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Best Tortilla Soup

I live on the westside...I need me some tortilla soup...the really good kind that's thick and almost creamy. lots of cheese and crispy tortilla chips on top. Yum!

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  1. For a thick and creamy tortilla soup, I know it's sacrilegious to say, but I like California Pizza Kitchen's. It doesn't have a lot of cheese on top, though.

    1 Reply
    1. While we're being sacreligeous I love the Tortilla Soup at Islands. It's not real thick but a lot thicker than at most places I've tried it.

      1 Reply
      1. re: LesThePress

        I always head for island's for gringo-ized tortilla soup when Im coming down with a cold. Who can beat the price of the "never-ending bowl" , as in all you can eat, for $5.95

      2. I'm not saying it's the best, but El Cholo actually makes a really good version. In fact, that and the green corn tamales are the only things I can stomach there.

        5 Replies
        1. re: ozzygee

          Not on the westside, but Mijares in Pasadena does a good version.

          1. re: WildSwede

            WildSwede, I have not been to Mijares in years!!!! I used to do my laundry next door and get thier Enchiladas!!!! They have very good food indeed. Thier tortilla soup is good, especially on a rainy day.

            1. re: silvana

              You went to the little one, huh? I prefer to go to that one if I am not having a margarita! And they do make one of the best table salsas, too!

          2. re: ozzygee

            I'll second El Cholo's tortilla soup. It's thick and spicy though - not creamy. The flavor is awesome! Don't you like their enchiladas? I love them! Oh, and great regular margarita-on-the-rocks (with salt) too!

            1. re: sweetTooth

              With the exceptions noted above, I don't think of it as a good dinner destination at all. More of a social one for drinks.

          3. Houston's Restaurant. Bar None. I know it's a chain, but it's the most delicious, thick and creamy soup with chuncks of chicken and avocado, spiced just right. I know it's a chain, but the place has it's standouts. I think they serve it Tuesdays and Thursdays. You won't be disappointed.

            1. 17th Street Cafe on Montana in Santa Monica makes a really good version of tortilla soup.

              1. Funny, I was just at Rose Cafe in Venice for lunch today and came VERY close to getting the tortilla soup, but took a pass because it was the brothy and not the thick, pureed tortilla kind. (I asked the waitress.)

                I'll have to check out 17th St. Cafe and Houston's. Otherwise, I'm gonna hang on for my bf's CIA-alum chef brother who is coming to stay with us in November and he makes one mean thick tortilla soup. Woo hoo!!

                1. i loved the tortilla soup at Renaissance cafe in glendale. i'm not sure if it's still there or not, it was a really small lunch cafe next door to Renaissance hair studio on wilson ave. they had this kind of brothy soup, but it was so flavorful and spicy - i have no idea what they did to it - i think it may have had pureed ingredients (i'm thinking roasted chile, onions, chile peppers maybe). it was brothy, but then so rich, dark & spicy (without it being too tomatoey) it's still the most satisfying bowl of tortilla soup i've had. served with a nice handful of fresh cilantro and sharp salty cheese (cotija?) and thin crispy strips of tortilla (not too chunky to get in the way). i haven't had it since i stopped working in glendale, but i haven't had a bowl quite like it. have tried several times to recreate it but never can get it right...

                  1. you guys will laugh but claim jumpers makes a decent tortilla soup.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: pixigrlinLA

                      The tortilla soup at Claim Jumpers is a puree reminiscent of the home made baby food I would once make for my daughter. No chunks of chicken or avocado. Not even enough tortilla strips!

                    2. El Torito in Bevelrly Hills has a pretty tasty version. It's a nice broth with lots of lime, chicken and avocado. Nice and spicy. Perfect on a cold night.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: kotter

                        El Torito Grill's is a broth-type of tortilla soup, not creamy like the OP wanted. It's tasty enough, but I prefer the tomato soup at El Torito Grill, which actually has the thickness that the OP was looking for.

                      2. this may sound crazy but the Horseless Carriage, Galpin Motors diner in Van Nuys, serves Chicken Tortilla soup every wednesday and I think it's the best Tortilla Soup I've had.

                        Thinking about it, I could be wrong the it could be Tuesdays... give 'em a call on it.

                        It's thick, rich, hearty and has the right amount of spicy heat at the end of each bite. I could lick the bowl.

                        1. loteria in the farmers market at the grove- amazing and the large comes in a huge bowl.

                          1. The best Tortilla Soup I've ever had was at the French Quarter Restaurant in West Hollywood. Huge bowl of soup, large chunks of chicken, veggies, very savory. Mmmmm I'm pining for some right now ;-)

                            1. The best tortilla soup in town is, of course, the one served at the Bel Air Hotel. Not thick and cheesy and creamy, but a dream of a soup, singing of toasted corn, roast chicken and lime.

                              Other notable tortilla soups include Cha Cha Cha's, which is spicy and fennel-intensive, and the sopa de lima (the ancestor of tortilla soup, I believe) at Chichen Itza in the La Paloma complex.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: condiment

                                I love the Sopa de Lima at Chichen Itza! Yum! Also, the pozole from the place next to them is really good!

                                1. re: WildSwede

                                  I get the tacos al pastor there (Taqueria Vista Hermosa, at http://www.mercadolapaloma.com/restau... ) all the time, but I've never tried their pozole. Do they have it every day? (And thanks for the tip, btw.


                                  Also, this may or may not be useful to the OP, but now that I think about it, the Jonathan Club downtown makes a nice, creamy tortilla soup. If you are or know a member, maybe worth checking out. My favorite brothy tortilla soup is at Sonora Cafe (180 La Brea, (310) 786-1925).

                              2. At the risk of getting flamed this chowgal has to report on a really darn good Tortilla Soup I had at lunch today at Sizzler of all places. If you're in the mood for a burger and a salad it's not half bad. I went for the quickie salad bar lunch and was pleasantly surprised at the Tortilla Soup. It was a thicker, blended style with chipotle chili's ground in, roasted corn and chunks of tasty chicken. They also had tortilla strips to sprinkle on top. It was a bit spicy and VERY, very good. This was at the Van Nuys location, so if you're in the area give it a try. I was very pleased.