FACE IT: Washington just isn't a town for nightowls. So what to do after the show, when the rumble of the tummy replaces the roar of the crowd? Though music and drama may nourish the senses and spirit, mortals are often left hungry for something more substantial.

So, here's a non-comprehensive sampling of "apres-show" spots where it's quite possible to chew over the particulars of plot and performance -- and perhaps see the stars snacking as well. Our criteria: within reasonable walking distance and a kitchen that's open till 11. All times in the list refer to kitchen closings. ARENA STAGE

CASA MARIA -- Mexican food and margaritas. Sunday to Thursday till 10; Friday and Saturday till 11. 700 Water St. SW. 554-5302.

HOGATE'S -- Monday to Thursday till 11; Friday till midnight; Sunday till 10. Ninth and Maine SW. 484-6300.

PIER 7 -- A good catch. Monday to Saturday till 11; Sunday till 10. 650 Water St. SW. 554-2500.

THE GANGPLANK -- Fish and fries. Monday to Thursday till 10; Friday and Saturday till 11. 600 Water St. SW. 554-5000.

JENNY'S -- Where Arena actors go for Chinese food. Monday to Thursday till 11; Friday and Saturday till midnight; Sunday till 9. 401 M St. SW, in the Waterside Mall. 554-2202. KENNEDY CENTER

ROOF TERRACE RESTAURANT -- You can't get any closer than upstairs. Daily till 11. 833-8870.

THE INTRIGUE -- Romantic and, well, intriguing. Monday till midnight; Tuesday to Saturday till 12:30. 824 New Hampshire Ave. NW. 333-2266.

MAISON BLANCHE -- Very French, kinda pricey. Monday to Thursday till 11; Friday and Saturday till 11:30. 1725 F St. NW. 842-0070.

DOMINIQUE'S -- Liz Taylor ate here. Monday to Thursday, till midnight; Friday to Saturday, till 1. Closed Sunday. 1900 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. 452- 1126.

FOGGY BOTTOM CAFE -- Clever and classy. Tuesday to Saturday till 11:30; Sunday and Monday till 10:30. 924 25th St. NW. 338-8707.

HOWARD JOHNSON'S -- OK, it's not very chic. But filling. And open round the clock. 2601 Virginia Ave. NW. 965-1717.

NATIONAL, FORD'S & WARNER THEATERS All three of these theaters share the "new downtown" area, where new restaurants are sprouting rapidly. Many are open for late-night dining.

THE OLD EBBITT GRILL -- Yuppie territory. Daily, till 1. 675 15th St. NW. 347-4800.

AMERICAN CAFE -- A variety show. Tuesday-Sunday till midnight; Monday till 10. At National Place, 13th and F streets NW.(737-5153).

THE PAVILION AT THE OLD POST OFFICE -- 1100 Pennsylvania Ave. NW):

HUNAN -- Downtown's newest Chinese spot. Sunday to Thursday till 11; Friday and Saturday till 11:30. 371-2828.

FITCH, FOX AND BROWN -- Cozy and quiet. Sunday to Wednesday till 10; Thursday-Saturday till 11. 289-1100.

BLOSSOM'S -- Bar and raw bar. Monday to Thursday till 9; Friday and Saturday till 11. 371-1838. FOLGER THEATER

AMERICAN CAFE -- Sunday to Thursday, till 2 a.m.; Friday and Saturday, till 3 a.m. 227 Massachusetts Ave. NE. 547-8200.

DUDDINGTON's -- Burgers and pizza. Daily, till midnight. 319 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. 544-3500.

BULLFEATHERS -- Hill-type hangout. Monday to Thursday, till 2 a.m.; Friday and Saturday, to 3 a.m. 401 First St. SE. 543-5005.

HAWK & DOVE -- Sunday to Thursday, till 1 a.m.; Friday and Saturday, till 2 a.m. 329 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. 543-3300.

JENKIN'S HILL -- A smart saloon. Sunday to Thursday, till midnight; Friday and Saturday till 1 a.m. 223 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. 544-6600.

MR. HENRY's -- Funky Victoriana. Sunday to Thursday, till midnight; Friday and Sunday till 1 a.m. 601 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. 546-8412.

TIMBERLAKES -- Sandwiches and salads. Daily till midnight. 231 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. 543-8337.

TUNE INN -- Great jukebox, gruff waitresses. Daily till 1 a.m. 3311/2 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. 543-2725.