LET'S FACE it, big cities get their reputations built around food. New York is known for their thin crust pizza, cheesecake and street cart vendors. Chicago is known for their deep dish pizza. Kansas City is known for their BBQ (which I indulge in every time I visit my older brother). Los Angeles on the other hand is known for the variety of food. The food in L.A. that is really great and worth writing home about comes from the places that have been here a long time. A few years ago before a Dodgers game my husband took me to Phillipe's. With sawdust on the floor, a dozen lines out the door and every table filled, I was intrigued but I was also disappointed. I have mentioned in previous posts that I hate crowds and lines, therefore this was not pleasant for me. However my husband could not stop talking about it so I went with it. Their French Dipped Sandwiches are delicious. Perhaps not the best in the world but what rounds it out is the experience of going to the restaurant and the history. Philippe Mathieu opened the restaurant in 1908 and actually, according to passed-down family history, discovered the French Dipped sandwich by accidentally dropping the roll into the roasting juice while making a customers sandwich. (This, however, is a heated and long-debated claim, as just a few blocks away on 6th Street, Cole's French Dip also professes to be the originator.)
So if you want a great sandwich with a little history behind it go to Phillipe's, and if we are anywhere near downtown you will see my husband and I there, because a trip to downtown is not worth it unless there is a Phillipe's trip involved.
-Photo Credit: Matthew Jauregui (who kindly took the photo before devouring his sandwich)