Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Nickel Diner

mild disclaimer: Just in time to start thinking about Thanksgiving, I'm well over-due for a review of The Nickel. I've been collecting images now & again of various items I've ordered at the Nickel, so forgive me for the disarray of images, that may have nothing to do with what I actually ate today (which was the smac & cheese). This is more of a not ready for prime time review.. I even forgot to take a shot of the entrance!*


Neighborhood restaurateurs Monica May & Kristen Trattner's cozy as a broken-in shoe soft-opened to huge crowds of hungry neighbor friends & area co-workers a couple months back. I've lost count how many times I've eaten at the Nickel Diner since then. I know it hasn't been often enough to try every item on the menu just yet. Luckily, there's 5 of 7 days in a week they are open, and starting later this year they are looking to extend hours of operation. Currently their hours are 730am-330pm.

Buttermilk pancakes (w/ bananas & berries)

Breakfast will have you satisfied with pancakes (served til 11am), omelets, traditional egg breakfasts and some of the favorite "hangover helper" (which I have yet to try). I did, however, get there in time for some pancakes. They have buttermilk, w/ or without fruit. The blueberry pancakes are excellent, as are the buttermilk served with optional bananas & berries. I recommend the pancakes regardless of how you order them.

Waiting those two days they are closed is almost painful. Many a soul (including mine) will have a craving for one of their special menu items, and might get as far as out the front door before remembering they are open Wednesday thru Sunday, and darn it if it's Monday or Tuesday! You'll have to wait.

The waiting was over and grateful it was Wednesday, we headed over to the Nickel where I could sate my mad craving for the "smac & cheese" and perhaps something off the dessert menu. Oh yes, even if you are way too full after dining, you'll want dessert, if nothing more than to take a slice home.

Nickel Diner bacon burger (optioned with onion rings.. which can't be beat).

It's not just the smac & cheese that you'll want to tuck into. The pulled pork with coleslaw is tangy and satisfying. The Bacon Burger is juicy and quite filling or the Classic Caesar salad with piping hot grilled chicken. You might have to take some home with you if you can't eat it all.

pulled pork sandwich @the nickel
Pulled Pork sandwich (and option of french fries, cole slaw, or side salad.. onion rings $1.00 more). This reviewer loves coleslaw so that's why there's more than just what came on the pulled pork.

Now for dessert.. They always have something you'll want to try. Their desserts range from tapioca, or tres leche, red velvet cake, various cupcakes, and pie. Everything is baked fresh on premises, so be sure and ask to see the dessert selections. Today they ran out of the red velvet cake, but they did have something new and surprising (for me).

The pumpkin cheesecake, seasonal selection just in time for Thanksgiving.

The pumpkin cheesecake was amazingly light & fluffy, melt in your mouth delicious with what looked like lightly toasted marshmallow topping. Oh yes. I'll be asking for this again before Turkey Day is out.

Just in case you forget, you can order a fresh pie or cheesecake to take home for Thanksgiving (the Nickel will be closed Thanksgiving Day). Prices on pies to order range from $20-$24.00 and your request needs to be in no later than Sunday the 23rd of November. You'll want to make arrangements for pick-up; asking Kristen, she was saying it may very well be the Wednesday of Thanksgiving week.

The Nickel Diner
524 S. Main Street
Los Angeles, CA

Open Wednesday-Sunday


Big City Poz said...

Great review! Those onion rings look tasty.

I have a few questions. Is there outside seating? Do you have a photo of the French fries? may one order just coffee and nothing else? What's the music like?

meekorouse said...

oh hey! Sean just tried the fries today.. we're very backward.. He got the bacon burger with fries and I got the smac & cheese but I only recalled in time to take a photo of dessert!

I thought of you though.. the fries are like shoestring fries, and crispy! I haven't had any like that since last time I went to Steak & Shake.

I borrowed Rich's image of the front. It's like next door to Chrysalis so no, there's no outdoor seating.

not sure about the just ordering coffee thing.. I don't see why you couldn't but.. breakfast is good!

for breakfast I'm like "weeneez? nickel?? weeneez?? nickel??"

Nickel doesn't have eggs benedict, but Julie has it on Saturdays.. Julie has a breakfast special for like 3.50 or so.. but Nickel has "the 5th & Main" (spicy pork bbq hash w/ 2 eggs) and "hangover helper"

I love Julie's cheeseburger its the perfect size and juicy.. Nickel has a great cheeseburger too and onion rings (for a little more)

So they both have something I really enjoy.

Music?? hmmmm they do but I haven't been in there when it's been quiet enough to hear the music recently. I want to say bluesy jazz.. Madeleine Peyroux or edith piaf sounding sometimes.

pictures of the french fries?? sigh.. I guess I'll just have to go back! oh the things I do for the blogging! *grin*

meekorouse said...

oh the other thing I was going to say is that the hours are such that I don't have to feel too much like I'm cheating on anyone..

Julie is closed Sunday.. The Nickel is closed Mon & Tues.

Julie closes at about 4pm Mon-Wed and Nickel closes at 330 Wed-Sun.

Assuming I start hitting Blu.LA (they just opened) they are open til 10pm Sun-Thurs and til 2am on Fri & Saturday.. but I'm probably getting ahead of myself. way ahead of myself. I've heard mixed reviews about that one. ;P I mention them because they have a Reuban on their menu. I have to try that!