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May 2, 2010 07:44 PM

Is Phillipe's worth it?

I have not been to Phillipe's in a couple of years and went yesterday. I was kind of shocked that a lamb sandwich is now $6.95. It tastes good but $6.95 seems a bit high in my opinion. What do others think? Is Phillipe's worth the price?

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  1. I've only been once and I think it's definitely more of a nostalgia thing. I didn't think it was amazing (like my experience at Langer's), but I can see how it's an LA institution.

    1. If you're in the area, it's worth it.

      1 Reply
      1. The only time I eat at Philippe's is before a Dodger game. $6.95 doesn't buy much in Dodger Stadium, so in that case I say yes.

        1. 98% Nostalgia 2% Food. Chili is good and cheapest coffee in town is ok. People talk about their breakfasts, but I've never tried it.

          Best beef dip is Portillo's Italian beef sandwich loaded with beef for $5.
          Or in the area Eastside Deli if you want a sandwich.

          When I first came to LA 35 years ago Philippes sandwiches were $1.75, that was a deal. $6.95 for that sandwich is a deal breaker.

          18 Replies
          1. re: monku

            Excuse me, but prices have gone up a bit in the last 35 years. Get real, monku! On what planet do you reside? $6.95 is not a lot for a sandwich.

            1. re: allyoucanet

              For clarification the lamb dip is $7.00 and their beef dip is $5.75 and both sandwiches you get a couple thin slices of meat.
              For $7.25 (including sales tax) at Eastside Deli you get a huge Italian beef sandwich. I don't mind paying $6.95 if the sandwich has some "meat" to it.

              Have you ever been to Eastside Deli?
              Check out the clientele at Eastside Deli vs Philippes. You'll see more city employees eating at Eastside Deli than Philippes...does that tell you anything? They know where to get their money's worth.


              1. re: monku

                Yeah Monku, but where are you going to get red pickled eggs and that great mustard. Further for those of us who enjoy a glass of wine they really carry some top flight wines at reasonable prices. The sandwidh is more just for nostalgia. I recently asked for extra meat on my sandwich and they charged me the price of two sandwiches. I think I'll have to go give Cole's a try. Haven't been there in years.

                1. re: Hughlipton

                  Go to Eastside Deli get the hot plate of beef for $7.25(tax included). You get Italian roast beef and Italian pastrami and they give you a roll. Enough meat for 3 sandwiches.
                  All this sandwich talk I'm going there for lunch today.

              2. re: allyoucanet

                Give me 3 for the price of 2 bahn mi sandwiches ($5 for 3 sandwiches) at Banh Mi Che Cali any day over Philippes.

                1. re: monku


                  Not going to disagree with you that you get MORE food at Eastside Deli or any number of Banh Mi places in SGV or Westminster.

                  What I would like to raise -- without trying to necessarily argue the point -- is that when did quantity trump quality as the standard for whether an eating establishment is "worth it"?

                  Some people will say that Philippe's is worth it (and by implication better than Cole's, Eastside Deli or Banhm Mi Che Cali) simply because it tastes better than any of the aforementioned sandwiches purveyors. Thus, they are more than happy to pay a relatively higher price for a lamb dip sandwich even though you get more meat at Eastside or Cole's, and more sandwiches at Banh Mi Che Cali.

                  I just don't think we can harp on the fact that there is less meat in a Philippe's sandwich as somehow saying it is not "worth it". Taste has to come into the equation; otherwise, we would all be lauding Todai as the best sushi joint in LA.

                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    Question by OP was whether Philippes was " worth the price?"
                    Agree there may not be many places to get a lamb dip sandwich.

                    Personally I want some bang for my buck and quality comes into the equation. When I compare Eastside Deli and Portillo's I feel like I'm getting my moneys worth on both fronts. Again, 90% of Eastside Deli customers are city workers for a reason and I don't notice their precence in numbers at Philippes.

