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Oct 4, 2013 11:58 AM

L.A. Weekly's Best of L.A. Food & Drink

Not going to post the whole list, but here are some personal agreements:

Best Ice Cream Shop
Sweet Rose Creamery

Best Next-Gen Northern Thai
Night + Market

Best Restaurant Trend

Best Al Pastor Taco
Tacos Leo

Best Bánh Mì Downtown
Buu Dien

Best French Dip
Philippe the Original

Best Onigiri
Sunny Blue

Best Tsukemen
Tsujita L.A.

Best Street for a Food Crawl
Sawtelle Boulevard

Wouldn't necessarily say it's "Best" but still like/love:

Best Cookies
Diddy Riese

Best Chocolate Twist
Amandine Café

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  1. I've been waiting for someone to ask this question to, and it looks like you just unwittingly volunteered!

    Would you mind trying to explain why Philippe's is considered such a great French Dip? I keep sampling it and I just don't understand. To me it's a dry, sort of tough, bland mess.

    I know it's not a requirement that everyone like the same thing but I'd really like to try it with a new perspective.

    What do you look for in a French Dip, and how does Philippe meet those criteria?

    12 Replies
      1. re: ns1

        Haha, I already tried the 'because like history dude' perspective courtesy of my grandpa, who used to tell me stories about how he used to eat there back in the 1930's with all the railroad workers.

        1. re: hannahenenbach

          Maybe I should have listed on my second section. It isn't as good as Houston's/Hillstones/Bandera's prime rib dip, but it's also a third the price.

          Yes, history is a big part of it. My kids are 5th generation patrons (my wife's great-grant father used to take his daughter, my wife's grandmother, there, et cetera).

          The beef is dry, I agree, but the bread and jus is great, so like JAB, I switched to lamb and pork completely (usually pork). I also like the beet-pickled egg.

          1. re: PeterCC

            The lamb carries a $2 premium.

            1. re: PeterCC

              Beet-pickled egg sounds interesting. Thanks for the context!

          1. re: hannahenenbach

            Been yrs since I've been to Phillippe, but.... I only like(d) the lamb sandwich, and only when it had been almost complete drenched in au jus. The hot mustard also makes for an interesting experience. Otherwise, I agree, the sandwich is pretty unremarkable.

            1. re: ilysla

              I've always gotten the lamb. Then I make the whole thing into basically a jus/horseradish stew while my family sits and judges me. Sounds like we have the same strategy.

            2. re: hannahenenbach

              Cole's probably does a better French Dip in the truest sense, but the thing that Philippe's does is sort of a unique creature all unto itself.

              1. re: hannahenenbach

                Hannahenenbach I'm with you on this one. For a two year stint I worked 5 blocks away from the joint - whenever we had some sort of workplace celebration lunch we'd end up going to Philippe's. Cringe! I think people like it for the history and the fond childhood memories. That's my best guess.

                1. re: hannahenenbach

                  Maybe you're not doing it right. You need to order the lamb, double dipped, with blue or Swiss cheese.

                  1. re: whatsfordinner

                    but god forbid you ask for some jus on the side.

                2. Any other places for best carnitas other than Tacos Los Güichos in South Central? We're not afraid of the area, just not too convenient from the Valley or Hollywood area. East LA? Boyle Heights?

                  2 Replies
                    1. re: Servorg

                      Their beef version of carnitas are worth a try too, and order a dozen tortillas.