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Lounge and American Restaurant$$$$
Fashion District, Los Angeles
  • Stars
  • Stars
    The folks at Eater and LA Weekly like this place. Would you agree?
    • Eater
    • LA Weekly
  • Tips
    Danielle N.
    "It's all about the lamb french dip & spicy garlic fries."(10 Tips)
    Angie W.
    "Try the pastrami French dip with pepper jack cheese!"(48 Tips)
    Roger M.
    "There's a speakeasy (Varnish) in the backroom!"(7 Tips)
    Robert M.
    "Get the Bourbon pecan pie a la mode."(5 Tips)
Tips and Reviews icon191 Tips and reviews
  • French Dip sandwiches
  • happy hour
  • spicy food
  • varnish
  • good for dates
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  • Popular
  • Recent
  • Jeff S.heart icon on user image
    Jeff S.May 28, 2018
    Cole’s, Originator of the French Dip Sandwich. It’s the specialty of the house. The roast beef is a legendary sandwich. Check out the hidden speakeasy. Opened in 1908 in the Pacific Electric building.
    Upvoted 17 hours ago
  • LAist
    LAistFebruary 20, 2015
    Downtown's French Dip restaurant already has a great regular happy hour, but on Mon. to Wed., they have a great late-night one, too, from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. Don't miss the BBQ pork sliders with fries. Read more
  • Eater
    EaterAugust 25, 2017
    Cole's offers a fresh take on the classic garlic fries plate by adding a bit of heat, which is perfect for a night out with a drink and a french dip. Read more
  • Daniel G.heart icon on user image
    Daniel GarciaJuly 6, 2015
    For an old school bar they sure know how to do lunch. Pulled Pork sandwich w/ goat cheese was great, but spicy garlic fries are amazing! Staff is super friendly as well. Hope to be back for happy hour
  • Erik R.heart icon on user image
    Erik RowleyJanuary 20, 2017
    Cole's has the best French dip sandwiches in the US (they also claim to have invented it). One of my favorite restaurants. Lots of history and the NYE scene in Forest Gump was filmed here!
  • Doug d.heart icon on user image
    Doug de WetJune 24, 2018
    Been here 25+ times
    Weekday happy hour is one of the best, 3-7pm and noon-10pm Tues. Get a well made Old Fashioned, Manhattan, Martini or half dip w/fries for $6. Don’t mind if I do. Cheers!
  • Cole K.heart icon on user image
    Cole KennedyJanuary 16
    The fact that it shares my name is not the only reason I liked it here. The French dip sandwiches are genuinely good and it’s a dark, cozy space — perfect for pretending it’s not sunny out.
  • Adrian P.heart icon on user image
    Adrian PhillipsOctober 10, 2014
    White Russians, they make their own cream that's infused with such goodness as Bailey's. Probably the best cocktails in LA. Pancho's Smoking Gun is a great spicy tequila twist on an old fashioned.
  • Ilusha Z.heart icon on user image
    Ilusha ZaritskiyAugust 16, 2014
    The French dips are a must have, get the full sized, because it's so tasty half is not enough. Also old-timey cocktails and a prohibition - era speakeasy around the corner. Try the sazerac.
  • Manda C.heart icon on user image
    Manda CurrellJanuary 11, 2020
    Been here 5+ times
    Incredibly tasty and very affordable. Everything on the menu is fantastic. Ask the bar for a restroom token. Also, it’s THE original
  • Jenniferheart icon on user image
    JenniferSeptember 3, 2014
    Tuesday night happy hour is the best. Grab a cocktail and a full meal for just about the same price as a single cocktail at other times. These days, there's no shame in drinking on a budget!
  • Doug d.heart icon on user image
    Doug de WetFebruary 14, 2016
    Been here 25+ times
    Consistently outstanding bartenders: personable, hospitable, attentive, deep knowledge of products and cocktail history, highly skilled, the proof is in the glass.