                    1. re: monku

                      As a City worker I have been to Philippes several times. And in the company of numerous other City workers. I know a lot of cops go to Eastside Deli. I have never been there, but I feel a trip coming on. But the cops also like Nick's and Palermo.

                      1. re: monku

                        By the way, monku, how in the world are you able to notice city workers from non-city workers?

                        While not a special power I would necessarily want, it is a special power nonetheless ... better than not having any special powers, I suppose.

                        1. re: ipsedixit

                          I guess it is a power I have. I never thought of it that way.

                          I can see people wearing city worker uniforms of many types...street maintenance and sanitation, police (uniform and plain clothes), fire department...definitely a different crowd than at Philippes.

                          1. re: monku

                            You are plainly over looking all the deputy city attorneys and deputy DAs and deputy county counsel in their suits and their staffs who frequent Philippes. But I hope you can refine your technique.

                            1. re: mc michael

                              My technique is look for suits and shirts with ties...they aren't a majority at Philippes. Very few tourists at Eastside Deli.

                    2. re: monku

                      City employees "know where to get there money's worth." Or our money. Oh well, better that their 100k/yr. DWP paycheck is going to a meatball sub than a lap dance. Thanks Tony V!

                      I totally disagree re: Phillippe's. It isn't a great deal but neither are the ever ascending and not exactly cheap prices at the Eastside deli. Also, I've never experienced the "couple thin slices of meat" issue. Maybe the counter ladies aren't digging your mojo?

                      If you want pure value at Phillippe's hit off the beef stew. A bowl piled high for $3. A lamb double dipped may not be revelatory but its considered an institution for more reasons than just sawdust on the floor.

                      And just a question. What's so great about banh mi che cali? I've never had it but a friend brought me a couple baguettes from them this weekend. They were much worse than the baguettes I get at the better banh mi spots in chinatown. If not the bread then what - the pickling of the veggies or the meat quality?

                      1. re: mrgreenbeenz

                        Bread is usually very good from BMCC. How old was the bread that he gave you?

                        1. re: annapurna7

                          I believe it was fresh that day - though I did get it from my friend in the evening. It wasn't so much a freshness issue as a texture one. Too buttery/margariney wonderbread tasting on the inside and not crusty enough on the outside.

                          1. re: mrgreenbeenz

                            BMCC bread is definitely crusty, but it is light. It's baguette that is meant for a sandwich, so it has a good amount of chew, but light enough that you can easily take a bite.

                        2. re: mrgreenbeenz

                          The nostalgia I feel at Philippes is something out of the depression era...and that goes for the size of the sandwich too. Again, OP main disappointment seemed to be with the price. Personally I can't eat "atmosphere".

                          The buy 2 get one free at Bahn Mi Che Calle is not served on a baguette, but agree with above poster they're much better when an hour or so out of the oven.

                    3. re: monku

                      I agree, but more like 70%/30% to me. And, yes, Portillo's beef sandwich is better (but in Buena Park) for the price.

                      Phillipe's breakfast is decent, but not worth a long drive. Is my go-to, but only if in the immediate area.

                    4. Philippe's is so L A. Besides, if you consider the free parking, take $2.00 off.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: selfportrait93

                        $2.00??? Where are you parking these days. I had to do some business at the Biltmore Hotel Tower Building. When I left the charge was $50. The young lady behind the counter asked if I wanted a receipt to which I replied, Hell no, I want a deed. I was at Philippe's last night and had the beef french dip. It was good, not great. The pickled egg was incredible and the dill pickle had snap and was good. The highlight for me is that inferno (not infernal) mustard.
                        You sit at a long table and you talk to people and they talk to you. How delightful. The last issue for me is their wine list. I know that many people might think $16 a glass for Silver Oak is an expensive glass of wine, but when you figure there are only 5 glasses to that $80 or $90 bottle of wine retail it's a steal. I had the Merry Edwards Pinot Noir at $8.00 a glass and am so glad I did as i seldom get a chance to try her wines anymore. It is definitely a go to place.