Cole's happy hour features really tasty Manhattans for $8. The food is really affordable, too. In addition to the French Dip, they also serve up an after school special of grilled cheese and tomato soup for $8.66!
Prime beef French beef dip with spicy garlic fries is the must get item. I also love that their mustard is mixed with horseradish and it tingles my scalp.
Citysearch Editorial Review. After a yearlong $1.6 million renovation in 2008 and a slight name change--it was originally called P.E. Cole's as it's located inside the Pacific Electric building--Downtown LA's most famous spot for taking a dip (French dip, that is) was born again. Even after it fell into disrepair, its feud with Philippe the Original for the title of French Dip Sandwich Originator is the stuff of legend. Both restaurants have been around since 1908, and each has its own story recounting the birth of the beloved 'wich. Regardless of whose story is the true testament, Cole's has breathed new life into its hallowed walls with restored original glass light fixtures, stools, tile floors and a mahogany bar with carving station. It's almost treason not to order a French Dip, and they'll serve it--hand-carved, of course--with your choice of meat and a side (try the spicy sweet potato fries) all for around $10. Hallelujah!
This place is amazing. I stopped in with friends after going to the X Games. I have to say that Coles is the most unique place I have been to. The owners definitely have vision. The french dip is no joke and they have the best selection of cocktails. We spent a little too much time enjoying the place!!!
Great bar, Mediocre food. I decided to try this place out because I loovee french dip sandwiches...But, I was pretty disappointed because it was pretty dry & the french fries tasted kind of old, like they were sitting out for a while. The bar area is cute though and the beer was yum.
Great Happy Hour.
If you swing by Cole's for a french dip, please be sure to eat at the bar. The bartenders are great and know how to craft a well-made cocktail. If you sit in the restaurant, don't say I didn't warn you. Service can be extremely slow. I was even skipped once when our server went around the table and took everyone's order but mine.
That said, the lamb dip with or without cheese is great. I like the pork and beef as well. The turkey is a bit dry. I haven't tried the grilled cheese but aim to do so on some Meatless Monday.
They have all-night happy hour on Tuesday with $2 off cocktails.
Cole's = Good Grub!. The debate might just be one of the all time greats. On par with Crystal Pepsi or New Coke... Rocky II or Rocky III... Joanie or Chaci... and now ... Cole's or Philippe's? When it comes to these two icons, we're not just talking about who has a better french dip sandwich... we're talking about who invented the french dip sandwich. You'd think a sandwich so good, and so perfectly designed (who wouldn't want to dip crunchy french rolls into a savory pool-o-flavor?) would have been around since Alexander the Great... or at least Jesus. But no, it comes down to Cole or Philippe in the early 1900's. And I'd be damned to say I didn't think they'll go down as equally important historical figures when Good Grubers re-write the history books. And while the debate may rage on (and in the Good Grub's humble opinion Cole's is a definite distant second to Philippe's - Grubed on 12/9/09 - when it comes to the french dip) there's one thing you can't disagree with... Cole's got style. You can't miss the old-school neon lights guiding you into den of the grub. Cross the door and you swear you jumped back in time... Like you just entered a speakeasy and you should be calling the waitress "doll" and adding things like "you hear?" and "now scram!" to the end of each sentence. What better place to celebrate the birthday of Uncle Grub? Pull up to a table and glance over the menu... it shouldn't take you long. French dip or grilled cheese? Damn, I like my chances. While the french dip was good (again we'd hit up Philippe's instead), the grilled cheese with a side of tomato soup is worthy of putting Cole's on the map. Pull apart the gooey, melted-cheesy delight and dunk it in the soup like it was tomato au-jus. Don't mind the people passing by and knocking on the door in the back of the room... okay so, maybe it really is a speakeasy. Possibly Cole's is dishing out prohibition grub in the back? Whatever is going on back there, we really don't care... Just as long as Cole's keeps dishing out sandwiches and sweet potato fries for the next 100 years. So head on down to the heart of LA, maybe throw on a zoot suit or at least a fidora, and brace yourself for a french dip or grilled cheese worthy of being called Good Grub...... You hear? Now scram! See more Grub at www.GoodtoGrub. com
Tasty Beef, Retro Cool. I love Seven Grand and the Golden Gopher, so I had to see what the owners did with this old dump. It looks great! The food was excellent, as was the service. I had the beef dip which came with a pickle spear. It was good, but not as good as Philippe's. Still, I would choose Cole's over Philippe's for the ambiance alone. Philippe's isn't a place you hang out in for very long. Cole's has a great vibe with retro-cool red leather booths and a bar in the front (which was filled with hipsters the night I was there). If you are driving, I recommend coming in the evening when all the meters are free.
Its BAAAAAAACK. Coles is under new ownership and has reopened in downtown LA. I really love how in downtown whenever anything opens up the community really gets behind it. Anyway, I had a beef au jus with a side of mac and cheese. The sandwich was perfect. Good lean cuts of fresh meat on good bread. I topped mine off with blue cheese and it was worth it. The side of mac and cheese wasn't that good though. I devoured it but it was missing something. It was too mushy. Sides aside the place is awesome. Well done Ced!
It's Closed and Smells. Ok so I went down there thinking this is going to be great, I'll finally get to settle the question for myself, "Cole's or Phillipe's?" Parking is impossible, but I finally make it there after walking through some skeezy neighborhood and the place it totally gutted with a small sign on the window, "Closed starting March 15th for renovation." I don't remember if it said a year or not. Its dead, there obviously is no work going on so who knows it it will ever be back. Oh yeah and somebody used the stairwell as a toilet. So I want to know why no one has written anything about this before? WTF Citysearch? You're falling down on the job!
Love this place.
I live in the building and so I am a regular, so take this review with a grain of salt. Now that I have said that, I will be as objective as possible. The food is buffet/cafeteria style, but very good and fresh. Mac-n-cheese is pretty bland and needs salt and pepper, but the meat is juicy and flavorful, no need for au jus in my opinion. Seriously, the pastrami is thick cut, the beef deep as far as I am concerned is better than Phillipe's but I have to say I like Phillipe's a lot too.
Even if you don't find the food worth stopping by, the fact that this place has been operating since 1908 should at least draw a crowd to check it out. Character.
Cole's is SWEEET. I've only had the food there once but I've been there several wednesday's in the bar for the awesome bluegrass band that plays there every wed night at 9. Talk about a warm, beautiful atmosphere! Everybody that shows up is wonderfully supported and energetic, and ranges from the bum on the street to USC architecture students. It's so much fun. Thanks, Cole's!
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