Help your hangover with these international dishes

Help your hangover with these international dishes

IIn any proper drinking session, there is a moment where your head is a little lighter, where ordinary things seem interesting, but they have not yet begun to sparkle – Sweet Spot. When you’re in it, a drink sounds more like a good idea. What is the alternative? Imagine two doors. Behind one is the exit, back to the cold, gray reality. Behind the other lies a seductive mystery that requires another drink or three to unravel.

The holiday season distorts these doors. The one leading to the exit shrinks like the heart of the Grinchen, and the mysterious door begins to resemble Whoville’s common Christmas tree. But no matter what beauty you discover behind that door, you will pay it back the next morning.

When you wake up on someone else’s couch the next day, your head pounding and dry mouth, wearing your jeans with the pop-up window on the TV and wondering if you really, really want to go through with the Christmas Prince marathon, you will need for nutrition.

Hangover food neon sign

A neon sign reads, “You’re not in love, you’re just drunk.”

Wherever you are on the planet, there is probably a hangover right designed to help you. And no matter where you are in Los Angeles, there’s a good chance you can score a version here.

As you search through these global hangover remedies – and where to find them in LA – you may notice a pattern. Simple carbohydrates + electrolytes + fat. Some dishes use spice and acid as a culinary cattle prod. Others build you on a robust, reliable base. Most involve meat.

My own hangovers are horrible things, a somersault in the stomach accompanied by malaise as a struggling mid-century Parisian writer, so my usual remedy is Tums and Lipography. I do not recommend it. Likewise, the mid-century American medium depicted by writers such as Wodehouse, Orwell and Isherwood – the “prairie oyster”, a raw egg poured over Worcestershire.

Instead, we have performed extensive real-world testing on these global dishes and can safely say that they are more pleasing than prairie oysters and more restorative than OuLiPo.

Hangover food

A Bloody Mary in Todos Santos, Baja California Sur, Mexico.

(Nicole Honchariw / Unsplash)

United Kingdom and United States – Bloody Mary

Like any classic culinary invention, many claim Bloody Mary as their own. Some believe it was originally mixed in Paris in 1921, others say New York in the 1930s. The cocktail mixes tomato juice and vodka with several sauces and spices, usually a mixture of Worcestershire, hot sauce, horseradish, lemon and celery. The tomato and salt will rehydrate you, the spicy elements will make your eyes open, and the vodka smoothes the rough edges.

You can get a Bloody Mary almost anywhere in town, but it’s hard to beat the Sunday brunch-build-yourself version at the bumpy bar downtown Quote. The options run on the spectrum, diced or pickled cheeses, hot sauces and meats, garlic and clamato and much more. It helps that the vodka is not short either.

  • 336 S. Hill St., Downtown. LA
Hangover Food Come Back To Life Cocktail

A seafood cocktail comes alive with shrimp, oysters, avocado, cilantro and witch sauce.

(Wotancito / Wikimedia Commons)

Mexico (Veracruz) – Come Back To Life Cocktail

Open Jan. 1, 2022
The Mexican post could have included a dozen items built to counter la cruda. Birria, barbacoa, pozole, chilaquiles, aguachile, micheladas. But no one is as eye-catching or evocative as the veracruz-style marisco coctel aka vuelve a la vida. It is not unlike a Bloody Mary with a tomato base sharpened with chili, onion, lime and cilantro. Avocado adds some healthy lipids, while hot sauce provides electrolytes and a shock. So into the intoxicating mix goes a whole aquarium: shrimp and squid and squid and snappers and oysters and mussels and all the other salt and sea you have. The result is a well-deserved bucket of water dumped on your dirty head.

Edition at the legendary Mid-City Mariscos Palace Cevicheria is unique seafood of top quality in a crisp, tasty broth. It can not literally raise the dead. It will lift your spirits.

Hangover food Haejangguk

Haejangguk, a spicy Korean soup.

(Egg (Hong, Yun Seon) / Wikimedia Commons)

Korea – Haejangguk

Sol Ma Ru
Open Jan. 1, 2022
As anyone who has spent time in either Korea or Koreatown knows, the Korean drinking culture is set in motion. And when your drinking culture stalls, your hangover culture must rather be its boot-to-behind match. Fortunately, there is a whole Korean soup category known as Haejangguk, soup for hunting hangovers. There are several variations, generally based on bovine bone broth with soybean paste, usually accompanied by cabbage and some chili, at least, and blood cubes or oysters on the maximalist side. This spicy liquid blend is designed to shock your senses and then build you up with solid meat.

In addition to your go-to KTown gems, Sol Ma Ru, which replaced a Korean chicken dish in La Crescenta, is an extremely nice rendition. The interior is modern and luxurious, bordering on clubby, but the atmosphere is mild and the soup is hearty and warm, with a powerful chilekick and large cabbage leaves that give it all a rebuilding air.


The locomotive at TNT Aloha in Torrance.

