After skating through the week without having to appear for jury duty, I got nailed on the last day. So this morning I made my way downtown super early to report for duty and realized, you know, jury duty downtown is kind of fun. Provided of course you don’t actually get on a jury. More on that later. But where else can you find jury parking underneath a building as good-looking as Disney Hall?
We broke for lunch at noon, so I called my friend Adam, who works down the street at the Los Angeles Times, and met him on the corner of Spring and Second to walk over to Cole’s at 6th and Main for lunch. For those of us in downtown L.A. today, wasn’t it gorgeous? I love those old buildings near the Times.
I hadn’t yet been to Cole’s since Neal Fraser (of BLD and Grace) had revamped the menu at this historic joint. And I’m not going to get into whether or not Cole’s or Philippe’s invented the French dip in 1908, even though we all know it was Philippe’s. At the advice of my friend Katie, I ordered a lamb dip with blue cheese and a side of cole slaw, along with a pint of draft root beer.
The hand-carved lamb and bleu cheese combo is incredible, and the slaw is mighty mighty good; Cole’s differentiates itself by hand-carving its meats and serving au jus on the side, while Philippe’s doesn’t hand carve and warms its meat in the au jus before serving (no complaints here!). But one fact is indisputable. Cole’s is a hell of a lot better than its previous incarnation, and I will be back soon to try the classic beef au jus. Like maybe on Monday, because guess who has to report back to the courthouse? Oh, and is it just me, or is Esa-Pekka Salonen on the side of Disney Hall a poor man’s version of Don Johnson, who was working the room at a neighboring table at Cecconi’s last night?