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Philippe's restaurant closed because of cockroach infestation

Philippe Philippe the Original, a venerable Los Angeles eatery famous for its juicy French dip sandwiches, has been shut down by county health inspectors because of a cockroach infestation, officials said Thursday evening.

Health inspectors discovered the problem about 11 a.m. Wednesday after conducting an inspection prompted by citizens’ complaints, said Angelo Bellomo, director of environmental health for the Los Angeles County Public Health Department.

He said the restaurant typically receives high scores during routine inspections. County inspectors conducted such an inspection Wednesday, in addition to the probe based on the complaint, and the business scored in the low 90s, Bellomo said.

But inspectors had to close the restaurant for 48 hours to allow the vermin to be removed.

"When you have a violation like a live cockroach infestation, it doesn't matter how good the score is," Bellomo said.

He said health inspectors plan to return Friday morning and the restaurant could be open by noon.

A worker at the restaurant Thursday evening said that the management was not available for comment.

Known simply as Philippe's, the restaurant has been operating for more than 100 years. The business has been at its current location on North Alameda Street near Union Station since 1951, according to its website.

-- Robert J. Lopez

2008 file photo by Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (21)

Man - no wonder their food is so dang GOOD! =P

Oh no I simply can not believe that philippe's was shut down due to a roach infestation problem. The sandwiches and desserts are so delicious I am going back as soon as they re-open.lol

Phillipe's is one of those iconic places with a great reputation and nothing to justify it, like the Pantry. The food at both of them is mediocre at best. Now Langers, on the other hand, really does have the world's best pastrami sandwich!

The Dodgers opening day isn't until April 13. So it will give them enough time to clean up before I start going again.

Every restaurant has cockroaches

"When you have a violation like a live cockroach infestation, it doesn't matter how good the score is". How does a restaurant possibly get a good score under those conditions?

Eww yuck. This is one of the reasons I don't go out for lunch.

So, that Cole's employee sneaking around the back with a box under his arm labeled "LIVE INSECTS" doesn't make you suspicious?

all they found was one roach. i repeat one.

Heck NO: Did anyone see the Movie and Musical, "Victor/Victoria".
Well someone brought in that single Cockroach. There are Millons
of them Starving on the Streets with No Homes, No Shelter and No Jobs.
Sure the Prospect of a Good Meal will lure them in.Wake UP! This was a
Ploy! The Insects are Winning. Humans are being taken over by a "CAMERON
Watch "V" The Aliens Meet Corporate ABC TV. Close them down, fumigate and
see why people are leaving in droves.
I have personally eaten at this restaurant thousands of times and paid for many a Homeless Person who Needed a Hand Up to have A Good Meal at "Philippe's". VIVA PHILIPPE'S!
Sincerely Yours,

The Original Doc Hollwood

The article says that the health inspector says that "the restaurant could be open by noon" on Friday.

That should be a concern to all citizens. Why is there this officious optimistic opinion. The only FACT is that at the present time the restaurant does not meet health standards. So what if it is a landmark, historical restaurant? That is not supposed to be an issue for the inspector. His only concern should be if it is safe to eat there. Not whether it is a famous restaurant.

That flippant remark shows the bias of the inspector. He should be investigated for showing a bias in favor of opening the restaurant before he does another inspection.

I love this place! Sad to hear...hope they can fix this problem! Been going there for over 15 years!

Truth is if we really knew what was crawling around at night, in and around the food, tables, floors and ceilings, more of us would simply stop dining out. As to fumigation to correct the problem, I'd rather not have to breathe in toxic chemicals that saturate carpets, upholstery, floors and wall-board since we don't know how long it would take for the chemical to dissipate...perhaps never? I'll stay at home, thank you. I still think of the peanut factory recalls that made so many people sick, particularly in nursing homes, schools and other institutions due to mice infestation, unsanitary conditions, water leaks, mold problems and employees who failed to wash their hands. Does anybody think your favorite restaurant doesn't have the same problems?

I believe every restaurant is susceptible to a cockroach here and there. Doesn't mean it's infested. Please. This is one of my favorite places to eat. Can't get enough of that french dip sandwich and potato salad!

well i eat there all the time coffee .10 cents

We are happy to report that we passed the follow up inspection with the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health, Environmental Health with flying colors. The department gave us A grade, a grade that we have held since the grading system began. We are officially opened for business again.

Janette Rhodenbaugh, Co-owner, Philippe the Original

"I believe every restaurant is susceptible to a cockroach here and there. Doesn't mean it's infested. Please. This is one of my favorite places to eat. Can't get enough of that french dip sandwich and potato salad!

Posted by: Mike | February 12, 2010 at 01:45 PM"

When you have 1 roach YOU HAVE AN INFESTATION PROBLEM. For every 1 you see, there is thousands behind the wall.

I love Philippe's and have never had a bad meal there or seen any signs that the premises are unclean.

That said, the health department's finding of a cockroach infestation is more than a little disturbing.

I appreciate that Janette Rodenbaugh commented on this thread to tell us how the follow up went, and to inform us that Philippe's is now open for business. But this response still leaves me concerned that the problem hasn't been solved. Janette explains that the restaurant has been given an "A" rating, but as the original article explains, Philippe had an "A" rating even when it was also infested with cockroaches.

In light of this, I'd be curious (if the restaurant's management is still following this thread) to know more about the health department's decision to reopen Philippe's, and in particular what measures were taken to make sure this problem doesn't happen again in the future--regardless of the letter grade the restaurant displays.

Los Angeles County Public Health Department:
Show me an establishment that does not have a cockroach in it and I will show you and business that does not have food in it. One cockroach! That could have come in under the door at night, in or on a box that was delivered that day, or could have just been an individual that wanted to do harm to Philippe.
Get a grip people, cockroaches are everywhere and are not the carrier of diseases such as other vermin.
For a restaurant such as Philippe which has sawdust on the floor that is swept up every night to be shut down for the reason it was is absurd. It is one of the cleanest establishments I have ever eating in. I suggest everyone look under their kitchen sinks at home before they start complaining about a public restaurant that has been there for over 100 years that has catered to the community such as they have without as much as anything less than an "A" rating.

i would still eat @ phillipes!
i have been eating the yummy french dip sandwiches there for years!

Nothing to complain roaches = meat for free =)


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