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Small Bites: Pulley's, Casa, Nickel Diner, St. Pauli Girl, Free Coffee, Cafe Wa s

January 27, 2009 |  2:01 pm


Pulled pork is the new popcorn: Beginning Super Bowl Sunday, Charles Hsieh will dish up pulled pork from his Pulley's Pulled Pork cart in the lobby of the Downtown Independent theater on Main and 2nd. Downtown Independent, 251 S. Main St., L.A. (213) 617-1033, www.downtownindependent.com

New St. Pauli Girl: "You never forget your first girl," goes the venerable beer's motto. Or your 29th. Thanks to the readers of Maxim, pentalingual Slovakian native and Los Angeles resident Katarina Van Derham has become the first St. Pauli Girl selected via an online vote. Don't worry about technology trumping tradition. The buxom blond continues a centuries-old custom of pairing breasts and beer steins. www.stpauligirl.com

Free coffee: On Wednesday, participating Panera Bread bakery-cafes will offer free cups of their new Light and Dark Roast coffees, as well as samples of their new grilled breakfast sandwiches and granola parfait. Panera Bread, www.panerabread.com

New v egetarian & v egan m enu: Medjool dates with Roquefort and aged balsamic; a baby beet tart; classic ratatouille … these are a few of the items on Chef Alex Reznik's recently introduced vegan and vegetarian menus at one of L.A.'s most idiotically named restaurants. Ivan Kane’s Café Wa s, 1521 N. Vine St., L.A.; (323) 466-5400, www.cafewas.com

More dinner options in downtown, Part I: Casa, Kris Morningstar's new Mexican restaurant, is now open for dinner on Saturday evenings with its standard menu of antojitos (read: small plates). Casa, 350 S. Grand Ave., L.A. (213) 621-2249, www.casadowntown.com

More dinner options in downtown, Part II: The Nickel Diner, L.A.'s most painfully hip greasy spoon, just expanded its hours. You can now get dinner Tuesdays through Saturdays from 6 to 11 p.m. Breakfast and lunch are served Tuesdays through Sundays from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The dinner menu includes most of the lunch fare as well as several new dishes: double-stuffed chicken, pan-roasted salmon with a red pepper sauce, catfish with corn cakes, grilled flat-iron chimichurri steak, vegetable cassoulet and more. Nickel Diner, 524 S. Main St., L.A. (213) 623-8301, www.5cdiner.com

-- Elina Shatkin

Photo: Customers read the menu under the restored mural from the '20s or '30s in the Nickel Diner. (Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)