Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Philippe's The Original

On Sunday, I was in the Fashion District / Santee Alley downtown, checking out the counterfeit handbags. Yes, I bought one, I’m embarrassed to say. I also stopped at Michael Levine’s to pick up some knitting and sewing notions. Mr. Larry was in Highland Park, north of Downtown, at a camera store close-out sale. We decided to meet at Philippe’s The Original for lunch.
If you’ve never been to Philippe’s, you must go. It’s an L.A. landmark. Philippe’s was opened in 1908. They claim to be the originator of the French-dipped sandwich (1918), which is a hot beef sandwich consisting of thinly sliced roast beef on a French roll. This sandwich is usually served au jus (with juice) by dipping the bread into the beef’s juices before assembling the sandwich.
Another downtown establishment, Cole’s says that they originated the French-dipped sandwich right after they opened their doors in 1908. Whatever! I’ve only eaten at Cole’s twice. I’ve eaten at Philippe’s numerous times. I like the sandwich, atmosphere and parking at Philippe’s better. Cole’s is a bar and a music venue and offers great entertainment…check out their calendar.
The interior of Philippe’s is classic. There’s sawdust on the floor, you wait in lines for a server in a vintage outfit to make your sandwich and collect your order on a tray. Then you take your tray to one of the community tables. On each table is a jar of famous Philippe’s mustard. It’s incredible. I found a probable recipe for the mustard online, but at $3 per jar, I’d rather buy the stuff.
To read another review of this fantastic place, check out this website.The world eats at Philippe’s. You can see downtown politicians, lawyers, cops, etc. Business men and women eat here, as do a lot of the vendors from nearby China Town, Little Tokyo and Olvera Street. There are artists from the Brewery Art Colony. Dodger fans and USC sports fans and alumni are present on game days. Even the local down and out can afford a 9-cent cup of coffee at Philippe’s. It’s my kind of place.



At 3:24 PM PDT, Blogger Faith said...

Oo oo! I love Phillipe's. My grandparents used to take me there all the time when I was little (and Canter's and the farmer's market and Dinah's...)

At 8:48 PM PDT, Blogger Ana Petrova said...

Ellen, so nice to see you and lunch with you. Always fun to talk to. You really KNOW Los Angeles. All the fun little places you know them.

I love Phillipe's my husband and I go there everytime we are in the area. It's great place for lunch especially after the Rose Bowl Flea market. Although it's too hot now, I guess no Rose Bowl or Phillipe's till the weather cools down a bit.

At 1:44 PM PDT, Blogger Laurie Ann said...

Last time I went to Cole's a drug deal was going down right there on the sidewalk in broad daylight. I'd rather go to Phillipe's where I have never seen a drug deal.


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