10 Fantastic French Dip Sandwiches to Try in Los Angeles

10 Fantastic French Dip Sandwiches to Try in Los Angeles

Going beyond Philippe The Original and Cole’s

The French dip sandwich originated in Downtown L.A. either with Philippe Mathieu at Philippe’s (most likely) or with Henry Cole at Cole’s Pacific Electric Buffet in 1908. Regardless, L.A.’s signature sandwich takes repeated dips in au jus until it’s sopping with flavorful meat juices. Philippe’s and Cole’s are both still going strong. In the past 109 years, plenty of restaurants and chefs have drawn inspiration from our city’s unique culinary tradition and extended the oh-so-L.A. sandwich far beyond DTLA. Learn about 10 restaurants that serve devastating dips, listed in alphabetical order.

Beer Belly

French Dip Sandwich Los AngelesJoshua Lurie
Duck, duck, dip at Beer Belly.

At Beer Belly, the mural-coated Koreatown gastropub from Jimmy Han and wife Yume, chef Wes Lieberher applies his signature twists to recognizable food cravings. They skip standard dip fillings in favor of sage-roasted duck breast. A small pile of meat joins sliced Provolone and horseradish aioli on a crusty toasted French roll. Each sandwich comes with a dish of murky duck jus and a side of pickled shallots that help to cut the richness. 532 S. Western Ave., Koreatown, 213.387.2337, www.beerbellyla.com

Harlowe’s French Dip

French Dip Sandwich Los AngelesJoshua Lurie
Harlowe’s is nouveau retro in Pasadena.

Clara Harlowe Barton, a legendary nurse who founded the American Red Cross and passed away in 1912, probably never tried a French dip. However, one of her descendants honors her legacy with the sandwich at Harlowe’s French Dip, a nouveau retro restaurant with wall-to-wall wood in Old Pasadena. Chef Tony Alcazar and his partners in The Bottle Room serve four different French dips: beef, turkey, lamb, and pork. Start with slow-roasted pork, which comes with beer-infused “La Fin du Mustard” on a toasted French roll. Accompaniments include ultra-savory smoked ham au jus and a choice of either bread and butter or dill pickles. 43 E. Union St., Pasadena, 626.535.0985, www.harlowesfrenchdip.com

Ingo’s Tasty Diner

French Dip Sandwich Los AngelesJoshua Lurie
Dip with turkey or beef at Ingo’s Tasty Diner.

Ingo’s Tasty Diner, the modern LGO Hospitality flip of Callahan’s, focuses on dinner and spotlights purveyors they “Support + Believe” in on the blackboard menu. Behind the bar, a fire engine red rotisserie oven turns proteins like poultry and Prime rib. Executive chef Ben Seto always has Prime rib French dip on the menu, which comes with aioli on toasted Bub & Grandma’s ciabatta with horseradish and au jus. Weekend brunch brings a Wilshire turkey dip with surprisingly juicy turkey breast, garlic oil and au jus on baguette. Add Fol Epi, a cheese similar to Swiss. On the way out, grab a complimentary chocolate chip cookie with French sea salt. 1213 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, 310.395.4646, www.ingostastydiner.com

Johnnie’s Pastrami

French Dip Sandwich Los AngelesJoshua Lurie
Phillipe’s could call Johnnie’s a newbie at six decades.

Bob Bass founded took over a freeway friendly hot dog stand in 1952 and started serving French dip sandwiches. His family still runs the coffee shop, which has a pretty robust menu, but is best known for their pastrami French dips. Thin-sliced, fat-rimmed pastrami takes a dip in peppery sauce and ends up on a soft hoagie roll. Each sandwich comes with pickles, and if a spicy kick is preferred, try pickled pepperoncini and/or fiery English mustard. 4017 Sepulveda Blvd., Culver City, 310.397.6654

The Korean Mkt

French Dip Sandwich Los AngelesJoshua Lurie
Chris Oh takes a dip in Japantown.

