In the spirit of the spirits imbibed this season, this column is dedicated to the best hangover cures in our area.
After a night of overindulgence, nothing sets you right like a Yaki’s cheeseburger with grilled onions. I know there will be naysayers, but I’ll go head to head with you on this one. It’s true that the eating areas at all three Yaki’s restaurants are atrocious — cramped quarters, sticky, lacquered tables, or tacky artwork — but their burgers are as satisfying as they are consistent.
The secret starts with the bun, a large, thin, soft, sesame one. Teriyaki sauce takes it to a memorable level. The iceberg lettuce is liberal for a crunchy, cooling effect and the tomato is not too thick. It almost seems healthy. The meat is nowhere close to Wagyu but it’s well-grilled, the cheese sharp enough. I can’t tell you why exactly, but for less than $3, it is the perfect salty-sweet-savory-fatty attitude adjustment.
If St. Francis High School’s cafeteria were open during winter break, I’d say hangover cure No. 2 is Chino’s amazing breakfast burrito. It even has its own Facebook page. Until then, try Tops’ breakfast burrito with its warm eggy, potatoey goodness. Ask them to put the house-made salsa inside (I like two). The eggs contain cysteine, an amino acid that helps break down an alcohol-induced toxin called acetaldehyde. The salsa just tastes good.
Sometimes a little hair of the dog is the answer. The Bloody Mary at the Brookside Golf Club restaurant is tall and spicy. They don’t stop at one garnish. They add olives, limes, celery sticks, black pepper and a salt rim. Get a high-protein breakfast, sip on your high-octane tomato juice, pull your hat down over your sunglass-covered eyes and watch the golfers whack at the ball.
If you’re going for a detox instead, try a “Seize the Day” standard cleanse at Orchard Flats, the new cold-pressed juicery in Burbank. The friendly employees there will direct you to the perfect cure for whatever ails you, be it Healthy Greens 3 with kale, lettuce, spinach, celery, cucumber, lemon, apple and ginger or the great-tasting Vanilla Almond Milk with freshly pressed almonds, dates, vanilla bean, cinnamon, nutmeg and filtered water ($7 each). If you can muster up a hike in Wildwood Canyon Park I’d be impressed.
One option, not highly recommended, is to just keep going down the path of self-destruction. Donut Friend in Highland Park is a crazy new concept centered around that stalwart of morning foods. Patrons pick a doughnut, a filling and a glaze of their choice or they can choose one of Donut Friend’s creations. How about the Jets to Basil? A traditional doughnut is split and spread with strawberry jam, goat cheese and fresh basil then topped with a sugar glaze and a balsamic reduction ($4). Add a touch of Sriracha or bacon, if you like. Then again, maybe the chocolate cake doughnut with chocolate glaze and cayenne would be more palatable on a rough morning.
Finally, putting your face over a big steaming bowl of pho may be the best choice of all. WebMD recommends pho for its hydrating effect, its fresh herbs and its calming spices. Glendale Pho Co. has huge aromatic bowlfuls to shape you right up. They don’t open until 11 a.m. but you probably won’t be getting up until then anyway.
Where to Lose Your Hangover
Yaki’s the Original Teriyaki Bowl, 904 W. Alameda Ave., Burbank; 3750 Foothill Blvd. and 2901 Honolulu Ave., La Crescenta
The Original Tops, 3838 E. Colorado Blvd, Pasadena
Brookside Golf Club, 1133 North Rosemont Ave., Pasadena
Orchard Flats Cold-Pressed Juicery, 312 N. San Fernando Road, Burbank
Donut Friend, 5107 York Blvd., Highland Park
Glendale Pho Co., 102 S. Glendale Ave., Glendale
LISA DUPUY welcomes comments at LDupuy@aol.com.