Cole's Re-Opening Party - 100th birthday Dec 6 noon-4
SF Chowhound passing on info. I will be going with my family in LA. We're friends of someone involved. Sad sister I am to not know the exact role.
Sandwiches, pies, and sides will be 100 cents a piece.
I have never been here (used to go to Philippe's as a child).
I understand there are events Friday and Sunday too but don't have that info.
Cole's has always disputed that they, not Phillipe's, created the original french dip. The last time I stopped in for lunch, over a decade ago, it was downright dark, fairly empty, and depressing. The roast beef was thickly sliced and a generous serving, but was dry and fairly tough -- definitely needed the jus for moisture and flavor. Biggest problem, however, was parking -- either expensive lots or hit-and-miss meters. Before everyone heads to Cole's for the bargain opening, better call and find out where to park.
Well, my family and I went last night to celebrate the re-opening. It was my first time and they must have changed the look a bit because it was not dark. We'll get some pictures up but it has a dining area with booths, and there is a very nice bar area. Nice as in old, fashion, classic bar with classic cocktails.
I had an old fashion - they use Rittenhouse Rye bourbon, freshly cut, generous orange rind.
I also had a Manhattan - they use cherries they have soaked in brandy. Fantastic. I savored it bite by bite.
I really want to try their Irish Coffee-- they use fresh whipped cream... next time.
It was a very busy night. The bartenders were friendly, eager to serve you, slow right now - but because of the attention put into the cocktails which I'd rather have than fast. I anticipate this will change with time and experience with the cocktails. Many were ordering Sazerac's and just watching the preparation was satisfying.
Food / Kitchen: I toured the kitchen and met the chef Michael. The entire kitchen is new, and at end of the night, very clean. The chef said recipes/ preparation are the same, but they've opted to use higher quality beef and lamb.
I tried a bite of the mini sandwich. I like the bread-- tasty. The dip sauce was key. Cut of meat thicker than I expected which I liked. I need to go back and try a full, individually prepared sandwich.
Pictures to follow! When I'm back here, we'll definitely come back.
Thanks for all the info "rin." As to parking, I'd park someplace not too far away and take the Dash bus (still only a quarter?). They used to have a map of the Dash bus routes inside the free downtown newspaper you see around the area. My friends have a store in Little Tokyo and they give me validated parking. Don't think I'll go today (December 6th). Too crowded I would think to enjoy the experience.
yep, it was too crowded worth a trek if you're already in the area today. but the sandwiches were just not that great, but hey what the hell it was only a dollar, right???
parking there is definitely not easy, even on the weekends, although i managed to snagged a parking space about a block and a half away. but i think that was merely an exception to the rule.