Nick's Cafe in Downtown Los Angeles
Nick's Cafe (once a railroad cafe) is definitely still going strong for breakfast and lunch. They open early (I think 5:30) and close early, perhaps 2 PM, so that's why folks often think it's closed and gone. Due to the rampant graffiti from the nearby Dog Town housing project, when they close each afternoon they board up the windows with old plywood.
Food is still dependable, homemade quality diner food. They make their own great ham (rivals, no bests Phillipes), and have lunch specials (BBQ for one) several times during the week. They'll even sell you a ham bone for your dog!
Weekdays the patrons are "real" Los Angeles folk, downtown "hardhat" workers, lots of city vehicles, high wheel trucks (railroads) and unmarked cop cars in evidence. Saturdays you may come across yuppies slumming on the wrong side of the 101 with baby seats, Blackberries and the New York Times, but nothing's perfect!
Was there this last Saturday. Everything is fine, I also went by a week ago with 6 people on a Friday and it was borded up, forgot to ask why, maybe a few finishing touches on the remodel/fix-up they where doing.
Salsa was as good as ever, bought 2 jars as Christmas gifts.