Dining-Car Cuisine

A new late-night menu with the same old hits

The historic haunts of Downtown L.A. have the aesthetics of yesteryear. But with updated menus and some of the best cocktail lists in town, the experience of drinking and dining at, say, Cole's is decidedly contemporary.

At the Pacific Dining Car, just west of the skyscraper canyons of Downtown in Westlake, it's a different story. Just a year away from its 90th birthday, this permanently parked train car remains staunchly old-school: Beef is proudly corn-fed, spinach swims in cream sauce and iceberg wedges grace the salad menu.

But they do change things here occasionally, and the new late-night menu (from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. daily) is one recent development. Everything from breakfast eggs to the kitchen's famous aged steaks can be had at cut-rate prices, making it a compelling alternative to a post-bar taco truck stop.

Depending on how far you've drifted toward dawn, eggs may be in order during your Dining Car visit, and the historic relic known as eggs Sardou ($10) is our favorite. This riff on eggs Benedict, invented in New Orleans, features a pool of steakhouse-style creamed spinach topped with two artichoke hearts, each carrying a runny poached egg blanketed in hollandaise sauce, making for a breakfast of layered richness.

Pacific Dining Car, 1310 W. 6th St., Westlake; 213-483-6000 or pacificdiningcar.com