Sunday, April 15, 2012

An Institution

After visiting the Bunker Hill area, we were getting a bit hungry.  Other than some fast food places our options were limited in that neighborhood.  I mentioned that Philippe’s was nearby, so we checked our phones’ GPS and walked north towards Chinatown.   

We passed by the Los Angeles Times building

   stuff 061_1

and LA City Hall.

An interesting fact - The concrete from this 1920’s building was supposedly made with the sand from each of California’s 58 counties and water from our 21 missions.

A few blocks later, we arrived at our lunch destination.  Philippe’s is an institution in LA.  It has been a sandwich restaurant since 1908 and at this location on the corner of Alameda and Ord since 1951. Anyone who has been here for any length of time, knows about Philippe’s

Philippe’s claims to be the originator of the French Dip sandwich.  It is a no-frills place with a huge clientele. 

The lunchtime crowds come in droves – downtown professionals, tourists, shoppers.    stuff 076 The lines are always this long, or longer.

Customers order at the counter, and one of the 10 counter servers takes your order and prepares your meal while you wait.  They are most known for their French Dip sandwiches with roast beef, pork, turkey, lamb, or ham. 

Philippe’s has some inexpensive beverage choices. 

Especially their coffee.They were the home of the 5 cent cup of coffee for years, and then in 1977 it increased to 10 cents.  Just this year, they quadrupled their price – a cup of coffee is now a pricey 45 cents!

Jason and I took a little break and enjoyed our French dips.  They don’t look like much, but are pretty good sandwiches and, even better, part of our city’s history.

After our lunch, we cut through the edge of Chinatown. 

Our Chinatown isn’t as impressive as let’s say San Francisco’s.  It’s got the typical markets and restaurants, but on a much smaller scale.  We hurried through the outer edge, just taking a peak.  The thought of the freeway turning into a parking lot in the near future sent us back towards our car in Bunker Hill in order to head home. 

It was a fun way to spend part of the day, even more so that it was low key and unplanned.


  1. I hope that guy behind the photo of Mr Show is keeling over from food poisoning!!!

    Also, I wonder why Lemonade is more expensive than the iced tea???

  2. AND, I still want you as my tour guide!!!

  3. @hula - ha ha! I know when I saw that picture too I wondered how I had missed him. But if you look closely you'll see he's playing with his phone...which is probably how I missed it.
    If you left now, you'd be here in what 20 hours! Martinis on me! :)
    Sadly I have to go back to work more tours, no more fun!

  4. Assuming I am taking a plane and not walking or using a canoe... If I hope on the Red to Sydney and then Sydney to LA, it would take, according to the Qantas site, 22 hour and 5 minutes, with a one-way price tag of $1,291.00 excluding taxes and traveling Economy class. Premium Economy is $2,283 (one way, excl taxes), Business Class is $6,897.00 (one way, excl. taxes), First Class is $9,930.00 (one way, excl taxes).

    Actually not a bad deal considering that it is for an international flight leaving in 9 hours.

    What do you mean, no more fun?? Are you dying tomorrow??

    1. @hula - yah! $9000? That's pocket change really. Sometimes I feel like dying when I'm at work. This morning I overslept a whole hour and thought I was going to have a nervous breakdown while I ran around my bedroom trying to get dressed, dry my hair and brush my teeth at the same time! Ahhhh!

  5. 'Our Chinatown isn’t as grandiose as let’s say San Francisco’s. It’s more a working neighborhood than a tourist site'. A beautiful example of Yours might be bigger but Ours is finer. Well done, darn well done.

    But, 'we checked our phones’ GPS'. Hmmmm. Both phones ?!?!.

  6. See, I thought that Jason had bullied that guy out of his French Dip Sandwich. What do I know!

  7. @vince - oh no! I wasn't insulting San Fran's CT, because it's wonderful. I was trying NOT to insult LA's which, if you've been to SF, isn't quite as good.

  8. @mark - well, that Jason is a tough guy, so you never know, he might have! :)

  9. What a fun day! I've never had those sandwiches. They looked quite delish. I love crispy pickles with a good sandwich. LA is a very cool city.

  10. Yes, and look at how brilliantly well you didn't do the insulting.

  11. @Crystal - Me too on the pickles! LA can be a frustrating place with the traffic and the air quality, but there are fun parts as well.

    @ Vince - (sulks) Hey! You're being awfully sassy today!:P Revised, as that wasn't my intention, but I can see your point.

  12. I did go rummaging through the couch cushions for loose change, but all I could find was $9,929.99... so maybe next time.

    Will you kindly take a video of you running around your bed, drying your hair and brushing your teeth at the same time? I think the world needs to see that!!

  13. @Hula - Darn it! You're on! The video will have to wait until next time too. But I am NEVER late so this was a one-off. My alarm just didn't go off. After getting home from work today, the alarm was beeping. I mistakenly set it for 5:30 PM and not am. Gah! What a way to start the first day back after break. :)

  14. Well you are a great tour guide. It looks as if you had a great time. I haven't been to Philippe's
    since my Dad passed away in the
    80's. My last trip to LA was for Jury Duty. Now there's an experience.

  15. Sassy! little old moi. Never. :-)

  16. I've always wanted to try a french dip sandwich.