SeanYoda & Meeko headed to downtown to meet FranklinAve's Mike & Maria & blogger-baby as they celebrated their 100th "rate a restaurant"!
Cole's P.E. Buffet
118 East 6th Street
Los Angeles, CA.
It's the sort of place one might expect to meet a secret agent or a shady hangout for beer bottle weilding bloggers at last call. =P They take their sandwiches and history seriously here. It is the original French Dipped sandwich.. yes, the original.
SeanYoda & Meeko parked at the meter outside on 6th, and headed down the corner to Cole's which had an unassuming entrance into a dark cavern of a bar & buffet. You order, you pay and then you sit down. SeanYoda ordered the roast beef sandwich plate which came with 2 sides (he chose mashed potatoes/gravy & green beans). Meeko ordered the pastrami w/ 1 side order of macaroni (which looked good, but was a bit overdone and bland).
We were surprised, in that we expected the dip to be a complete dip perhaps like one might expect at Philippe's the other french dipped sandwich place made famous (make no mistake though, COLES PE is the original!) SeanYoda got a large diet soda and it did look big enough to split.. we paid (they take credit as well as cash) and then headed to the back. While we were waiting, a lovely lady with a little boy who looked vaguely familiar (well his curly locks looked familiar..)walked by and smiled. we were guessing that might be Blogger Baby & his mom Maria.. but wasn't 100% sure.
The front booths were mostly empty except for a lone diner or the occasional couple of folks at the bar.. we saw folks in the back room, where Sean guessed that was where the 'meet' was. Of course he was right. =)
While we didn't really recognize folks (Celia we recognized by name.. some folks we recognized by their blogs.. *grin*) there was no mistaking Mike.. =) We introduced ourselves.. (hopefully Maria & Mike got the RSVP we sent ok) I guess we represented the blog readers contingent as the rest of the folks were friends & blogging buddies that Mike & Maria may have known already..
We stayed for about an hour.. enjoying Blogger Baby's cute baby antics and chatted folks, but mostly listened, as we ate our late lunches and learned more about some of LA's blogging community and the individual people we enjoy reading so much. We got a chance to ask some questions.. well, Meeko Pamela did.. as SeanYoda sort of smiled and tolerated the silly sounding questions.. one of these days we'll be relocating (and while it won't be Berkeley.. although it would be nice to go home) it's more likely to be the Studios area.. or LA proper.. getting to know how folks deal with the traffic and commutabibility by foot of Downtown.. and how things seem to be ever-changing was helpful. Sean works in LA all the time, but it's a matter of getting there & home.. not so much lingering and enjoying the neighborhood... taking in a lunch or just enjoying the commute.
Besides being overly chatty (Why can't I just learn to shut up for once??.. Meeko) Pamela & Sean had a really good time and enjoyed trying the much beloved Coles French dip for the first time before they are likely to shutter the restaurant & bar for refurbishment (under new owners) what may be later this summer. SeanYoda took photos of the dark moody & eclectic (and sinky furniture!) advertisement filled back room..
The place definitely could use some sprucing up but honestly other than a good dusting and a mop (and maybe find someplace else for the party chairs) there's definitely a local's homey quality to the place. It belongs to the neighborhood, unlike many of the shiny new refurbed Lofts that seem to be cropping up all over the place. LA is definitely on the move.. while change and the new urbanist movement is something to be lauded and appreciated by this particular non-driver, let's hope that Cole's remains for another 100+ years beyond its rezoned & refurbished and updated neighborhood.
BIG THANKS to all the folks that were so nice & welcoming to the 2 strangers at the meet.. and hopefully we won't be complete strangers so much but maybe virtual strangers.. which is definitely a step up in the online world.. Thanks Mike & Maria & to Blogger Baby who probably doesn't know what a hit he was with his amazing smile & stroller pushing ability..
**pix to be posted at some point once SeanYoda wakes up from his nap and is properly harrassed to edit pix.. or Meeko Pamela gets around to it. Whichever comes first! Thanks for reading!