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Nickel Diner: 99 Essential Restaurants 2013

There may not be a better deal in town than the Nickel Diner's double-stuffed chicken, a mountain of roast chicken with mushroom duxelle under the skin, sitting on old-fashioned stuffing with sautéed spinach and gravy. At $11.75 it's at least two or three meals, and far better than you might expect from a diner, even if it's a reclaimed "nouvelle" diner that has quinoa on the menu. This restaurant sits right on the cusp of Skid Row and downtown's encroaching gentrification — some would say it has been a pioneer in that gentrification. But its retro theme is authentic. This actually was a diner in the '40s; those paintings of menu items on the wall, complete with prices, are original. And the friendly neighborhood vibe works. Much has been made of the maple bacon donut, and, yes, there's a cake made from peanut butter and potato chips, but you won't miss too much if you skip those frivolities. What's more important is the soulful posole spiked with lime, the kids on dates and off-duty cops and families with babies, the pancakes in the morning and fried catfish with corn cakes at night. 524 S. Main St., dwntwn.; (213) 623-8301, nickeldiner.com. Tues.-Sun., 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m.; Tues.-Sat., 6-10:30 p.m. Entrees $7.50-$14.25. Beer and wine.

 

Besha Rodell's Introduction

Anne Fishbein's Photography

The Google Map

 

The 99 Essential Restaurants List:

A-Frame
Alma
Angelini Osteria
Animal
Attari Sandwich Shop
Bäco Mercat
Bar Amá
The Bazaar
Bestia
BierBeisl
Bludso's
Cacao Mexicatessen
Canelé
La Casita Mexicana
Cemitas Poblanas Elviritas
Chichen Itza
Chung King
Cole's
Coni'Seafood
Cube Cafe & Marketplace
Din Tai Fung
Eva
Father's Office
Fred 62
Gjelina
Golden Deli
Go's Mart
Il Grano
Guelaguetza
Guisados
Hatfield's
Ha Tien Quan
Hawkins House of Burgers
Hayat's Kitchen
El Huarache Azteca
Huckleberry
The Hungry Cat
ink.
Jar
Jitlada
JTYH Heavy Noodle II
Kang Ho Dong Baekjong
Kiriko
Kiyokawa
Kogi Truck
Krua Siri
L&E Oyster Bar
Langer's
Little Dom's
Lucques
Ludo Truck
Lukshon
Mariscos Jalisco
Matsuhisa
Meals by Genet
Mélisse
Milo and Olive
Mo-Chica
Musso & Frank
Nem Nuong Ninh Hoa
Nickel Diner
Night + Market
Oinkster
Osteria Mozza
Pann's
Pa-Ord Noodle
El Parian
Park's BBQ
Philippe the Original
Picca
Pink's
Pizzeria Mozza
Playa
Pollo a la Brasa
Providence
R&R Soul Food
Ración
Red Medicine
Ricky's Fish Tacos
Rivera
Rocio's Moles de los Dioses
Salt's Cure
Sapp Coffee Shop
Savoy Kitchen
Sea Harbour
Shanghai No. 1 Village Seafood
Soban
Son of a Gun
Sotto
Spago
The Spice Table
Superba Snack Bar
Tacos Leo
The Tasting Kitchen
Tavern
Tsujita LA
Vincenti Ristorante
Wurstküche
Zam Zam Market

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Nickel Diner

524 S. Main St.
Los Angeles, CA 90013

213-623-8301

www.nickeldiner.com

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