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More Than Five Cents   Leave a comment

The Nickel Diner in downtown Los Angeles is a trendy throwback in more
ways than one. First, its location is marginally sketchy. That’s because it’s sand-
wiched between blocks of ornate historic buildings on which sophisticated rest-
aurants, shops and lofts have taken up residence. Meanwhile, next door to the
diner are facilities for the homeless. Then there’s the food which is true diner fare
with a fun, contemporary twist: maple glazed donuts covered with bacon; home-
made Pop Tarts; scrambled eggs with Fontina cheese, for example.

In true diner fashion, breakfast is served  nearly all day. Even though the mac and
cheese sounded appealing, as did a BLT with  avocado on sourdough, I settled on
one of the egg scrambles: Italian sausage, roasted red peppers and parmesan mix-
ed with what seemed like half a dozen eggs. Creamy, but scrambled hard, the eggs
absorbed the rich flavors of everything else. Most diners offer a choice of sides, at
the Nickel there’s a healthy option of sliced, fresh tomatoes or the less nutritious
home fries. I said tomato, my friend said potato, and both were great. The bacon
donut was a treat; I don’t have to be healthy about everything.

I’ve been to the Nickel twice, and have been fortunate enough to be seated right
away. There have been other times, when driving by, I’ve seen wannabe-diners
outnumbering those needing the services for the indigent. I think it’s worth taking
a chance of snagging a table and mingling with the crowd — inside or out.

The Nickel Diner
Four Plates
524 S. Main St.
Los Angeles

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