5 to Try: Philly Cheesesteaks in LA

Just because you live in Los Angeles doesn't mean you don't sometimes crave a Philly cheesesteak--that meaty, messy, edible marvel of Philadelphian engineering. If you've ever been curious, or if you're an actual transplant from the City of Brotherly Love, check out our list for worthwhile Philly cheesesteaks in Los Angeles and Orange County.

Updated: September 29, 2010

LA's Philly Cheesesteaks

John's Philly Grille

20379 Beach Blvd, Huntington Beach, CA 92648

If you're stuck in the OC, John's Philly Grille is the place to go for your cheesesteak fix. Try "John's Special" which consists of a cheesesteak hoagie, sweet and hot peppers, grilled onions, white American cheese and Provolone, topped with lettuce, tomato, salt & pepper. All for under $8. Bring a friend or a huge appetite, or be prepared for leftovers, because portions are huge. If you want the full East Coast experience, don't forget to grab a bag of Wise chips and finish your feast with another Philly favorite: a Tastykake sweet treat.

Lee's Hoagie House

2269 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91107

Lee's Hoagie House is a descendant of a chain in the LA area that had been franchised from Philadelphia. Today, they have expanded their menu from the original Lee's chain to include a lot more variations and menu options. Their cheesesteak is lighter and fluffier than a traditional hoagie, but Lee's has mastered the ratio of cheese to steak, making for one great sandwich. Just remember, they're not open on Sundays.

Papa Jakes Sub Shop

9527 Santa Monica Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Who says the bread on a cheesesteak doesn't matter? Nothing could be further from the truth. The right bread is key, as any real Philly steak sandwich fanatic knows, and Papa Jake's gets it spot on. How? Well, Jake imports half-baked bread from Atlantic City and finishes baking it in his shop. The beef is choice sirloin (tender and tasty) that's chopped up with onions, then topped with pizza sauce and choice of Provolone or American. This is not a pretend Philly cheesesteak-- it's the real deal.

South Street Steaks

117 N Victory Blvd, Burbank, CA 91502

South Street Steaks in Burbank is owned by two Philadelphia transplants who wanted to get a great steak sandwich whenever they wanted (despite being 3,000 miles away from home). The sandwiches are prepared the same way they would be if you had stumbled into whatever neighborhood joint back in Philly: The rolls are 100% true Amoroso, flown in from Philadelphia weekly, the steaks are chopped finely and fried up alongside green peppers and onions (if you choose). As for cheese, this is where most people are separated into two different camps: Wiz or no Wiz?

Philly's Best

1419 W Olive Ave, Burbank, CA 91506

With the right type of bread, cheese, peppers, and the right amount of Amoroso (not to be confused with Omarosa from "The Apprentice"), Philly's Best isn't named that unjustly. And with a side order of Tastykakes, Pennsylvania Dutch Birch Beer, Frank's sodas, and Wise potato chips, you'll end up wanting to randomly scream "Go Eagles!" For those who like options, Philly's Best also offers vegetarian and chicken hoagies. (Hey, this is LA after all.) Sandwiches are around $5 each and everything is a la carte, so you'll end up spending around $12 for the entire meal.