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EARLY BIRD: Sweet Love Hangover

A post-clubbing hot spot where grease is the word, and that's a good thing.

October 05, 2009|Jessica Gelt

It's 3 a.m. You've just danced yourself silly in a sweaty Hollywood nightclub with a heavily cologned person whose name you no longer remember. Maybe it was the Jagerbombs, or maybe it was the bottle of table-service Grey Goose you shared with, well, mainly yourself. Either way, tomorrow is going to be problematic if you don't put some food in your stomach, stat.

Then you see it: a candy-colored vision of a restaurant shimmering like a mirage above the sidewalk stars on Hollywood Boulevard. It's called Sweet Love Hangover, and it specializes in your cure: grease. Tasty, peace-making grease. A fried bologna and jack cheese sandwich with Tabasco mayo will set you straight. You might just top it off with a fried egg for good measure. Still cloudy? A tater tot tower topped with black bean chili, cheddar cheese, chunky guacamole, sour cream and thick slices of fresh jalapenos will clear your vision.

"We used the drunk people to test the food," says food and beverage consultant Triniti Vinokur, who runs the month-old diner (still in soft-open mode) with her husband, Rob. "Because if they don't like it, we know it's really bad."

Rob Vinokur co-owns the restaurant with Elie Samaha and Mike Israyelyan, all of Muse Lifestyle Group, which also launched and operates L.A. restaurants NineThirty and the Backyard, among others. SLH, as the diner is called for short, is directly next door to another Muse operation, the very new, very swank nightclub Playhouse Hollywood.

In fact, one of the best things about eating at SLH (besides the possibility of ingesting a vodka Jell-O shot served in a plastic syringe, called Nurse Betty's Blues), is watching the circus of a line build up outside the club. Tight pants, little skirts and lots of skin make for eye candy, as does SLH's general design scheme. The small restaurant (it seats 60) is dressed up to look a bit like a Hasbro board game. The back wall behind the bar is a giant functioning Lite-Brite board, while the chairs are translucent plastic and pop culture memorabilia is everywhere, down to a Scooby-Doo figurine in the bathroom.

Play the Mad Libs on the back of your menu, ask a Magic 8 Ball if you'll get lucky tonight, or choose from a variety of old-school board games including Sorry! and Connect Four. The idea, says Triniti, is for you to stay awhile. And you might have to, after eating from curating chef Monique King's (of NineThirty) menu. Rob calls the food the "sweet love" part of the deal because it's sure to "get rid of your hangover."

A deep-fried Pop Tart ice cream sandwich, an omelet stuffed with spicy turkey chili, or a fried Twinkie will do that. Of course, you might wake up with other problems, but they won't keep you in bed all day.

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jessica.gelt@latimes.com

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Sweet Love Hangover

Where: 6508 Hollywood Blvd., L.A.

When: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sun. to Wed., 11 a.m. to 4 a.m. Thu. to Sat.

Price: Egg dishes, $5.50 to $11; sandwiches and burgers, $7.50 to $12; cocktails $12.

Contact: (323) 465-2200; www.slhhollywood.com.

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