Complimentary Treats at Last Call

Westbound in DTLA is serving up sweets at the end of the night.

Restaurants and bars are forever seeking out winsome ways to charm and serve a sometimes fickle, treat-craving public.

Offbeat specials might pop up every month, or deep discounts at happy hour, or a jukebox featuring local artists, or a behind-the-bar toteboard full of regulars' photos and their favorite dishes or drinks.

But the fact is this: Free food is always a fine way into people's affections, especially if that free food is dessert, and more specifically a brownie, which few people, if any, can find the power to resist.

And certainly not at last call, when a mellow mood reigns and eyelids are droopy and customers are yawny and taxis are on the way. Westbound in downtown Los Angeles is going the free brownies route nowadays, a moist-chewy move that is charming its usual customoers and new fans alike. 

The meringue-topped brownie bites, which are delivered on the warm side, aren't merely a midnight snack, but, rather, a post-midnight snack. The time they emerge from the back of the house? It's 1 a.m., which might be the most comfort-food-iest hour of the night, as that's frequently when revelers are closing up their carousing for the evening and looking for a nosh.

If you know Westbound, you know that it isn't just train-lovely in name-only; it is located in a La Grande Station, which hails from 1893. And, yes, you're right, railroad mavens: Santa Fe Railroad did use the train station lo these many decades ago.

Did early 20th-century travelers dine upon chocolate confections while awaiting the night's final train? Westbound is honoring the long-standing tradition of snacking in a train station as the hour grows late.


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This is, by the by, something of a tasty trend. Both Rec Room in Chicago and the Rec Room in Aspen do gratis last-call goodies these days, and Employees Only in New York ladles chicken soup out to the guests who've hung around through 3:45 in the morning.

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