Sunday, September 4, 2011

Philippe The Original

Philippe The Original     9"x 12" oil on board

Philippe The Original, one of the oldest and best known restaurants in Los Angeles, was established in 1908 by Philippe Mathieu who claimed to have created the "French Dipped Sandwich."  Philippe's was forced to move from its original Aliso Street location in 1951 to make way for the Hollywood-Santa Ana 101 freeway.  It relocated to its current location at Alameda and Ord Streets, previously a machine shop with a hotel on the second floor.  MacDonald Harris of the New York Times wrote, "There is an air of camaraderie among the customers, a kind of unspoken friendliness and consideration that's rare in a big city . . . The customers are people of all kinds: shoppers, residents of nearby Chinatown, businessmen, Amtrak workers from the station, people who have been coming here for years and are now bringing their children. More than any other place I can think of, Philippe's typifies the democratic spirit of Los Angeles . . ."

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