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[Photograph: Farley Elliott]

It's entirely possible that you've never considered pasta for breakfast. You've probably been thinking that the most important meal begins at cereal and ends at pancakes. That sounds like a nice life. Quaint even. Except that it's completely wrong.

Pasta for breakfast makes perfect sense, especially if you're hung over. There are fortifying starches and energy-rich carbs in every spiraling forkful. Plus, if you eat too much, your body goes into a pasta coma and you sleep away the rest of your hangover. That's just sound science.

What also can't be denied is the true pasta perfection that is the Pasta Papa ($12.75) from Hugo's in West Hollywood. The airy brunch spot is teeming on the weekends with hopeful diners looking to sate their appetites with a tempting array of vegan and vegetarian fare. But let's get real: your hangover requires something more than a few tempeh lettuce cups and some cucumber water. Keep flipping through the bulbous menu and you'll find the Pasta Papa you're after. It's right there under the Breakfast heading and everything!

So what do you get for your thirteen bucks? A pile of thick, slightly chewy spaghetti noodles, tossed and coated with fresh garlic and parsley, plus a few 'secret' spices that taste suspiciously like oregano and red pepper flakes. All of those tasty pasta tendrils come wrapped around thick chunks of griddled bacon and snappy turkey sausage, with chopped scallions on top for a touch of depth and parmesan cheese slivers held on the side. Oh, and there's supposed to be scrambled eggs inside, but you're no fool. You need fried eggs, two of 'em, wavy at the edges from their time in the heat with some olive oil, and offered sunny side up on top of your pasta concoction. Ask your waiter for the substitution, and watch their eyes go wide at the possibilities.

The end result is a meal so savory, so starchy and hearty and warm and meaty and funky and satisfying, it makes hangovers head for the door. It's a shame that it took a restaurant like Hugo's to finally show us the way, but now that we're all on the correct path, pasta breakfast will reign supreme for all eternity. Or... at least until your next hangover.

Hugo's

8401 Santa Monica Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 90069 (map)

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