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LOS ANGELES — Finding a restaurant that’s actually serving after 10 p.m. in this town can be a challenge, to say the least. When Fred 62 opened eight years ago, it gave late-night dining in Los Feliz a stylish jolt, much to the joy of Hollywood hipsters in search of a decent grilled cheese minus the Denny’s decor.
Now Fred Eric, the chef/designer/occasional DJ for friends like Beck and Bono, is bringing his brand of wacky comfort dining to Beverly Hills. Airstream Diner actually looks like a giant Airstream trailer and sits on the corner of Little Santa Monica Boulevard and Camden Drive. Inside, the light wood and olive green Formica décor is turned kitsch with garden gnome barstools and black-and-white photographs of families on vacation.
When Eric’s friends Tobey Maguire and Robert Downey Jr. stopped in for a long lunch a few weeks ago, they enjoyed some classic Fred fare like the tofu chiliquile, baked spudato and poor-boy-and-rich-girl sandwich, featuring crispy smoked chicken and shrimp with a bell pepper aoli, lettuce, red onion and tomato on a french roll. But Airstream’s best feature might even give Krispy Kreme a run for its money: a walk-up donut counter, that, like the diner, is open 24/7.Here, a sampling of L.A.’s other late-night eateries: Swingers: Fifties retro classic with modern offerings like tofu scramble and traditional fare like hot open-face turkey sandwiches and BLTs. A people-watching pit stop from the sidewalk — everyone from Jennifer Aniston to Johnny Knoxville pass on the boutique-heavy strip. Benito’s: The shiny new branch on Beverly Boulevard lures the faithful in search of simple tacos, burritos and great salsa at all hours.Roscoe’s: Where else can you get waffles and fried chicken served on the same plate at 4:00 a.m.? This soul spot is favored by Tracee Ellis Ross and Milla Jovovich. Canter’s: Old-school kosher standards, with vinyl booths almost as old as some of the clientele. The adjoining Kibbitz Room caters to retirees as well as whippersnappers. Johnny Depp has been known to stop in for a bowl of matzoh ball soup every now and then.Izzy’s: The Westside’s solution to any late-night potato pancake or chocolate cream pie cravings. Dom Perignon and Corona are available in a refrigerator case above the counter, and if you go late enough, you’re sure to spot ex-“Beverly Hills 90210” and “Melrose Place” regulars who have since domesticated in Santa Monica.