Loving the Home of the French Dip

It’s hot and cool at Cole’s in LA

Now that’s a lamb French Dip … at Cole’s in LA.

The French Dip is ubiquitous diner food in America.

Thin slices of roast beef, a roll and a ramekin of au jus are easy to assemble in any ‘ol kitchen, to be sure.

Lo and behold, though, there are contenders for the title of inventing the French Dip … in Los Angeles.

Two joints claim creds — Cole’s and Philippe’s.

I’ve only been to Cole’s. But slap-yo-mamma, Cole’s French Dip is the diggitiest I’ve ever enjoyed.

If this sign doesn’t speak to you, you ain’t got no neon in your soul.On a stay in Old Town LA, I was drawn to Cole’s classic and persuasive vintage neon sign.Down and inside the garden level establishment, I greatly enjoyed the dark-wood, low-glow 1910s clubby atmosphere punctuated with good music (Jesus and Mary Chain, Strokes et al.) in a largely hipster-free environment.

The barkeeps made ad hoc craft cocktails for me, as is the drink trend these days.

As a pre-sandwich treat, I enjoyed a fine and fresh house pickled egg. (Not the spiceist I’ve had, but still a good and fresh one.)

When it came to the main event, a French Dip, I chose a sandwich my mom would like.

To explain: the French Dip is my mom Mimi’s favorite sandwich. And she also loves lamb like few folks I grew up around.

So when I my barkeep told me Cole’s best French Dip choice was the shaved lamb shank version, I said “hook me up with that.”

Cole’s French Dip is austere, but that’s how one should be. And they are delicious.

Take the street cred, Cole’s!

That is fine pickled egg I got myself into at Cole’s.

Cole’s

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