Aw. I do enjoy my forays into Downtown LA…Is there a green bug on that pickle??

Downtown feels like a hidden city that only a few have the keys to. That only a few are privy to knowing just how cool it really is. Like we’ve just gotten past the velvet rope and are now having the run of the place.

This 101 year old establishment, blocks from skid row, was recently refurbished and, although, Hollywood wishes they could have a place like this, it’s far too cool to leave it’s home.

I could describe the place in further detail, but I’m tired. So, here’s some pics:

So, there’s a long standing rivalry between Philippe’s and Cole’s for who invented the french dip sandwich. Both opened their doors in 1908. Philippe’s moved locations and Cole’s has been there since inception. So, I’m gonna go with Cole’s.

Supposedly, the sandwich was invented when a customer complained about his stale bread and the chef dipped it in the meat drippings to soften it up. Wah La!

Our friend, “The Local”, happened to be eating there with his friend and recomended I order the lamb french dip. I was a bit hesitant but was SO glad I did what he said. That lamb was so tender and flavorful. There was some herbs going on there, don’t know what they were.

The mac and cheese that Tenille (of Captain and Tenille) ordered had a great consistency but a slightly odd taste. That didn’t prevent us from gobbling it all up.

The garlic fries that my Order Buddy got were pretty good, not very crispy though. The Local found them too salty, he washed them down with a beer. This place is a full service bar, by the way, and also contains a cute little speakeasy attached to the back called Varnish.

Even though we were full and busting at the seems, we were kind of forced into ordering Strawberry Shortcake by our waitress.

Oh! Here’s the weird thing. Our waitress asked if I was Bun Boy, then handed me a note which said “We’re watching you, Bun Boy…”

Strange, right? We looked around the restaurant and saw no one, the waitress just described the guy who gave her the note as “not tall, not short.” Thanks lady!

As I write this morning, I still don’t know who gave this cryptic note to me. Come out, come out wherever you are!

118 E 6th St
Los Angeles, CA 90014-2006
(213) 622-4090

UPDATE: Which restaurant won the taste challenge?? Cole’s!! However, Philippe’s is good too and about half the price!