  • Doug d.heart icon on user image
    Doug de WetFebruary 3, 2015
    Been here 25+ times
    Consistently one of the best Old Fashioned Whiskey Cocktails in town. The current pre-mixed version on tap made with Rittenhouse Rye is particularly fine.
  • Justin O.heart icon on user image
    Justin OrdovezaJanuary 3, 2015
    I won't go into the french dip debate because I think both cole's and Philippe's are good. Yet here you can get a hand crafted cocktail from amazing bartenders I've never been disappointed.
  • Miguel M.
    Miguel MtzMay 18, 2015
    Bartenders know what their doing. Go through the restaurant and find the door w the menu on it. It's the door to the hidden speakeasy in the back. "The Favorite" was off the tits.
  • E G.
    E GoodenFebruary 15, 2015
    The food is great. I had the spicy garlic fries, prime beef skinny, lots of the spicy mustard....and the chocolate pie. You cannot go wrong with any of these items.
  • Jesse F.heart icon on user image
    Jesse FullerApril 12, 2016
    Delicious French dips, salads and fries. Good beers on tap. Don't compare it to Philipe's, this is a restaurant, not a cafeteria.
  • Laraheart icon on user image
    LaraOctober 23, 2014
    Eat: USDA Prime Beef French Dip with side of garlic fries. Sip: A shot of Jameson with a shot of spicy pickle juice.
  • Nicky C.
    Nicky CalonneMarch 31, 2019
    Been here 5+ times
    coles- a true hidden gem. good people, good drinks, good food, and it’s not on the expensive side
  • Buford B.heart icon on user image
    Buford BarnesJuly 5, 2012
    Been here 5+ times
    Sit in the red car room and order a Guinness float with your french dip and go easy on the mustard. Contrast this moody restaurant style to the deli style at Philippe's, french dip's other "inventor."
  • Cathérine V.
    Cathérine V.DSeptember 7, 2016
    Really enjoyed my Manhattan drink! First night in DTLA, started in style! (Also try their old fashioned during happy hour!)
  • Justin M.
    Justin McCammonMarch 25, 2015
    Supposedly invented the French Dip. Go straight to the back and find a door that leads into a secret speakeasy in the back. Walk in like you own the place.
  • Ugur K.heart icon on user image
    Ugur KanerNovember 9, 2015
    Go for lamb, and thank me later. Add garlic spicy sweet fries and coleslaw. Reach heaven.
  • Martini M.heart icon on user image
    Martini MikeApril 22, 2015
    Been here 5+ times
    Great happy hour and bartender. Try and Old Fashioned. 1st timer? French Dip slider trio! Mmmm
  • Mario L.
    Mario L.August 22, 2011
    Been here 5+ times
    Best fries ever....the spicy garlic fries. Went with 10 people and every drink was a hit. My favorite, the Tom Collins and cosmo. So, so, good. (Tip: don't leave the atomic pickle on your plate.)
  • James G.heart icon on user image
    James GuberaApril 25, 2014
    Come on a Tuesday for all day Happy Hour. $5 sliders and fries and a pretty strong old fashioned for $6.
  • Jacqueline L.
    Jacqueline L.February 5, 2014
    Happy hour: Mon-Fri 3PM-8PM; all day Tue. $5 Manhattans, draught beers & wells; $6 draught Old Fashioned; food specials. Doesn't carry over to The Varnish.
  • Michael C.
    Michael ChailleJanuary 30, 2011
    Been here 5+ times
    Good food, who cares who was first with the dip. Wanna sit and eat at a bar, this is the place. Potato salad won't disappoint. Pecan pie was good! Servers are overworked, sit back and take it all in.
  • Offbeat L.A.heart icon on user image
    Offbeat L.A.January 28, 2016
    Opened 1908. Known for their cocktails and French dip sandwiches, which they claim to have invented.
  • Amanda
    AmandaMarch 19, 2011
    Been here 100+ times
    Mac and cheese: order along with the tomato soup and mix them, so f-ing good!Happy hour: not listed on the menu, but you can order a half a grilled cheese and tomato soup for $5.
