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The Team Behind Chinatown’s Historic Nick’s Cafe Expands to Eagle Rock

They’re taking over the former Auntie Em’s Kitchen

The future home of Rock’n Egg Cafe
Farley Elliott
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

Downtown breakfast staple Nick’s Cafe is expanding — sort of. The owners behind the decades-old Chinatown haunt have decided to snatch up the former Auntie Em’s Kitchen space on Eagle Rock Boulevard, and turn it into a new breakfast and lunch restaurant to be called Rock’n Egg Cafe.

The quiet shift comes right at the one year mark since beloved Auntie Em’s closed its bright red doors for good, and offers the first chance for folks outside of Chinatown to test out that team’s breakfast chops. While the menu won’t be exactly the same as Nick’s Cafe (think less ham and more omelettes, scrambles, and daytime sandwiches and salads), there will be some carryover for both breakfast and lunch. Consider Rock’n Egg to be a spiritual sister to the hardscrabble Nick’s, rather than a clone.

Prior to shutting down in January of 2017, Auntie Em’s was a popular restaurant along Eagle Rock Boulevard. Owner Terri Wahl crafted some of the city’s best brunch at that location for more than 15 years, and even toyed herself with a couple of different expanded locations in Downtown Los Angeles a few years back. After that didn’t pan out, Wahl made the tough decision to lean back into catering exclusively, giving up the colorful, well-trafficked storefront.

And so now Chinatown comes to Eagle Rock, as Rock’n Egg Cafe arrives sometime in February. The breakfast and lunch stop is planning to be open daily from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. soon, and is hiring up now. Expect casual everyday neighborhood fare, as well as an attached marketplace for grab and go items. There won’t be as much pure baking going on as when the Auntie Em’s team was there, but pastries and things are still in the works.

Rock’n Egg Cafe
4616 Eagle Rock Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA