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Mar 10, 2009 07:07 PM

Phillipe's or Cole's

I have tried Phillipe's several times and preferred the double dipped beef, pork and/or turkey together with the nasal cleansing mustard. However, I have never been to Cole's.
I was wondering if anyone has tried both and can provide a comparison on their french dip sandwiches.

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  1. the double-dip turkey was great. I had it today, with a fat tire. but the mustard is pure masochism.

    1. I much prefer Coles. I miss the old grungy Coles, but the new fancy version is good and much better than Phillipes

      1 Reply
      1. re: rednyellow

        Phillipes has great rice pudding! Cole's now is a bit high end experience for a french dip. It's just the way of the modern world that it seems the haves are co opting cuisine that was typically for the have nots. Phillipes is great for the cultural and social aspect. Sitting elbow to elbow between a lawyer and city road worker while the 80 year chinese men discuss the news across from the 70 year latino mean makes for great ambience with meal at a decent price. Cole's is about double price for everything on their menu compared to Phillipes. Guess someone has to pay for the recent renovation!

        1. I may be the wrong person to comment: I like Philippe's, but I much prefer their pork or lamb dip sandwiches to the roast beef -- I find the former two much more moist and tasty. But I find all of Philippe's dips to have become chintzy and overpriced, with premeasured meat in most instances and not nearly enough to fill me up at lunch without a side and a big bowl of chili or stew. Cole's dip sandwich is considerably bigger and the roll is crustier, a lot more roast beef but more expensive, and to me it got a bit monotonous. It is also extremely expensive or inconvenient to try to park near Cole's for a weekday lunch. For me, the winner is option #3, Eastside Deli, off of Fig to the west of Chinatown for one of their huge, drippy hot beef and pastrami or meatball or sausage sandwiches -- now that is a tasty, filling, and good value lunch.

          6 Replies
          1. re: nosh

            Nosh: you are so right on, the lamb is good, the beef too dried out and I would have to have at least 2 to be satisfied. But like you said, just about a mile west of Philippe's is Eastside market and deli, my favorite is the #7 hot roast beef and pastrami with cooked peppers, marinara and cheese. I just wish John would relocate closer to me.

            1. re: malibumike

              Is the #7 at Eastside the sandwich or hot plate?
              I usually get the hot plate with the hot beef and pastrami and they give include a roll for free. So I make a sandwich with the roll and there's plenty of meet to take home for another meal.

              1. re: monku

                Good idea, I may try that, the #7 is the sandwich, the #8 is the plate.

                1. re: malibumike

                  Same price as the sandwich $6.80. Think they give you more meat on the plate, with all the stuff you mentioned.

            2. re: nosh

              "But I find all of Philippe's dips to have become chintzy and overpriced, with premeasured meat in most instances and not nearly enough to fill me up at lunch without a side and a big bowl of chili or stew."

              Had same experience recently. Beef dip had barely 1/2" of meat, so needed a Nong Shim afterwards. Hopefully things will return to normal when the recession lets up.

              1. re: pharmnerd

                When there was no recession they bumped up the prices and maintained the meat portion. That's when they started losing me.

            3. I just tried the new Cole's and was totally impressed, both with the food and the renovation (it feels no less "old timey" inside, just cleaner and less shabby).

              They've clearly taken the time during the renovation to ratchet up the quality of the sandwiches.

              The roll is a substantial, dense, crusty, chewy thing and the meat was juicy and generously proportioned. Also, they've got their own equivalent of Philippe's sinus-blasting horseradish mustard, and it's just as good. Overall the price of the sandwich was a few bucks more (I believe it was about $8 for a lamb with bleu cheese) but very enjoyable and worth it. Oh, and the bacon potato salad was phenomenal... perfectly cooked potatoes and generous chunks of bacon. Superb.

              Mr Taster

              2 Replies
              1. re: Mr Taster

                Good report. Where did you park? Did you luck into a meter? Are they validating at a nearby lot? Valet? Or did you walk there or take DASH?

                1. re: nosh

                  We spent the day in downtown LA-- took public transportation Fairfax area. We got hungry and I remembered that Cole's had reopened, so we walked there.

                  Mr Taster