Continuing our history lesson on downtown Los Angeles, it’s lunchtime at Philippe’s.
Philippe’s is a California landmark, and celebrated it’s 100th birthday last year. And the best part is that it’s virtually the same restaurant that it was in 1908. The floor is covered in sawdust, the menus are hand-painted, same weathered wooden furnishings, and even the old-fashioned scale that costs a dime. Speaking of dimes, the coffee is still 10 cents a cup.
It’s always a scene up in here. Here’s a tip, the middle line moves the fastest because it splits in 2 at the pillar.
They also have every pie imaginable for dessert. Slice o’ blueberry:
Counter-top jars of hard-boiled eggs pickled in beet juice and spices.
Of course, Philippe’s is known for their specialty French Dip sandwiches. Mainly because Philippe’s invented the French Dip sandwich. There are differing myths as to how it happened, some believe it was by accident, but the main story is attributed to a policeman named “French” who asked the founder Philippe Mathieu to put him together the beefed-up sandwich. Later, another customer saw gravy at the bottom of one of Philippe’s pans and figured it’d be a great dip.
There are so many L.A. artifacts installed around the restaurant..
My favorite are the old-school telephone booths that line the back wall.
Cash only. And still, paper plates.
See that tube of hot mustard? That’s the secret.
Philippe’s uses 6 bales of sawdust a week to cover the floor.
And to top it all off, the 1927-era candy counter to sweeten the deal.
Philippe’s is at 1001 N. Alameda, a block from Union Station, at the intersection of North Main, Alameda and Ord Streets.