  • Ian A.
    Ian AlbertMay 11, 2016
    All-day Happy Hour on Tuesdays means cocktails for $8, well drinks and beers for $5, and $2 off any spirit.
  • Dan G.
    Dan GutierrezJune 8, 2011
    French Dip was standard, very good. The Atomic Pickle Sphere was legit and the spicy garlic fires were awesome. Get the full size if your hungry because the small won't cut it.
  • Billy A.heart icon on user image
    Billy AmpMay 9, 2016
    Pastrami French Dip with spicy Garlic tots makes Cole's one of the best sandwich spots in LA!
  • Stephen S.heart icon on user image
    Stephen SmytheNovember 7, 2015
    A standard for public houses the Dips are great and the drinks uber strong.
  • Rhonda B.heart icon on user image
    Rhonda BarketFebruary 9, 2020
    Amazing Happy Hour! Original French dip, excellent garlic fries, great happy hour drinks!
    ROBERTO BURRISApril 2, 2011
    There French Dips Sandwiches alone is a meal and with the spicy garlic fries with some ranch dip! Delicious! If you got room left, the pecan pie ala mode! It's sheer delight!
  • Melissa G.heart icon on user image
    Melissa GomezFebruary 14, 2016
    Really good place to go have brunch with bottomless mimosas. They also have really good mix drinks.
  • Paul H.
    Paul HinzDecember 27, 2012
    Outstanding sandwiches!!! Boat loads of history stemming from prohibition days. Your first check-in results in a basket of free fries.
  • Vxronica
    VxronicaNovember 6, 2011
    Don't let the standard look of the bar fool you. It's just as good, if not better, than both the Varnish or Association. Plus they make a mean dirty martini.
  • Stefanieheart icon on user image
    StefanieFebruary 23, 2016
    Get the "skinny" beef sandwich with goat cheese. You'll only feel half as guilty.
  • Jordana
    JordanaJuly 13, 2015
    Beef French dip + spicy garlic fries. Check out the jazz speakeasy bar entrance in the back of the restaurant.
  • Blake M.heart icon on user image
    Blake MeierAugust 10, 2014
    Get a big French beef dip you don't need more than a dab of atomic mustard. If you don't get the Mac and cheese you are crazy.
    USA TODAYNovember 22, 2010
    In a spin on the Bloody Mary, beef broth is shaken into the Bloody Bull. At Cole's, they use the beef au jus from the French Dip sandwich (invented here) for a truly rich cocktail. Read more
  • LAist
    LAistAugust 1, 2014
    only one of these two establishments serves prohibition-era cocktails, which is exactly what you're going to need after a day of carting around your parents. Read more
  • AskMen
    AskMenFebruary 26, 2010
    People can’t get enough of the lively atmosphere, friendly service, reasonably priced menu and, of course, its legendary French dip sandwich. Just follow the neon sign to au jus heaven.
  • Patrick
    PatrickJuly 10, 2011
    Happy hour from 3 to 7 is great. 5 dollars got me half a french dip with lamb and goatcheese and side of spicy garlic sweet potato fries. Amazing
  • Rachel S.
    Rachel S.November 14, 2010
    The mac and cheese is people are on crack. And the sweet potato fries are amazing. Ah may zing! Dip was ok...philipe's was better. Also loved the spicy pickle!
  • Big T.
    Big T.February 10, 2014
    Bloody Mary is good & spicy with pickles & no olives. Modest flavor, but underdeveloped. I was told the mix marinates for 24 hours. Tastes like 2 to 4 hours
    DowntownLA.comApril 27, 2011
    Cole's has been in the Pacific Electric Building since 1908! It may cost a bit more, but don't hesitate to add cheese. And, please, taste the hot mustard first.
  • Jay B.
    Jay BraddockJanuary 6, 2013
    Been here 5+ times
    Ok so I realize that French Dips are just meat, bread, & au jus and are pretty difficult to screw up but these are about the best I've ever had...
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