Artbound

Artbound

Start watching
Fine Cut

Fine Cut

Start watching
SoCal Wanderer

SoCal Wanderer

Start watching
a large damn with graffiti of a woman with a hammer on it, mountains in the background

Earth Focus Presents

Start watching
Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali

Start watching
Southland Sessions

Southland Sessions

Start watching
Professor T

Professor T (Belgium)

Start watching
Emma

Emma

Start watching
Guilt

Guilt

Start watching
Line of Separation Key Art.

Line of Separation

Start watching
Us

Us

Start watching
The Latino Experience

The Latino Experience

Start watching
Key Art of "Summer of Rockets" featuring Keeley Hawes and Toby Stephens.

Summer of Rockets

Start watching
Death in Paradise Series 10

Death in Paradise

Start watching
millionaire still

KCET Must See Movies

Start watching
Independent Lens

Independent Lens

Start watching
Tending Nature
New Special Airing Nov. 14

Tending Nature

Start watching
Earth Focus

Earth Focus

Start watching
City Rising

City Rising

Start watching
Lost LA

Lost LA

Start watching
Member
Your donation supports our high-quality, inspiring and commercial-free programming.
Support Icon
Discover all the ways you can make a difference.
Support Icon
The Leadership, Advancement, Membership and Special Events teams are here to help.

CLOSED: L.A.'s Iconic Dish: Philippe's French Dip Vs. Donut Man's Strawberry Donut

Support Provided By

Los Angeles is full of people who care passionately about food, and there are plenty of restaurants happy to serve us. We don't all agree on what constitutes "good," but we do know we like our burgers, our froyo, our Korean BBQ, our pizza. (That's right, our pizza. We like it.)

The thing is, we don't have one iconic dish. Nothing that we can point to and say, "This. This is Los Angeles on a plate." So now we're going to find out. KCET Food came up with 16 contenders. You voted on your favorites. Here is the final match-up. Voting ends Friday, September 20 at 12 p.m.

hdng-lasiconicdish

VOTING CLOSED.

Photo by Mia Wasilevich

French dip at Philippe the Original: The French Dip champion.

The History: Philippe's opened in 1908, though not in its current location, which was opened in 1951 after the owners got the boot from their first spot, in order to make way for the 101. This restaurant claims to have made the first French dip, though they say it happened in 1918 and was probably just a case of bread-dropped-in-broth. (Their competitor Cole's lays claim to inventing it 10 years prior, and on purpose.)

The Scene: There are many tourists here. There are also many old-timers who come for the reliable food and cheap coffee and un-changing décor and ambiance. It's an order at the counter situation, which sometimes makes things a little bonkers.

The Food: The food here is good. And sometimes kind of funky, but in that nice homespun way: pickled eggs are on the counter, for instance, and one of the more popular versions of the dip is lamb with blue cheese. It's "just" diner food, but a sense of adventure helps one enjoy it.

strawb donut-thumb-600x450-58913

Photo by Flickr user Ron Dollete

Strawberry donut at Donut Man: Midnight munchies worth the drive.

The History: This donut shop -- one where they actually make the donuts in-house -- has been open for 40-some years, under the same ownership. The strawberry donuts came a few years after the store opened, and then there were peach donuts, too. Though L.A. is absolutely lousy with donut shops, Donut Man is one of the few known and requested by name.

The Scene: You know how donut shops are. There are usually some characters milling about, along with the parents and kids and the food tourists and, after dark, the people who feel as though they might totally die if they don't get a strawberry donut now.

The Food: The owners are really on to something here. They took something absolutely ubiquitous to Los Angeles, and they elevated it with something else very L.A.: fresh fruit. Do you have a sweet tooth? You'll like the strawberry donut. (Which is only available a few months a year, adding to its allure.)

 

philippesmall1

Philippe's

Strawberry donut at Donut Man
 
Want recipes and food news emailed directly to you? Sign up for the new Food newsletter here!

Support Provided By
Read More
A close-up photo of goat birria tacos on a paper plate. The birria taco is smothered in a orange-red sauce. The entire dish is topped with pickled red onions and green herbs, possibly cilantro or parsley.

Birria and Iced Coffee: 6 Compton Spots for Good Eats and Health

As one of the oldest cities in Los Angeles, Compton is the true geographic epicenter of Los Angeles County, with community gems powered by its residents. Compton native and owner of Compton Health Bar, Dani Solorio, shares her favorite spots for food, agriculture and culture.
Various Jack Skellington heads are on propped up on black rods in a display at the Academy Museum. The face in the forefront holds a surprised expression.

11 Memorably Morbid Outings in SoCal

So whether you're looking for some frightful fun, seeking to delve into some dreadful delusions or simply trying to tread on some unhallowed ground, here are 11 guides that'll send you on an journey through L.A.'s most memorably morbid and creatively creeptastic adventures — none of which are limited to just October.
A view of a large domed structure overlooking a cityscape.

10 Best Ways to Explore Los Feliz, According to a 45-Year Insider

When longtime taco shack Yuca's first set up shop in Los Feliz in 1976, co-owner Dora Herrera quickly became part of the original group of business owners working to attract more interest in Los Feliz. Since then Herrera has fell in love with become an involved and integral member of the Los Feliz community. Here are the ten best ways to get to explore Los Feliz, according to Herrera.