Hawaii – Crazy Moco

TNT Aloha
Some traditions avoid spicy broth and lean on richness, dishes that are meant to land hard in your stomach, absorb or push something bad out to create a new gastrointestinal baseline. There may be no better base than the Hawaiian specialty Loco Moco: two rice balls, a hamburger patty, two eggs that are too light, covered in brown sauce. The combination is heavy, but it is also nourishing, invigorating and substantial. It may be later than dinner, it may be the only time you leave the couch and the only thing you eat today, and that will be enough.

South Bay is our local loco moco hub, and TNT Aloha may be the cap. They have an entire menu section dedicated to loco moco, with options like homemade Portuguese sausage meatballs or kalua pork, and it’s hard to beat the version with kimchi-studded rice. When you are really, deeply hurt, Max Loco comes with three meats, an extra egg and a compassionate and non-judgmental nod when it lands at the table.

Philippines – Tsilog

Small weight
In the Philippines, tsilog is the perfect hangover cure, a sturdy dish of garlic rice, meat, eggs and a vegetable. It’s like loco moco, played two octaves higher. Tapa, spiced meat, is the most common option, although the sweet sausage longanisa and the bacon-adjacent tocino are popular alternatives. As culinary queen Ria Dolly Barbosa, the woman behind the magic on high celebrated Small weight, it says, “Nothing absorbs yesterday’s quarrels like a nice full-bodied rice bowl.”

At Barbosa’s small but mighty restaurant in the center, she prepares her tsilog with homemade longanisa, tocino or steak and serves it with a light and light tomato salad next to it – the rejuvenating power of the tomato is inevitable. Petite Peso’s rice is just the right texture and crisp with garlic, and that meat is a dream.

Hangover food khao tom kui

Khao tom kui from Saladang Garden in Pasadena.

Thailand – Khao Tom Kui

Saladang Have
Open Jan. 1, 2022
Another variation of the theme comes through Thailand, and especially through Bangkok’s Thai-Chinese community. Khao tom kui is an old-fashioned dish, a simple, salty rice porridge like congee or jok paired with various sides, maybe an omelette, some garlic green, sausage or crispy pork. The theory is similar to tsilog and loco moco. There’s a rice base, some meat, some salt. Clean, classic, soothing and solid, it’s an easy win.

Just around New Year, the quiet, peaceful Pasadena goes completely crazy. Between the Rose Parade and the Rose Bowl, the city is a party magnet. Those who choose to celebrate New Year’s Eve, then attend the parade the next morning, have a healing meal at hand. Saladang Have makes a better than solid khao tom kui with the Thai omelet kai jeow, black pepper chicken and Chinese broccoli. Their porridge is mild and comes in a giant serving, which is just what a hangover needs.

  • 383 S. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena. 626-793-5200.
Hangover food khash

Armenian khash.

(Chaojoker – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0)

Armenia – Khash

Old Gyumri
The Armenian tradition is unique and dramatic, centered around a rich and milky broth made by soaking and then boiling the cow’s hooves over several days. You add garlic and dried lavash while eating it. According to pitmaster Arthur Grigoryan, who runs III Mas BBQ, it is best paired with mulberry or apricot oghi, a distilled spirit that is like Armenian moonlight. Grigoryan also notes that khash was originally a peasant dish, created as a way to use unwanted cuts that could be cooked for a long time for a more appealing dish. He adds that khash is a heavy winter soup: “In Armenia, it is said that the khash season begins in the months ending with ‘is’ such as October, November and December.”

Because it takes days to prepare, and because it is meant to be eaten with oghi, khash is mostly a homemade meal. But there is a version at the lively Armenian banquet venue Old Gyumri, and it comes filled with garlic and a whole bone. There may not be oghi, but there is always tarragon soda and the cucumber yogurt drink called tan.

  • 4441 San Fernando Road, Glendale. 818-550-0448.
BURRITOS for breakfast

A breakfast burrito from Lucky Boy in Pasadena.

(Cesar Hernandez for LAist)

Los Angeles – Breakfast Burrito

Lucky boy
Open Jan. 1, 2022
For many Angelenos, there is only one option on a hangover morning – a massive burrito with eggs, potatoes, cheese and bacon. Throw in some avocado or spinach, pico de gallo and beans, maybe replace it with chorizo ​​or imitation meat. As long as you have some good salsa and it can be contained in a jumbo tortilla, there is something magical about the combination. It can wake you up in the morning or make you sleep in the wee hours, keep you full for an entire day or maybe two.

There is so many good opportunities in the city, but it’s hard to beat the extravagance and consistency of the Pasadena institution Lucky boy, where you can have their celebrated burrito all day and all night. When I called to ask if they would like to open New Year’s Day, the guy on the phone said “What is it, a holiday? Yes, we’re open.” Fandme yes.

  • 640 S. Arroyo Parkway, Pasadena. 626-793-0120.

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