Los Angeles: Philippe, The Original French Dip sandwiches

Philippe is a Southern California institution, being one of the oldest restaurants since 1908. The restaurant is located off Alameda and Ord, at the base of LA’s Chinatown, and a stone’s throw away from the historic Olvera Street and LA’s Union train Station.

I’ve been coming here for 20+ years and stopped by again  last Sunday.  Whoa! Prices changed! The $1.75 jump in 5 years isn’t much, and the sandwiches are still worth every penny, but here’s the breakdown of just the beef sandwich in the past 5 years:

5 years ago a French Dip cost $5.75,
4 years ago it was $6.00.
3 years ago $6 50
2 years ago $6.75
Just a tad over a year ago $7.00,
On October 2015 it was $7.25, and now March 2016 it’s $7.50

Recently added to their menu is a New York pastrami dip for $9.00.  We decided to give that a try, along with their tried and true Beef dip.  The pastrami wasn’t as greasy or fatty as some “New York” delis, and the meat was sliced rather than shaved. Not sure if its worth $9.00

My favorite is still their Beef dip, and I get it “double dipped” where both breads are dipped in the au jus.  I add a side of potato salad, tapioca pudding (just like mom’s, they said), and a glass of their lemonade.. it’s my perfect lunch.

The only downside is on weekends usually you will find a HUGE long line to order.  Wait time is about 1/2 hour because the sandwiches are made to order.

If you’re open to sharing tables, communal dining makes eating here more practical and convenient. You can also use the tables where you stood in line, but people tend to gawk at you while you’re eating.   If the downstairs is full, you can go upstairs and find a table in one of the many rooms.  It’s typically more quiet upstairs, but IMHO its a bit stuffy and a bit spooky (especially at night).

Portions are not huge, but they are satisfying.  It used to be “Cash Only”, but in this last visit, I didn’t see that sign posted.  With the price increase, perhaps they allow credit or debit card now?

There’s 2 lots for parking, and it’s free.  If you can’t find a spot to park, there’s meter parking on the street off Ord and Alameda.  This place is still my favorite place for a Beef dip sandwich.

Philippe, The Original Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato