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Best Beef Dip Style Sandwich in Los Angeles (Long-ish)

I find that the meat on the majority of beef dip style sandwiches in Los Angeles is bland and tasteless. Most times these sandwiches are augmented by an over salty au jus to supplement the sandwich meat shortcomings. Even Phillipes in my opinion serves up a boring roast beef (don't do the lamb or pork). I slather on the mustard sauce to make these sandwiches tolerable when I do eat there with friends. The best roast beef dip style sandwich I've had was from Weilers Deli on Victory in Woodland Hills, but this was brisket meat. Traditional beef dips are prime rib, rump roast or another cut (I think). So...who has the best roast beef dip in Los Angeles in your opinion, and what are the best cuts of beef when purchasing your ultimate dip sandwich?

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  1. Bandera in WLA has my favorite French dip in LA. It is made with their prime rib and served with great fries. Houston's makes a similar FD, but the bread is not as good and soft as the Bandera version.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Ernie

      Bandera or Houston's is the Best in our book. But it's hardly fair considering it's Prime Rib and costs about 15-, and worth it!

      1. re: russkar

        i agree. we used to go and order the burger at the bar at houston's, then noticed every had a french dip. we're very careful to order our app first (spinach dip). then when we're almost done, order the french dip with horseradish and cole slaw. sometimes that dip comes out too fast and if you wait, you don't get that nice crunch from the underbelly of the bread. we were constantly struggling with the dip getting cold or the dip getting soggy. solved. order them separately.

    2. Eastside Market is very good although an Italian twist on the classic french dip:


      A Mike's Special on a french roll at Mike's Hockey Burger on Soto and Washington is pretty good as well.

      1 Reply
      1. re: JAB

        I would agree with you about Eastside. Their Italian rendition of the beef dip is great.

      2. Canter's still does an excellent beef dip. I only eat the lamb dips at Phillipes. I alternate between brisket & tri-tip as favorite meat for making Dips at home.

        1. 322 (322 Sierra Madre Bl.) in Sierra Madre has an Italian beef dip that's very good at around $8. Also has a small, but nice patio with spectacular mountain views. BJ's also has a good dip sandwich with red onions.

          1. along with houston's, we like the prime rib or brisket sandwich at the Tam O' Shanter sandwich bar on los feliz blvd.

            they had carve it in front of you. if you really want to dip, ask for au jus on the side. you can order it up with a nice pint (or yard, if you choose) of guiness. with their creamed horseradish lathered on, it's fantastic.

            served with sides of coleslaw with peanuts and pickled beets.


            1. although it's $13, the prime rib beef dip at taylor's steakhouse is delicious.
              It's served with their mixed salad but for a few bucks extra I always get the Molly salad instead.

              2 Replies
              1. re: ostudio

                thanks, ostudio. do you know if they only serve for lunch or is it also serve at dinner?

                1. re: revets2

                  I've only eaten it at lunch because at dinner I always go for a steak dinner. However the menu does indicate that it is served at dinner for $16. I would assume that the portions are slightly larger.

              2. It's been a while since I've had it, but I seem to remember Doughboys (8136 West 3rd St., (323) 651-4202) having a reasonably good beef dip. Nothing to travel across the country for, but pretty good if you're in the neighborhood.

                1. I sort of like the french dip (beef) sandwich at Brent's Deli.


                  If you are looking for a good cost/taste ratio sandwich, the Roast Beef Dip at the Hat will do. Cheap, large amount of beef on a big roll. A little weak on the taste factor, however.


                  1. If you happen to be at The Palm on a day when they have saved some prime rib from the night before, they will sometimes have a French Dip on special for lunch. It is the best such sandwich I have ever had. Simple and awesome, and highly recommended.

                    Houston's has a good French Dip, although I am not a big fan of the attitude at Houston's.

                    Phillippe's is highly overrated on every level. The only thing that is remarkable is their hot mustard, which is no joke. The sandwiches are mediocre at best, and the parking / ordering system are downright ridiculous. Too badd, since I live about 5 minutes from there...

