Monday, February 20, 2006

Ditch Downtown LA Loft Tour for Cole's PE Buffet

I dragged my old grad school buddy Mark out to Saturday's Downtown Housing Bus Tour. For anyone looking into investing in Downtown LA property, there is a lot to learn. Pretty much there's a tremendous amount of residential activity going on now. Lofts are selling out like asadas and pastors at El Taquito Mexicano in Pasadena! The people at the Downtown Center Business Improvement District

(DCBID) are planning big things for Downtown LA. It's pretty crazy. They're planning to have 7th Street be like San Diego's Gaslamp District. They're also planning for some huge entertainment area north of Staple Center. And tons of restaurants and shops to keep people in Downtown when the sun goes down.

Property is running around $500-$600 per square feet! Caaaarazy! It's definitely a great investment knowing what Downtown LA's gonna be like in 5-10 years. But for now, the sense of community is lacking. I actually never saw any residents while walking through the the lofts. Creepy.

So, Mark and I were suppose to view six different lofts. By the third one we pretty much ditched the tour because all he could talk about was Cole's PE (Pacific Electric) Buffet.

Hey, no pictures!

Cole's PE (Pacific Electric) Buffet is located east of the Jewelry District and north of the Fashion District. Follow the annoying reggaeton beats. Once you've walk inside you'll feel like you're lost in the 60's. Older men who resemble a white version of my Lockheed working father stare at you as you walk into what seems to be their lifelong hangout. Respect them, smile, and order your food.

Now, if you haven't heard about Cole's PE Buffet, have you heard of Philippe's The Original? Well both of them opened in 1908 in Los Angeles and both claim to be the founders of the french dipped sandwiches. Now none of us will ever know who really started the french dipped sandwich, but the question that could be answered is, "Who makes the better french dipped?"

my favorite french dipped sandwich

Guys, I'm in love! I ordered the Corned Beef French Dip. In my first bite, I wanted to cry. It was like the first time I saw The Roots live in concert, the first time I had Kobe Beef at Sannomiya Stn., the first time I had a Po'Boy at Johnny Po'Boys in N'awlins. This was monumental. The bread was perfect. Soft, but strong enough to stay dry on the outside. Corned Beef was perfect, tender but not falling apart. That dip is amazing. What it does it creates a silky slime that makes you feel like you've got melting cheese in your sandwich. It's a really lovely feeling to experience. "It feels like there's cheese, but there isn't!" For $5.59, this is one of LA's greatest gems.

Pacific Electric Lofts are only for lease. Maybe that's a good thing. Living above Cole's PE Buffet would be the worst thing I can do to my body.

Cole's PE Buffet

118 East 6th Street
Los Angeles, Ca 90014
(213) 622-4090
9am - 10pm daily


rick james said...

thanks jen!

always looking for good cornbeef places, and you can't beat those old school spots, they haven't been around for 99 years for no reason...

hmmm.. didn't even know about Cole's and i'm not a big Phillipes fan, so i'm definitely on my way to give it a test run...

Daily Gluttony said...


I'll believe the whole downtown development thing when I finally see the supermarket they've been promising. I've been a downtown loft dweller for a couple years now and I don't mind it because my rent's not that outrageous and there are some good eats out here, but if I were paying those sky high rents/mortgages to have a view of the local homeless guy, I'd be pretty pissed.

Other than that, I'm glad you reviewed Cole's! I've never been--I've always been a Philipe's girl--but now I know I need to make a trip there soon!

eatdrinknbmerry said...

I've passed by Cole's many times on the way to the Restaurant. Thanks for reviewing it, because I don't support Phillipe's... i think it's a rip off for what you get. I think the Hat offers better french dip, and even Mimi's Cafe. Oops did I just admit that a corporate restaurant has good food???

Jeni said...

Hey dietchilicheesefries...corn beef is one of my favorite things to eat. Yea, Cole's is way old school. Hope you enjoy it bro!

Pam...buying a loft in downtown is the big debate in my life. Am I willing to pay $350k for 500-600 sq. feet??? Ralphs is up in 2007, stuff by Staple Center is starting up right now...but there still isn't much out there for the lofters.

Most people stick with Philippe's since it's in a pretty good location, it's convenient, and well, it's good. Cole's is more of a trek...but it's so worth it. Cole's is straight to the point! I hope you enjoy Cole's.

Eatdrink&bemerry...DUDE...MIMI'S? Of all corporate restaurants, you choose Mimi's. Hilarious. Anyways, the next time you drive by Cole's, street park and grab a French Dip. I've only tried the corn beef and brisket french dips. Let me know if you try something else.

Just to let you know, CPK is my guilty corporate pleasure.

Colleen Cuisine said...

I live at the Gas Company Lofts downtown - THEY SUCK!!! (and you're right, I've lived in my building almost a year and it is only about 30% occupied... kinda creepy)
Downtown is still majorly depressing. I'll believe the revitalization hype when I see it. But I have a feeling it's going to be like Universal City Walk: they'll attract a lot of tourists, but nobody will want to move in.

Jeni said...

Colleen...I'm so sad to hear that!!! Well, it's good to know now before I go buying a loft. Yea...and I definitely don't wanna be living in a downtown Citywalk. :(

sweetandsimple said...

I was just searching the internet about LA and I found this website..
i was wondering, since you live there and all, where would be the best place to shop in LA because im going to go there in a couple of weeks. thanks.


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