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While most businesses rely on new technologies like chip and pin or iPad card scanners, a few have remained very old school. Take, for example, the restaurant Philippe The Original. It’s been a dining staple, dishing out French Dip sandwiches in downtown Los Angeles for 106 years. For all that time, Philippe’s has been cash only. But starting Thursday, they’ll be accepting plastic. “The main thing that prevented us from switching over to accepting cards was… + Read More

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  A delightfully old-school cheap-eats institution like no other, Philippe The Original is about to enter the modern age and make it easier for you to buy one of its famous $7 French Dip sandwiches. On Friday at 10 a.m., the historical landmark, which dates back to 1908, will remove its weathered cash-only sign. Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express all will be welcome forms of payment. The restaurant is often packed, and that was… + Read More

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The cluster of high-rises that increasingly cram downtown Los Angeles outlines a ruling corporate aesthetic that makes a sawdust-floored joint like Philippe The Original sandwich shop absolutely necessary. Those breathtakingly tall, sleek edifices are places without memory. Philippe’s is a venerable, down-here-on-the-ground institution built on a sandwich and a vanishing history. Everyone who knows L.A. knows Philippe’s. Mention the name and watch your listener smile, or take on the pensive expression of a remembered pleasure.… + Read More

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  World-renowned chef Emeril Lagasse launched his new TV show, “The Originals with Emeril,” this month with a taste of Los Angeles. It’s only right a show featuring and paying tribute to the nation’s iconic food enterprises spotlights Philippe the Original in its inaugural season. Airing at 7 :30 p.m. (PST), Thursday, May 19 on the Cooking Channel, the show highlights the restaurant renowned for claiming to be the inventor of the French dip sandwich.… + Read More

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Philippe’s has brought the city together for 95 years, serving its famous sandwich with camaraderie on the side. Philippe the Original was making sandwiches in downtown L.A. well before the boys (our fathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers) ever headed over to Europe for the Great War. Even before a troupe of easterners trudged west to set up the beginnings of the movie industry in sunny Southern California, way back in 1908, Frenchman Philippe Mathieu opened a… + Read More

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Richard Binder, third-generation family owner of Philippe The Original in Los Angeles, says that while having family members involved in the business was important to the restaurant’s long tenure, some oft-cited industry qualities were equally crucial. “We have fair pricing, great service, high quality and good employees,” he says, “and our customers recognize and appreciate that.” With a check average of about $7, Philippe does not actually fall into the full-service, casual-dining category. It’s a… + Read More

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L.A. Restaurants tend to come and go faster than the season’s new sitcoms. Restaurant guides, even from just a few years ago, list dozens of places that have closed. The famous old names—Perino’s, Scandia, the Brown Derby—are all gone, though Chasen’s has been revived after a fashion. That’s why the remaining establishments that date back to the early part of the century are to be treasured. I can just about count them on one hand:… + Read More

The Jonathan Club, founded, as we all know, in 1895, has been a Los Angeles landmark since the Town Club was built in 1925. Tradition and family are the words that best describe the Club and spirit. The same words could apply to Philippe’s, the restaurant opened in 1908. How many hundreds of their French Dip Sandwiches have we consumed through the years? Philippe’s celebrated its 90th anniversary last month, and did you know that… + Read More