Nickel Diner is a local favorite, serving up quirky delicacies and perfecting the art of the donut-as-meal. Their special brioche-dough recipe includes the mouthwatering Maple Bacon Glazed, the rich Red Velvet Cake donut, and the boozy Irish Car Bomb (all available in a delectable, miniature donut-hole version). But it is their Nutella donut – covered with crushed hazelnuts – that is a mind-expanding treat. Since I live right around the corner, it’s hard to resist falling into a Nickel Diner hazelnut donut vortex.
Why is this palace of amazing food named “Nickel Diner”? I guess 5th Street – crossing through Skid Row – is called “The Nickel”, but I couldn’t give two donut holes about that. Their distinctive blend of Americana and tweaked Mexican food is all you need to know, to say nothing of their incredible dessert menu (courtesy of the Fongster). This segment on “Unique Eats” does a good job focusing on their famous dessert selection (basically, you can’t not order dessert at Nickel Diner):
While the food at the Nickel Diner is always top-notch and creative, the retro ambiance sometimes feels way too precious. Of course, the authentic restaurant art adorning the walls really transports you to a much earlier era (and actually IS from an earlier era: the preexisting 1940’s artwork was uncovered during a remodel), but the staff sometimes plays up to the cutesy-wutesy, vintage atmosphere a little too much. Just check out this sign that was posted on the front door some time ago:
What? Are you guys all too cool to own a TV? I know quite a few misguided intellectuals who love to proclaim, “I don’t watch TV. I just stream shows on my laptop.” Get the hell out of here.
It just so happens that the Nickel Diner posse is looking for a few culinarians to add to their already strong staff. This week, they posted a couple of positions on Craigslist: A part-time line cook position and a pastry cook position. Potential applicants be warned: You may not be paid enough to afford a TV set.
Nickel Diner is located at 543 S Main St, Los Angeles, CA 90013.