Single Dip and Done


LOS ANGELES, CA — After a morning of standardized testing and traversing the cities of Claremont and Los Angeles, a few of my friends and I decided to end our Saturday by trying out the renowned french dipped sandwiches of Philippe The Original.

Philippe The Original is the home of the french dipped sandwich, which started when a  French roll sandwich accidentally dropped in a pan of hot juices and was served to a policeman who ended up liking the new type of sandwich and returned the next day to order the same thing. Visiting and eating at the restaurant has also been a lasting tradition for spectators after a Dodgers game and people who have just arrived in Los Angeles through Union Station.

img_1113The shop was opened in 1951 and still has the atmosphere of a warm mom-and-pop restaurant but with a lot more customers than one would expect. The floor was littered with sawdust that gave the restaurant some character. Customers also had to order at a counter, an experience that may be novel for some.

“I thought it would be like any other LA restaurant,” confessed Wendy Wong, one of the friends that accompanied me. “But it turned out to have a homey, local atmosphere where everyone was aware of each other’s presence.”

Philippe The Original’s menu also includes hot soups, salads, wines, beers, and desserts.

When it was my turn to place my order with the carver, or server, I ordered a turkey wheat sandwich single-dipped, which means about a quarter of a cup of the hot juices or “jus” from roasting the meat is poured on top of the sandwich. I also ordered a Coke to drink and added a small bowl of custard as a dessert. In total, I paid $12.75 for all of the items, a bit on the expensive side.

My friends also bought sandwiches to eat, but they took the more traditional route by ordering the french roll sandwiches topped with slices of cheese. They had to pay about the same prices as I had with their own additional desserts and drinks.img_1132

I had expected more from the first bite of my turkey dip sandwich. The additional “jus” definitely added a needed kick to the sandwich but did not taste spectacular. If one is not satisfied with the taste of the sandwiches, I would definitely recommend trying Philippe’s Hot Mustard with every bite. The mustard, with its tangy taste that is similar to that of wasabi, is a great compliment to the sandwich.

Near the end of my meal, the small bowl of custard sprinkled with cinnamon definitely turned my mediocre experience upside down. The small $2.60 dessert was sweet but not in an overpowering way and tied my eating experience together. I finished the bowl in less than three minutes.

“For my first time at Phillipe, it was interesting to see what a semi famous sandwich shop would look like,” commented Jorge Aparicio, another friend who accompanied me. “Overall, I’d say Philippe The Original serves more as a one time experience for visitors than a restaurant to occasionally grab a good sandwich.”

Philippe The Original and its sandwiches were not as spectacular as I had expected but can certainly satisfy anyone looking for a fulfilling meal and unique atmosphere in Los Angeles. I give it a 3.5/5.

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