                    1. Well, being from Chicago, a "beef dip" is an italian beef sandwich, and there are about a dozen purveyors of such around SoCal. The 3 stars IMHO, are Chicago's Best in Irvine, Portillo's in Buena Park, and Taste Chicago in Burbank. Even better, get a "combo (beef and sausage).

                      That being said, Houston's/Bandera's prime rib beef dip sandwich is outstanding if a bit pricey, and I am a big fan of Phillippe's...as much for the atmosphere as for the food.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: RSMBob

                        Revisiting the "Chicago" aspect. I just got my hands on a bottle of Chicago-made giardiniera. Want to use it on "beef"...

                        Where to?

                        1. re: TonyC

                          Portillo's for really good Chicago italian Beef Sandwiches.

                          Portillo's Hot Dogs
                          8390 La Palma Ave, Buena Park, CA 90620

                      2. I still love Phillipe's, but the caveat is that I always order the lamb, not the beef. IMO, it's wonderful. BTW, the mustard there IS certainly great, but you can get it at any supermarket. It's Coleman's. I think they get the Coleman's mustard powder, and mix it extra strong.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: Bostonbob3

                          I had heard that it was regular mustard mixed with horseradish.

                          1. re: malibumike

                            Unless they've changed it (which I doubt, considering the importance they place on tradition), it's Coleman's mustard powder. But as I said above, you can mix mustard powder with anything. Although Coleman's is already VERY strong, Phillipe's may very well mix it with extra horseradish, etc.

                            1. re: Bostonbob3

                              On a recent "Emeril Originals" program he visited Philipe's. The owner showed him how Elias Barajas has been making this mustard since 1967. All it was was paprika, salt, "mustard powder" (didn't identify it as Colemans) white vinegar and what looked like a little cream or milk. That was what they showed
                              It's kind of like Cassell's where most people thought the potato salad was made with horse radish but it wasn't, it was made with mustard powder.
                              My vote for the best beef dip has to go with Houston's with their wonderful french fries. We have been going to Philipe's since the early 50's when the dips were 55 cents. I don't see much change in them although some other old timers think they were bigger and better then. I don't agree but to each his own

                        2. Disclosure: I have been going to Philippe The Original since before I can remember. The ride from Northeast SFV via San Fernando Rd. to Riverside Drive (before the I-5 was built) and around the hill into Chinatown were marvelous journeys for little me. Thank you, but I am biased in favor of this landmark L.A. institution. Where was I?
                          Oh yes, it's not so much the beef, but the dip! And by that I mean the "double dip." The combination of that roll, the special dip-juice with the mustard and beef is the taste treat, not so much the beef alone.
                          Think dip; Double Dip.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: Otius Gojius

                            There is no dip sandwich that comes close to Phillipes. The best in L.A. However for me , it's the pork double dipped. Ummmmmm....

                            1. re: Pali

                              I prefer to call Philippe's rendition, sliced beef on soggy bread.

                              1. re: ns1

                                I ate at Phillipe's once and once was enough. Rib eye roast, medium rare, sliced, and a great homemade au jus on fresh role - toasted. Is SOOO much better than what you get at Phillipe's. (which to me tastes like institutional food. Like what you'd get on Fridays in prison).

                            2. re: Otius Gojius

                              I can't recall the last time I had a beef dip from Philippe The Original because I have been having the lamb double dip exclusively since the early 1970's and the lamb is great. It is moist and full of flavor. Maybe I will try beef or pork next time. It isn't quite fair to compare Philippe to places that are charging 2 or 3 times the cost for prime rib sandwiches.

                            3. I'm another one who likes Phillipe's sandwiches. I prefer their lamb to their beef but when I've had the beef, I always enjoy it.

                              The sandwich at Houston's is quite good but whenever I'm there, I'd rather have their ribs.

                              Someone mentioned the sandwich at Tam O'Shanter. It's good and you can get the same thing at any of the Lawry's Carvery stands in food courts,

                              At Canter's, the brisket dip is quite wonderful.

                              Lawry's Carvery
                              3333 Bristol St Ste 2601, Costa Mesa, CA 92626