April 05, 2015

Philippe's The Original French Dipped Sandwiches

Los Angeles is home to 3.8 million people from over 140 different countries, speaking over 224 different identified languages. It's the entertainment capital of the world and boasts a steady climate of plentiful sunshine and cloudless skies.  LA is home to the Lakers, the Clippers, the Dodgers, and the Kings. And though the debate over the true restaurant originator is ongoing, the French-dipped sandwich can call LA its home, too.

Philippe the Original (aka, Philippe's) was established in 1903 and has maintained for over sixty years, its location just blocks from the famous Olvera Street (known to be the birthplace of Los Angeles), historic Chinatown, and Union Station (the largest passenger railroad terminal in the West).  So much history within a 1/2 mile radius!

To make your afternoon of LA history all the more richer, head over to Philippe's to try their iconic French-dip sandwich, which notwithstanding its name has little to do with France, save and except, the glorious French roll from Frisco Baking Company.

Fresh out of the oven!

Breakfast menu... and delicious ice cold drinks for less than $1.

Sandwich Menu, Open daily, and now accepts credit cards.

Gift Shop inside the restaurant.

Busy restaurant counter, so be ready for the hustle bustle, especially during peak lunch hours.

Need to make a call?

Plenty of tables on the ground floor and the 2nd floor.

Salt & pepper the meat (before).

The meat (after).

Meat removed after soaking in beef broth for about 48 hours.

The final presentation -- time to eat!

Lamb with bleu cheese on jus-soaked bread.


Rather than the traditional beef or pork, I opted for the lamb dip.  As you may know, lamb meat can tend to be tough, but probably due to Philippe's special broth, the lamb was surprisingly tender with just the right amount of chew.  I also topped each bite with some of the famous house hot mustard and I was happy as a clam.

House coleslaw (half portion) -- simple but refreshing.

Specialty potato salad topped with cayenne (half portion) with a beet-soaked pickled hard-boiled egg.
This potato salad is unique -- small chunks of potato that still retain a creamy texture.

This hard-boiled egg was soaked in beet juice and jarred. I love beets and I love this egg!

Refreshing lemonade for 75 cents.

There's nothing fancy about this place.  The food is served on recyclable paper plates and cafeteria-style trays.  There are pieces of paper (intentionally) scattered on the ground that resemble hay.  But all of that will be soon forgotten when you taste Philippe's original dip with its slow-cooked meats soaked in flavorful broth, generous slabs of cheese, and crispy-on-the-outside, chewy-on-the-inside French bread.  The dip can be complemented by your choice of sides (soups, salad, coleslaw, beet-pickled egg) and washed down a refreshing beverage.  And after a few bites, you'll start embracing Philippe's unique atmosphere (if you haven't already), which exemplifies homey comfort.
 And that moment, that experience, could also become a part of your own history. 

See you at Philippe's, friends!

Philippe, The Original on Urbanspoon

cuisine: American
location: Los Angeles, CA
hours: Daily, 6am-10pm
websites: { Philippe's | yelp | facebook | twitter | instagram }
attire: Casual
parking: Free lot behind the restaurant and across the street; Street meters
payment: Cash and credit card


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