Restaurant review of Phillipe's in Los Angeles CA, Southern California restaurant review of Phillipe's,

Review guidelines:

1 Fork = I would rather eat dog food.
2 Forks = I would eat there if I was starving.
3 Forks = Not bad; someplace I would occasionally consider eating.
4 Forks = A good place to eat; I will put it into my rotation of places I dine frequently.
5 Forks = One of my all time favorites!

One caveat to note – I am allergic to fish and seafood, so if you are looking for those recommendations, you will have to consult someone else.

Because I have a daughter-in-law with Celiac and a really good friend who is Vegetarian, I will try to point out whether those options are present when I review a restaurant.

January 2, 2016 - Lunch


1001 N Alameda St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Restaurant review of Phillipe's in Los Angeles CA, Southern California restaurant review of Phillipe's,
Actually, 2.5 Forks = I might give them the benefit of another try.

The occasion for my out of town visit, was a New Year’s Trip to see the Rose Parade and visit with my So Cal relatives.  I have wanted to eat at Phillipe’s ever since I saw a special about it on the Food Network. Phillipe’s is an icon in downtown Los Angeles.  They bill themselves as “historic deli serving up signature French dip sandwiches & other comfort fare in busy communal digs.”  Phillipe’s was established in 1908 by Phillipe Mathieu.  The legend goes that a roast beef sandwich fell into a pan of juice, the customer loved it and a new sandwich was born.

The establishment is a very non-descript brick building on the corner with a striped awning.   Seating is high top communal stainless steel tables and stools for the most part.   Judging by the constant crowds, I suspect they don’t want the patrons to be comfortable at all, that way they increase their thru-put.  My cousin and I got a spot at a table and her husband ordered our food.  It took nearly 45 minutes for him to reach the counter to place our order.  The lines are very long at all times – even at 3 in the afternoon!  There are no refills on drinks – instead there is a community water faucet where you can help yourself.

There are several meat choices when ordering at Phillipe’s.   I stayed with the traditional roast beef, with cheese only.  I wanted my au jus on the side, so I could dip it myself, but that is not allowed.  The French Dip sandwiches come “single-dip”, double-dip” or “wet”.   The meat was very flavorful, but my roll got soggy and I ended up throwing away the bottom layer of bread.  There is a separate line at the counter for ordering sides and desserts.  We opted out because of the additional waiting time.

There is a small amount of parking to the side and rear of the building.  Most of their traffic is on foot as Phillipe’s is located within a couple blocks of major downtown office buildings.

I was a little disappointed in Phillipe’s.  The ordering takes way too long.  Their processes and “etiquette” seem too rigid for the new millennium.   I was hoping it would be more like Carnegie deli in NYC with a decent dining room setup and cheerful service.  At Phillipe’s I didn’t get the cheerful vibe at all.  The tables were not comfortable and there were lots of sour patrons jostling people around.  I was glad I went though, so I can check it off the bucket list.

Check out Phillipe’s menu and hours of operation at

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