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Aug 16, 2010 09:56 AM

Nick's Cafe ... best hash browns ever.

The title pretty much sums up my love of Nick's Cafe's hash browns.

It's shredded to a vermicelli-like size, then griddle fried to a crisp with no hint of grease, and then piled on your plate in a nice big round mound that reminds you of those old Chinese-American Cantonese chow mein dishes that came on a bed of crispy fried noodles.

Topped with some of their housemade salsa and I could eat this three times a day, everyday for the rest of my life. Heck, I'd be happy if you buried me in it as well.

While I didn't order it, my companion tried the corned beef hash raved about it. Said it was just like grandmama made it, which I took to be a compliment of the highest order. Had to try a bite and you could tell how it was made from fresh not canned corned beef because it was not mealy or mushy. I'm certainly not a corned beef has connoisseur, but this was definitely good stuff.

I've got to go during a Sunday when they offer specials like Eggs Benedict ...

Also brought home some of their housemade jalapeno ketchup.

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  1. No longer owned by Pepper, The LAPD Detective, she still owns the building, Rod has bought it and made the food better and consistent. The salsa is still great and when I buy some to take home it is always the same now. The biscuits and gravy is great, their skillet dishes a wonderful and I can not wait to try a hot dog, the grill them, yummy! There are some new additions to the menu and the are open on sunday, praise jesus!

    2 Replies
    1. re: Burger Boy

      Interesting....was her life partner's name Salt?
      (Get it?)

    2. Jalapeno ketchup, wait, where the F was that, I never saw that! Who are you, Ipse, to get special treatment at Nick's, I been going for 15 years!

      5 Replies
      1. re: Burger Boy

        Dunno. My first time ever going. They had it. Tried it. Loved it. Got some.

        Apparently, they also do BBQ on the weekends. Ever been to those?

        1. re: ipsedixit

          They used to have BBQ for lunches on Tuesday and Thursdays. They pre-bbq'd stuff like ribs in the morning and served it for lunch starting at 10:30am. Wasn't bad for the price. It wasn't slow smoked bbq, but "grilled" over charcoal briquets. Who knows maybe it's changed.

          They used to be only open until 11:30am on Saturdays and closed Sundays.

          Interesting you thought the hash potatoes were the best ever because I don't ever remember them making any impression on me....only the ham, salsa and Denver omelette.

          1. re: monku

            it is a new guy cooking, the guy Rod, who bought it cooks and oversees things like a hawk, very good quality, an improvement Really is better IMHO!

            1. re: Burger Boy

              When did the change of ownership take place?
              Seems like only a couple months ago on a Sunday morning I drove by and looked like it always it was boarded up and condemned.

              1. re: monku

                It has been a few months, maybe 6. I saw Rod around Christmas time, I think, it was a slow transfer of bacon fat. Try the biscuits & gravy, everything is more consistent. New menu stuff, eggs benedict, their chorizo skillet is great. the ham is as good as ever. They are making muffins and all kind of little changes, it is very tasty! I am dying to try their hot dogs.

      2. I used to go there a lot, but it's been about a year since my last visit. I need to go soon. It's very close to my work downtown.

        1. How do they compare to the classic LA hash browns of Russell's and Pie 'n Burger, both of which I'd describe as "creamy" in texture with crisp around the outside (when fried properly)?

          Pie 'n Burger
          913 E California Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91106

          2 Replies
          1. re: hnsbmg

            It is much much better than Pie N Burger (and I like their hash browns, alot).

            Never been to Russell's.

            1. re: ipsedixit

              That, I have to try! Thanks for the recommendation.

          2. Whoa, Nick's is open on Sundays now? Are they open on Saturdays too? I haven't been in ages due to the work-week issues in getting there.

            21 Replies
            1. re: pronek

              Yup, they sure are. Open 7 days now.

              I've got to get there on a weekend day myself ...

                1. re: ipsedixit

                  Any idea what their hours are?
                  Didn't see anything on the website.

                  1. re: monku

                    Open at 5:30 M-F and open at 6:30 on weekends and close at 1:30 or 2:30 on sat & sunday. Give a call and check 323-222-1450

                      1. re: Burger Boy

                        Surprised the website didn't have the hours.

                        1. re: monku

                          The guy is working hard, doing so many things, I am sure it just slipped by. The outside dining area is so inviting. He has made it such a more cozy place and you know they are open from a couple of blocks away. No more, gosh that place looks closed or maybe out of business. Keep it up Rod!

                          1. re: monku

                            I'm also surprised the site didn't have their hours but wouldn't be surprised if you merely had trouble finding them. That's one of my biggest Web site aggravations -- restaurants that hide their hours under "Contact Us" or "Location," etc. In this case, however, they're not anywhere -- not even on the "Nutrition" page. ;-) A Google site search for "hours" found nothing, so we have to look elsewhere. The Google Maps place page gives a slightly different report from Burger Boy's:

                            Mon 5:30am – 2pm
                            Tue 5:30am – 2pm
                            Wed 5:30am – 2pm
                            Thu 5:30am – 2pm
                            Fri 5:30am – 2pm
                            Sat 6:30am – 2pm
                            Sun 6:30am – 2pm

                            EDIT: Considering Servorg's warning below, take these with a double grain of salt, since they aren't even the sometimes-suspect hours posted on a restaurant Web site. They're from another source, as indicated.

                            1. re: hnsbmg

                              I've often found posted website hours about as useful as teats on a boar hide them or don't post them at all if you aren't going to live up to them (or bother to update them when they change).

                              1. re: Servorg

                                They live up to their hours. This new owner Rod is working hard and it is showing. I would not be surprised if he started some dinner service down the road.

                                1. re: Burger Boy

                                  I'd be surprised if there was ever dinner served there. Who goes down in that area, not even the bums.

                                  1. re: monku

                                    If ipsedixit is right about those hash browns, I'd go for dinner -- as long as they have the Red O doormen outside to watch your car.

                                    1. re: monku

                                      I would stop in for dinner if its worth stopping for.
                                      I drive by there all the time on my way to downtown eateries.

                                      I use to frequent pre popo and after they bought it out.

                                      I'll stop in to see the new changes.

                              2. re: Burger Boy

                                Curious why all the breakfast pics on their facebook page show big chunky homefries, not the acclaimed vermicelli-like hash browns ipsedixit describes above? Safe to assume they offer a choice of both?

                                1. re: wutzizname

                                  Ask them for hash and not home potatoes.

                                  1. re: ipsedixit

                                    Hash browns are standard...substitute cottage fries, cottage cheese, fruit or grits add 50 cents.

                              3. re: monku

                                According to Yelp, these are their hours:

                                Mon-Sat 6 am - 2 pm
                                Sun 6:30 am - 2 pm

                                I have to try this place! I live downtown and I've never heard of it before.

                                1. re: aching

                                  I just wish it was more accessible by the DASH, although Route B gets you pretty close.

                                  1. re: aching

                                    You do realize that Yelp members, are the people who list the hours?

                                    So there are always errors and/or outdated information.

                                    1. re: reality check

                                      Confirm the hours from hnsbmg post...Their menu lists the same.
                                      M-F 5:30am-2:00pm
                                      Sat/Sun 6:30am-2:00pm