thyme jus. The best part is that you can sit on soft cushions under the trees outdoors at this restaurant, but stay warm and toasty by the heat lamps.
Cliff's Edge is located at 3626 Sunset Blvd. in Silver Lake; (323) 666-6116
Shrimp 'n Grits @ The Hart & The Hunter
The Hart & The Hunter is tucked away in the chic Palihotel, which feels something akin to a Southern home with its quaint decorations and plethora of armed chairs. The shrimp 'n grits dish is a perfect medley of sweet shrimp, creamy, creamy grits, and a touch of bacon in its mushroom sauce. And for good measure, try the chicken cracklins and butter biscuits.
The Hart & The Hunter is located at 7950 Melrose Ave. in West Hollywood; (323) 424-3055
This is comfort food with a kick. This tiny Koreatown joint serves up boiling bowls of deep red, full-bodied broth along with tofu and basically whatever kind of meat or seafood you want. If the scalding temperature or the spice are too much, reach for the pitcher of iced barley tea that comes on every table. (The ban-chan and stone bibimbap are pretty baller, too.) --Emma Gallegos
Beverly Soon Tofu Restaurant is located at 2717 W Olympic Blvd. #108, (213) 380-1113
Pie @ Pie 'n Burger
What's more satisfying than finishing up your burger with a nice, big slice of homemade pie? Pie 'n Burger transports us back to the old school 1960s diner days with their warm boysenberry wedges with flaky crusts and pumpkin pies topped with a dollop of whipped cream. Variety is the spice of life and they're serious about it, from their fresh fruit to meringue pies. And if you're looking for a savory type of pie, they've got chicken pot pie too.
Pie N Burger is located at 913 E California Blvd. in Pasadena; (626) 795-1123