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Jan 6, 2009 10:32 PM

Is Philippes the best roast beef dip in LA?

What else should I not miss in LA
I like Korean
I'm going to try PINKS ------ what else should I not miss?


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  1. I think Philippe's is the best in its price range. There are places that get into Prime Rib and more expensive cuts but they cost two and three times as much.

    Pink's was great a long, long time ago but I think the consensus now is that it's vastly overrated. It takes forever to park for it, forever to get it and the dog is nothing special. If you're hankering for a hot dog, there are at least a half dozen better places. I'd prefer Carney's or Scooby's.

    1. No. But then the quality of the chow isn't the point at either Philippe's or Pink's. You should simply enjoy the cultural aspect of L.A. when you're there.

      Korean cuisine is different. Depending on your choice you'll have the best of both worlds.

      1. Philippe's can be a fun experience -- waiting in the lines, being served by the oldtime women, finding a space at the communal tables, tasting the hot mustard the first time. But for me, the sandwiches are small, and while the premeasured, presliced roast beef clearly beats the dry turkey, the best dips by far there are the pork or lamb, both usually much juicier and more flavorful. Supplement with a cup of the chili, or beef stew, or potato salad and slaw and lemonade. A fun lunch, a historic L.A. experience, but by now you are well over $10 for not a huge amount of food.

        Alternatives: For bigger, drippier, more generous subs, try Eastside Deli. For excellent carne asada and even better al pastor from a rotisserie, head up Broadway past Chinatown to the N/W corner of 19th, Carnitas Michaocan. Big burritos, fine special nachos with meat and guac, and the best hot sauce/salsa roja in all of SoCal. Or head down Broadway in the other direction downtown and stop at the Grand Central Market just past 3rd, and get a huge, succulent tender carnitas taco for just a couple bucks from Ana Maria's or Roast2Go or a stand there. If you want to splurge, head to 7th and Alvarado west of downtown on the edge of McArthur Park and get the nation's best pastrami on rye at Langer's.

        6 Replies
        1. re: nosh

          Philippe's small? I usually leave stuffed from one sandwich

          1. re: nosh

            When Nosh says the hot mustard the word HOT needs to be in all caps. I love it but it is one of the hottest mustards I have ever put in my mouth. Remember that old commercial, at least for the first bite, "a little dab will do you."

            1. re: nosh

              Eastside Deli isn't far from Philippes and its where the county and city workers don't see them eating at Philippes. I get the hot meat plate. For $6.80 (same price as the subs) you get Italian roast beef and Italian pastrami (or meatballs and sausage) a couple slices of provolone and a roll is included. Served in a homemade Italian tomatoe sauce. I can make a sandwich with the roll and still have plenty of meat to take home for a dinner. They must give you a pound of meat. Easily enough for 2 people.

              Its got its own history.....been there since 1929.

              1. re: monku


                Is the Italian roast beef hot like a Chicago Italian beef sandwich or is it cold?


                1. re: Kate is always hungry

                  Its probably like Chicao Italian Beef. Its served hot in a homemade Italian tomatoe sauce. I know I've been to Portillo's and their Italian beef is served with a gravy dip. Ask for the "hot plate". They have other hot sandwiches, but as I said, I like the hot plate because you get roast beef and pastrami(also served in a tomotoe sauce). The sauces aren't thick like spaghetti sauce.

                  1. re: monku

                    their meatball subs are ptty good and filling, well, not that filling but compared to a roast beef at phillipe's it surely is.

            2. I love Philippes but it is not the best roast beef French dip in LA. Bandera's prime rib French dip (not the Houston's version) is the best in LA. A little pricey but totally worth it

              11704 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025

              2 Replies
              1. re: Ernie

                For Korean BBQ, you should go to either Park's, Soot Bull Jeep or Sa Rit Gol. I think most people on this board like the quality best at Park's but Soot Bull Jeep and Sa Rit Gol both have a more cosy atmosphere.

                Cole's PE Buffet is historical and has French dip, sort of a dicey area in downtown though.

                Park's BBQ
                955 S. Vermont Ave, Suite G, Los Angeles, CA 90006

                Sa Rit Gol
                3189 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90006

                Soot Bull Jeep
                3136 W 8th St, Los Angeles, CA 90005

                Mee Noodle Shop and Grill
                547 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10016

                1. re: Ernie

                  it is three times the price, but it's also three times larger and goes great with a side of horseradish cream.

                2. I recently went to the newly refurbished Cole's (the other French Dip) and decided I like Philippe's better, but I like the lamb best (get it double dipped with blue cheese and proceed to slather on atomic mustard). For a beef dip, I actually like the Taylor's steakhouse version better than either Philippe's or Cole's.


                  1 Reply
                  1. re: sku

                    Nice review sku. I'll have to try Cole's.

                    Been going to Philippe's for years and I usually get the beef or pork sandwich double dipped with an order of potato salad - always satisfying. Soups are good there as well..

                    Here's another Cole's review with some pics... The beef sandwich looks pretty substantial...