Before yuzu vinaigrettes, before acai margaritas, before pigs whose lineage is better-traced than the Queen of England's, there was ham and eggs, which so powerfully signified contentment in Los Angeles that a Depression-era political movement was named for it. Ham and eggs on Thursdays — what more could a man want?

So it is not much of a surprise that Nick's Café, the best-preserved '40s diner in the downtown area, a breakfast place crowded with policemen before 6 a.m. and shut up tight before 2, should be famous

for its version of the dish — decent fried ham, carefully cooked eggs, hash browns: period. There's a jar of blender salsa if that's your sort of thing. Pictures of trains. Diner coffee — no organic, shade-grown, fair-trade, single-finca joe allowed on the premises.

Nick's Café: 1300 N. Spring St., Los Angeles; (323) 222-1450.

Look for more “Best of L.A.” pieces in our annual Best of L.A. issue, out Oct. 7th.

LA Weekly