Chef Chris Oh bought out his Seoul Sausage partners and transformed the side street Japantown space into The Korean Mkt. He teamed with Vincent Domingo on Korean-inspired comfort food, primarily served in bowls and between bread. Their juicy pork dip features pork shoulder that’s dry-rubbed with salt, pepper and brown sugar and slow-roasted for 10-12 hours. The meat is sliced, crisped in the oven, and served on a soft toasted hoagie roll slathered with mayo and served with a sidecar of milky tonkotsu broth dressed with chile oil, scallions and sesame seeds. 11313 Mississippi Ave., Japantown, 310.477.7739, www.koreansuper.com

Lawry’s Carvery

French Dip Sandwich Los AngelesJoshua Lurie
Lawry’s Prime rib gets in on the action at L.A. LIVE.

Lawry’s The Prime Rib has set the standard for Prime rib in L.A. featuring rosy meat carved tableside since 1938. Lawry’s Carvery is their fast casual concept that works to stay “a cut above” at L.A. LIVE. They have several hand-carved sandwiches, but I’d recommend starting with the “original” featuring six ounces of hand-carved Prime rib and creamy horseradish on a chewy ciabatta square. Each sandwich comes with a dish of Port wine au jus, Carvery potato chips and a pickle spear. 1011 S. Figueroa St., Downtown, 213.222.2212, www.lawrysonline.com/lawrys-carvery

Lunetta All Day

French Dip Sandwich Los AngelesJoshua Lurie
Lunetta dips Prime rib at their casual outpost.

Longtime Santa Monica chef Raphael Lunetta and his Divide + Conquer partners, Daniel Weinstock and Mike Garrett, have created a compelling dual concept near SMC. The All Day side of the structure showcases more recognizable comfort foods fueled by “seasonal ingredients based on the abundant product available on the California coast.” Their PM menu includes a delectable Prime rib dip featuring rosy beef ribbons served on soft lacquered roll sopping with jus and slathered with horseradish cream. Skin-on Kennebec fries and an arugula salad accompany each sandwich. 2424 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, 310.581.4201, www.lunettasm.com

Meat on Ocean

French Dip Sandwich Los AngelesJoshua Lurie
Santa Monica really loves their French dips.

Meat on Ocean has proven that King’s Seafood Company is skilled at preparing more than just sea creatures. The sprawling restaurant dry-ages and butchers beef in-house in a one-time meatpacking facility near the Santa Monica Pier. Executive Chef Michael Teich and Culinary Director Damon Gordon rotate cuts and breeds, but rely on a beef dip. The sandwich is almost a hybrid of a Philly cheesesteak and French dip, featuring Prime rib-eye and filet folded with molten gouda and loaded into a sturdy Röckenwagner Bakery roll. Each sandwich comes with a ramekin of veal stock au jus and choice of green salad or French fries. Order the fries, which are thick cut, baked and then fried twice. 1501 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, 310.773.3366, www.meatonocean.com

Rudy & Hudson

French Dip Sandwich Los AngelesJoshua Lurie
Smoked brisket stars in Rudy & Hudson’s dip.

A former IHOP at the base of a Best Western is now home to a modern California diner from Chef Joe Miller and business partner Lawrence Rudolph. Two of their grandfathers inspired the name Rudy & Hudson, and their “straight-forward, uncomplicated” spirit carries through the art-lined restaurant and plates of comfort food. An applewood smoker at HopSaint Brewing Company in Torrance yields the key ingredient in Rudy & Hudson’s smoked brisket sandwich. This hearty sandwich co-stars spicy horseradish, punchy smoked cheddar and braised kale and comes with a ramekin of au jus. 1920 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica, 424.581.6444, www.rudyandhudson.com

South Beverly Grill

French Dip Sandwich Los AngelesJoshua Lurie
Hillstone Restaurant Group dips nationally.

South Beverly Grill’s French dip is also available at sister concepts Bandera, Hillstone and Houston’s and remains a Hillstone Restaurant Group staple. At this restaurant near the company’s corporate headquarters in Beverly Hills, a vintage 1942 Indian motorcycle keeps watch over diners, many of whom order the “famous” sandwich. A French roll comes piled with medium-rare, thin-sliced Prime rib. A dish of jus and horseradish cream complement the juicy meat, and also receive matchstick fries. 122 S. Beverly Dr., Beverly Hills, 310.550.0242, www.southbeverlygrill.com

10 Fantastic French Dip Sandwiches to Try in Los Angeles.” Eater LA – All. https://la.eater.com/2017/7/20/15999754/best-french-dip-sandwiches-los-angeles-map.

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