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The Glutton

December 27, 2007

New Year's Eve is for schmoozers, boozers and 22-year-old losers. The Glutton was once all of these things but gradually morphed into a nougat-filled curmudgeon more interested in buffet condiments than drunken recriminations. Plus, New Year's Eve usually results in spending too much money for an underwhelming prix fixe meal, and a couple of hours later you're lardy and loaded and trying to lambada with a belly full of filet mignon.

The trick is to eat lightly and early. Once you're sauced, round up your friends and cab it to a late-night feast. The challenge on New Year's Eve is the inverse ratio between quality and convenience. Aside from the usual fast food outlets, taco trucks and burger stands (somehow Tommy's chili fries always taste better in the wee hours), downtowners with the munchies have the old reliable Original Pantry Cafe. Westsiders have the obnoxious servers and pounding music of Swinger's. And the Glutton has her favorite late-night Thai spots in East Hollywood: Sanamluang Cafe, serving bowls of roasted duck noodle soup and lightly fried tofu cubes; and Torung, one of only a few Thai restaurants that makes good koo chai. It's hardly a complex dish, this glutinous rice patty (trust the Glutton; you want it fried) stuffed with Chinese leeks, but it's delicious and, at 2 a.m., the perfect cure for an eat attack.

-- theguide@latimes.com

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