This story comes courtesy of Food GPS.
By Tess Minsky
Have you ever been stuck hungry in the midst of that no-man’s land time between lunch and dinner with no good restaurant options? Or perhaps you’ve just had a mental block as to what restaurants are worth going to that are even open? And while it does seem like so many restaurants these days are closed between lunch and dinner or not even open during lunch, I’ve hit the pavement and found 12 top restaurants open between lunch and dinner service.
All photos by Food GPS unless otherwise noted. Numbered establishments on the map correspond to information below for easy reference. Establishments also appear in reverse-alphabetical order instead of in order of preference.
12. Sugarfish by Sushi Nozawa
<a href="http://www.sugarfishsushi.com/" target="_blank">Sugarfish by Sushi Nozawa</a> During meal primetimes, any of the Sugar Fish restaurants can be quite packed. With the hours of 12PM-9PM (hours may vary a touch based on day) you can order any of the Trust-Me menus around the same time you could catch “The Days of Our Lives,” and thankfully, this über-fresh sushi is great any hour of the day.
<a href="http://www.stoutburgersandbeers.com/home" target="_blank">Stout</a> Stout has brews and burgers from 11:30AM-4AM (hello late-night grubbing). There are two locations right now with two more on the way (here’s looking at you Pasadena and Santa Monica). It’s got a lengthy beer list and a cool vibe where you can relax between lunch and dinner.
<a href="http://www.simmzys.com/" target="_blank">Simmzy’s</a> Simmzy’s has the feel of a neighborhood hotspot and with friendly servers and fabulous food; it’s no wonder it’s now in two neighborhoods – Long Beach and Manhattan Beach. Open from 11AM-10:30PM (opens earlier on weekends and closes later on Fridays and Saturdays), Simmzy’s hours and communal tables match the laid-back, beachy, family feel. For a winning dish, try the Brussels sprouts.
9. Short Order
<a href="http://www.shortorderla.com/" target="_blank">Short Order</a> Burgers are always fabulous. Short Order thinks so too. With open hours from 11AM on weekdays and 10AM on weekends that run through 10PM Sunday to Wednesday; and midnight from Thursday to Saturday. Yep! S.O. has a late-night menu too with a burger, wings, grilled cheese, “munchies” and alcohol. Burgers and kickass shakes are available around the clock. Head over to Short Order if you’re fatigued from shopping at The Grove and are in need of a little meaty pick-me-up basically any time of the day. Happy hour is Monday to Friday, 3PM-7PM
8. Santa Monica Seafood Café
<a href="http://www.santamonicaseafood.com/content/menu-santa-monica" target="_blank">Santa Monica Seafood Café</a> The Café and bar are open Monday through Saturday, 11AM-9PM and Sunday, 11AM-8PM. Happy hour is Monday to Friday from 2PM-5PM at the bar only. Not only can you get some of the best seafood LA has to offer, but you can get $2 oysters and $5 wine (among other items) in between services. If you arrive at the café a little before your party for that early dinner, might as well capitalize on $5 crab cakes and wine.
7. Pizzeria Mozza
<a href="http://www.pizzeriamozza.com/LA/home.cfm" target="_blank">Pizzeria Mozza</a> Among the three Mozzas (Osteria Mozza, Pizzeria Mozza, and Mozza2Go) all huddled together, Pizzeria Mozza is your Goldilocks option, open noon-midnight: It is mid-range only in price, speed, courses, and atmosphere; however all three excel in taste. With out-of-this-world butterscotch budino and phenomenal pizzas, regardless of toppings, there’s no bad option on the menu.
<a href="http://www.paichela.com/" target="_blank">Paiche</a> Paiche is the newest addition to chef Ricardo Zarate’s Peruvian restaurant family. It’s got an open and modern ambiance, an awesome cocktail list (ginger lovers go for the Palma Fizz) and seriously addictive ceviche. Paiche is not only open 11:30AM-11:30PM, but it’s got a happy hour from 2:30PM-5PM so you never have to be without Zarate’s cooking.
5. Oscar's Cerveteca
<a href="http://www.cervetecala.com/" target="_blank">Oscar's Cerveteca</a> In the midst of Venice’s new restaurant row on Rose, go grab some ceviche and cervezas at Oscar’s anytime between 11:30AM on weekdays and 10AM on weekends and dinner service. There’s a really cool wooden outdoor patio so you can enjoy the summer and some of Oscar’s terrific empanadas. Oscar’s also has a happy hour that starts at 3pm where you can get beers for as little as $3, and $4 tacos.
4. La Casita Mexicana
<a href="http://www.casitamex.com/" target="_blank">La Casita Mexicana</a> For truly authentic Mexican food in SoCal, head over to La Casita Mexicana in Bell. You’ll be able to taste food from all over Mexico (the chile en Nogada is exceptional), expertly crafted by chefs Jaime Martin Del Campo & Ramiro Arvizu. La Casita Mexicana blesses LA with its food from 9AM-10PM all week long.
3. Hayat’s Kitchen
<a href="http://hayatskitchen.com/" target="_blank">Hayat’s Kitchen</a> For a restaurant this good, you’d expect a little more curbside fanfare. (Fun fact: Hayat’s is across the street from Circus Liquor, seen in “Clueless” with the giant clown outside.) When you do enter Hayat’s, you enter into a sort of NoHo haven of Lebanese cuisine, open from 11AM-10PM. The whole menu is stellar, but we recommend the hummus with meat.
2. Gobi Mongolian BBQ House
<a href="http://www.gobimongolianbbq.com/" target="_blank">Gobi Mongolian BBQ House </a> Along with the regular happy hour (Monday to Friday, 4PM-7PM) with $5 cocktails and wine plus $1 off select beers, there are daily specials. Gobi’s all you-can-eat Saturday and Wednesdays from 4pm-7pm, with all-day happy hour on Thursday. For delicious stir-fried veggies, meats, and sauces head over to Gobi, anytime between 11:30AM and dinnertime.
1. Float Pasadena
1. <a href="http://www.floatpasadena.com/the-shop" target="_blank">Float Pasadena</a> It’s hard not to fall in love with Float just by walking inside; on an airy side street of a shopping drag in ‘Dena, Float is a small and bright shop with some tables outside, a little bar inside, and a large selection of gourmet sodas and changing ice cream flavors. Monday to Saturday, Float is open from morning (8AM/9AM) to night (8PM/9PM), so there are no boundaries to when you can get a fancy float.
Joshua Lurie is the founder of Food GPS, a guide to Lurie's favorite restaurants. To read more Food GPS stories, click here.