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Nick’s Coffee Shop & Deli ~ Mid-City

3:23 AM PDT on June 30, 2006

Nick's Coffee Shop

8536 W. Pico Blvd. @ La Cienega Blvd. ~ Mid-City

Nick's is an amazing coffee shop reminding us of those greasy spoon Greek diners you see out in Queens or which once populated SoCal's Route 66 (which includes Santa Monica Blvd.). This mean they have a menu about as long as the Bible, with a helluva lot more room for interpretation and personal choice. Pages and pages of egg dishes, burgers, sandwiches and desserts. Covered in pictures of friends and actors no one's ever heard of, it is a classic in more than just its traditional diner digs.

The love story behind Nick's, which was established in 1946, is beauitful and heart-breaking. Kathy Love was a waitress there in the 70's and mid-90;s before succumbing to cancer. Having always wanted to own her own restaurant, Kathy's husband Alan cashed out his IRA in 1997 to buy Nick's out of bankruptcy as a gift to her, saying "Honey, YOU are my IRA." Kathy ran Nick's as a neighborhood refuge for 7 years (even giving meals away on occasion) and her death brought an outpouring of sympathy and love from armies of neighbors. They even made her a 100 page book of prayers and memories that she slept with under her pillow. Kathy is remembered fondly by many and honored throughout Nick's, including her picture by the register and a stained-glass window on the doorway that proclaims the place Kathy's.

Nick's has it all, but we went there for breakfast, ordering a bevy of omlettes from the "create-your-own" to the machaca omlette and the Kaline Special. The coffee service left a tiny bit to be desired but was decent enough in taste, and the service much more than personable from servers who have been there for an eternity...(CONTINUED BELOW)

Machaca
Nick's SignNick's MenuNick's CondimentsClassic Auto BodyKathy'sNick's WallNick's RegisterNicks InteriorNick's CounterKailee's SpecialBuild Your OwnPancakes

The omelettes come huge and heavy, a complete mish-mash of delicious ingredients that stick to the ribs all day. The machaca omelette was best, coming in thin coils of tough, spiced steak that were tangled like a Slinky that needs to be tossed. The machaca was almost like pasta the way it was threaded together. It was a delicious combination, the chewy, salty shreds of beef mixing among the juicy, flavorful grilled onions, soft eggs and softer avocado slices, each bite filling the stringy steak with the more delicate ingredients, and squishing through each bite of the beef

The Kaline Special was a nice combo of tastes, with chopped jalapeno, cilantro, mushrooms, spinach, potato, and avocado tornadoed into an unrecognizable orgy of veggies and eggs. The eggs are not greasy, but firm in the best way, just slightly oily enough to go down easy and completely fill you up. If you make it to the generic beans and rice or sausage on the side, you will not need to eat 'til sundown. Pancakes on the side were fluffy and with a deep taste of sweetness, strawberries on the side a refreshing touch.

Nick's has a story. Nick's has a classic sign. But best of all, Nick's delivers the goods when it comes time for the most important meal of the day, as can be attested to by the loc'ed out locals who pass their mornings here. Next we'll have to get at that burger. R.I.P. Kathy Love!

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