118 E 6th St
Los Angeles, CA 90014-2006


Neighborhoods: Downtown
Cuisine: American, Lunch, Breakfast

Offer Available!
  • 12/29/2014

    An American food lover from San Jose, CA tried it.

  • 12/19/2014

    A dining patron from San Jose, CA tried it.

12 / 20
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mh2mh photo


 Los Angeles, CA

Cole's: life no. 2

I am so relieved, and happy, and thank goodness. From some prior reviews by people who knew the original Cole’s, I was expecting a huge letdown. But, I told myself, L.A. Conservancy watched over this project, and then partied there pre-opening. So it’s gotta be ok, right? Right! Thank you L.A. Conservancy!

213 Inc. kept the original flooring, ceiling, wood paneling, and I think wallpaper, unless they reproduced what was there. Most of the photos that used to cover the walls in the bar area must have been given over to an appropriate organization for safekeeping. But some of those photos now adorn one of the walls in the main dining area. In addition, they’ve added many historic photos on the other wall. The bar is the same, the food counter is the same, the booths are pretty much the same. The exterior was preserved. But I noticed they added a dear head, just like at 7 Grand. What up with that? The back room is sadly gone. I will have to check with LA Conservancy to see what became of the former table tops back there—those table tops were sidings from the old Red Cars, so they must be kept somewhere for safekeeping. Well, the back room is now part of The Association, next door.

The food: for those who tried it before, I urge you to go back. I got the turkey dip, the turkey was nice and juicy. The bread was nicely toasted. For $8 it came with a cup of jus, just like the old Cole’s, and a pickle spear. The sides are mostly $3, some special sides for the evening were $4. I got the cole slaw, it was refreshing, not much flavor though. It tasted like it was dressed with diluted thousand island. The pickle was very good, nicely spicy. The Sazarec was nice, plus I got in on happy hour price so it was $9 instead of $10.

I thought the food at the original Cole’s was pritty bad, so even though I loved the space and the history, I didn’t go there that much. Plus it was kind of expensive at the time. The original Cole’s was definitely more expensive than Phillipe’s.

Service was excellent. Everyone was very friendly and helpful.

I loved the bar. I still love the bar. It used to be sort of a lazy hazy hang out bar, and now it could still be that way if you go early enough.

213 did a great job. Much of the original things have been retained, and the food is now so much better. And the drinks are also so much better. I’ll have to keep hitting up the place during early or off hours, it’s so much better when there’s not too many people there. And I just love love the history factor, the connection to Henry Huntington, etc. Ergo the extra star.

Texanrider photo


 Stephenville, TX

A visit to Cole's

On Tuesday, March 10, 2009, my brother Jesse and I came to Cole’s Restaurant in downtown Los Angeles. Jesse is a native of southern California and had been ranting and raving about “The place that originated the French Dip Sandwich.” I have been living in Texas and eating French Dip sandwiches for years, and I had heard about Cole’s for years, so when I finally made it to Los Angeles after forty years of waiting and dreaming, there was only ONE place to go for lunch!

After paying several dollars to park nearby, we made our way to your restaurant. Although the place was not crowded at the time, we waited for several minutes before anyone greeted us or seated us. We ordered two beef French Dip sandwiches, one side order each, and drinks. The total of the bill came to over $40.00.

Imagine my surprise when my sandwich came and the beef was too tough to chew! The side orders and drinks were fine, but the main course-the much heralded French Dip Sandwich-was a HUGE disappointment. I managed to find a couple of small slices of meat that were edible, but the vast majority of the sandwich was left on the plate, untouched. When we pointed this out to an employee who identified himself as the manager, his only response was to blame the lack of quality on the kitchen and say, “Oh, well…maybe it will be better the next time you come.”

Let me assure you that, after my brother dropped nearly $50.00 on parking, sandwiches that were tougher than saddle leather, and a lackadaisical manager whose idea of placating a dissatisfied customer is a reference to (and a hope that) future visits will be better, there will not be a next time. With all due respect, your customer service sucks.

Cole’s may or may not have originated the French Dip Sandwich. The same claim is made by Philippe’s, and the point is really moot. But for the record, the French Dip Sandwich I had at Philippe’s the next day was incredible. When I return to Los Angeles next year, I will return to Philippe’s. Conversely, I will not only avoid Cole’s like a terminal illness, but I will encourage as many others as possible to do the same.

French Dip

Tougher than saddle leather!

American Takeout Outdoor seating
Mon-Sat 11:30AM - 02:00AM
Sun 11:30AM - 11:00PM
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Cole's is located near the cities of Civic Center Little Tokyo, Sanford, Dockweiler, Windsor Hills, and August F Haw.
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