I went looking for comprehensive discussions of this issue but I was surprised not to find much recently.
The scenario: you've been out drinking at bar(s) or club(s), you've been kicked out at 2:00(!!) and you want a place to go, chill out and sober up for a while before heading home. (Or just chill out, if you're the designated driver.)
Let's assume that the precursor bars in question are located somewhere between Santa Monica and downtown L.A.
You might be looking for a brightly lit place where you can sit and gawk at all the drunk people staggering in, a la Deli Haus in Boston's Kenmore Square, or Katz's Deli or the Houston St. McDonald's in New York.
Or you might be looking for a more dimly lit place, where you can just sit and drink hot chocolate for a while. Example: Cafe Pick Me Up, in New York.
Anyway, where are these places in L.A.? I haven't had much luck trying to find them. For example:
a) Fred 62, on Vermont: I'm disappointed in the food every time I try.
b) Canter's on Fairfax: I went twice and had a terrible pastrami sandwich once and a terrible bowl of allegedly "chicken soup" the other time. For this, they should claim to be a Jewish deli?
c) El Gran Burrito, on Vermont at Santa Monica: It's festive and you can't beat the $2.50 burritos for price, but the flaw to my mind (or rather, hindquarters) is the metal benches -- I can take sitting there for about 15 minutes, tops.
I know there are supposed to be places in K-town and Thai town (Sanamluang?), and supposedly the Gulfstream Diner... Can anyone provide some intelligence here? My drinking companions and I will be forever in your debt.