New York may have the cache of being "the city that never sleeps," but L.A. can hold its own in the wee hours.
When the latest tune catches your ear on the car radio, you can find it until 1 a.m. at Virgin Megastore. This music outlet has a massive selection of CDs and tapes, as well as some videos. (213) 650-8666. Bonus: it's located in the 8000 Sunset Boulevard complex which has Buzz Coffee open until 1:30 a.m., and the Sunset 5 movie theater's Friday and Saturday midnight showings.
Cruise over to Fairfax, where you just may discover the next big singer songwriter at the legendary Canter's Kibitz Room, a bar inside a deli that serves up music to scenesters nightly. You never know whom you might see. (The Wallflowers, Tonic and Slash have all played here.) After the bar closes at 2 a.m., retire to the 24-hour dining room for a matzo ball fix. 419 N. Fairfax Ave. 21 and over in the Kibitz Room. No cover. (213) 651-2030.
Gather some friends and head to Karaoke Fantasy. This Little Tokyo hangout stays open until 4 a.m. for wannabe crooners. It's set up like a studio, with several rooms full of karaoke equipment and musical instruments. Since it costs a steep $25 an hour to rent a room for one to five people, you'll be glad you brought your backup group. $40 for six to 13 people. Snacks and soft drinks for sale, or you can bring your own. 333 S. Alameda St., No. 216 (Yaohan Plaza, second floor), Little Tokyo. (213) 620-1030.
If you've got a hankering for early morning steak and eggs, the 24 hour Pacific Dining Car may be your ticket. This 1921 landmark is housed in an old railroad car. 1310 W. 6th St., downtown, (213) 483-6000.
Don't wilt yet! Although it may be nearing dawn, the action's just beginning at the Los Angeles Wholesale Flower Market. The American Floral Exchange has halls full of bargain blooms in every shade and scent. Outside, Wall Street is lined with stalls where wholesalers offer potted plants at substantial discounts. 754 S. Wall St., downtown. Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 8 a.m.-noon; Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, 6 a.m.-11 a.m. (213) 622-1966.
Start your second evening of late-night adventure with a midnight monster movie. "Rocky Horror Picture Show" fans camp out at the Nuart, 11272 Santa Monica Blvd., West Los Angeles, (310) 478-6379, and the Rialto, 1023 Fair Oaks Ave., South Pasadena, (626) 799-9567.
Or Westwood's long-running Late-Night Film Festival is featuring Michael Mann's psychological detective story "Manhunter," the prequel to "Silence of the Lambs." Midnight. Mann Plaza Theatres, 1067 Glendon Ave., Westwood, (310) 208-3097. Also Friday and Sunday at midnight.
At Hollywood Star Lanes, you can bowl around the clock. Other diversions include celebrity-autographed pins, a video arcade, a full bar and a coffee shop that serves burgers, sandwiches and rice bowls. 5227 Santa Monica Blvd. Under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. (213) 665-4111.
When the lights are off at nearly every other L.A. nightclub, those in the know head to Does Your Mama Know at the Coconut Teaszer. This after-hours club (which doesn't even open until 3 a.m.) has two stages for dancing, a heated outdoor patio for the smoking set, and plenty of dark corners if you want to cozy up (or take a nap). Saturday, DJs Marques Wyatt and Tony Largo tear it up. 8117 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood. 18 and over. $5 cover. (213) 654-4773.
The sun's just up and you're hungry. First, stop by World Book & News for a.m. reading material including newspapers, industry trades and new magazines that arrive here days before other places. 1652 N. Cahuenga Blvd., Hollywood. (213) 465-4352. For food, if you aren't in the mood for deli fare or greasy burgers, try Operetta. This 24-hour bakery's French pastries, gourmet salads and cold cuts can be eaten in or taken home, perhaps for a languorous brunch in bed. 8223 3rd St., Los Angeles. (213) 852-7000.