A few days ago I visited Philippe's where they claim to be the originator of the French Dip sandwich. Yet there is. or perhaps was, another claimant to the throne. Coles P.E., located on East 6th in Downtown LA, also originated in 1908 and also lays claim title "inventor" of the French Dip. Unfortunately the restaurant is under renovation "until further notice" so a head to head comparison was not possible. I will be back in LA in the fall and hopefully Coles will have reopened.
Cole's P.E. Buffet, 118 E. 6th St., (213) 622-4090