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Now that its only serious competitor is about to be retrofitted into a gleaming replica of itself, Philippe's is one of the few remaining artifacts of the Los Angeles that Philip Marlowe knew, a sprawling complex of long tables, cheap coffee, sawdust-sprinkled floors and a Depression-era beef stew of the type that has always made hard-working Americans swoon, so much a relic of prewar Los Angeles that sometimes it feels as if it isn't really a part of Los Angeles at all, as if it belongs to an older city without neon, chrome or arugula... Philippe's is the spiritual home of the French dip, that famous sandwich of carved meat layered onto a jus-soaked roll, imitated, never successfully, all over the United States for the last 100 years. If I reach my own 100th birthday, I intend to celebrate it here with a lamb dip, extra blue cheese, a dish of tapioca pudding and a glass of California red wine. For takeout, must call ahead, and order must be over $40.

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Price: $
Payment Type: cash

Parking: Lot Available, Street


Reservations: Not Accepted

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    One hundred and three years after it opened, Philippe the Original still has the best French dip sandwich in the city: a crusty baguette stuffed with beef or, better, lamb, some blue cheese if you want, then dipped or double-dipped in intensely flavorful jus.

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