clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Downtown LA’s Iconic Nickel Diner to Close Permanently After 15 Years

Plus, a new Mexican restaurant in Culver City, a Suntory whiskey tasting at Etta, and more

The Nickel Diner, in downtown Los Angeles, photographed April 24, 2009. Photo by Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images
Mona Holmes is a reporter for Eater Los Angeles and a regular contributor to KCRW radio. She has covered restaurants, dining, and food culture since 2016. In 2022, the James Beard Foundation nominated her for a Jonathan Gold Local Voice Award.

Nickel Diner, Downtown’s longtime restaurant and community hub, announced it will close permanently. Owners Kristen Trattner and Monica May made the announcement via Instagram that the 15-year-old restaurant’s final day of service is May 28.

Trattner and May cited rising costs, a crowded restaurant market, and changes throughout the Downtown neighborhood as the reasons behind the closure. The Instagram post states, “We’ve stood strong and battled many things over the past few years. However, the margin for error is not as generous as it once was.”

In 2008, Nickel Diner opened in the middle of the Great Recession. Downtown restaurants were not as numerous as they are today, and eateries bordering Skid Row were particularly sparse. Trattner and May converted Nickel from an unused storefront into an affordable neighborhood restaurant. Its offerings were some of DTLA’s most beloved with hearty and classic diner breakfasts, chilaquiles, salads, patty melts, or the immensely popular maple bacon doughnut developed by Nickel’s former pastry chef Sharlena Fong. Read Nickel Diner’s full Instagram post below.

SoFi-adjacent Cork & Batter to add a second SoCal location

After opening a three-story restaurant across the street from SoFi Stadium, the restaurant group behind Cork & Batter has plans to open a second location in Simi Valley, according to What Now Los Angeles. BNG Group did not share details on an opening date.

A Mexican newcomer to Culver City

On the western part of Culver City is Mija Handcraft Kitchen, which opens next today on the corner of Sepulveda and Washington. Mija is open from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., where options include queso fundido, chilaquiles, stuffed squash blossoms, salads, and sandwiches with pulled pork, green chili, and queso fresco.

An audio food walking tour around DTLA

Boston’s WBUR Radio took a walking tour of Downtown with Culinary Backstreet’s Culinary Walking Tours of LA. It’s a fun audio jaunt through Chinatown, Little Tokyo, and Grand Central Market with stops at Baker’s Bench and Donut Man.

Etta’s Japanese whiskey tasting and dinner

There are still a few slots left for Etta’s AAPI Heritage Month celebration this Sunday. They’ll partner with the Japanese distillery, House of Suntory to create a four-course menu served family style with cocktails. Tickets are $150 per person, secure a 7 p.m. slot here.

Nickel Diner

524 South Main Street, , CA 90013 (213) 623-8301 Visit Website