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Best Clam CHOWDER

I'm a complete sucker for clam chowder. Whenever I see it on a restaurant menu, I order it. If McDonald's had it, I would eat at McDonald's constantly.

It should be thick but not gluteny, full of large pieces of fresh clams. It should have firm chunks of potatoes, not ones that dissolve on your tongue. And maybe a sprinkling of fresh herbs -- tarragon, chives...

Here in L.A., Providence has a great version. What other restaurants serve great clam chowder, and what makes it so good?

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  1. Someone will inevitably ask you white or red?

    5 Replies
    1. re: monku

      Good question. White, always white. Red is just the Manhattanized version of the real thing, as far as I'm concerned.

      1. re: monku

        Red. Always red. Original Fish Company in Los Alamitos.

        I don't understand why anyoe would ever eat white.

        1. re: calabasas_trafalgar

          Actually, me and my New England SO really enjoyed OFC's white chowder... very nice... :)

          --Dommy!

          1. re: Dommy

            I might even be willing to try it at OFC if the red wasn't so damn good!

            1. re: Dommy

              could you explain this to me? i tried it once because friends raved about it but i REALLY did not like it. it was sweet. not sweet like ocean sweet, but sweet like someone put sugar in it. is this typical?

        2. TAIX has really really great White CHowder that they ONLY serve on Fridays. Makes me think of New England. Enjoy.

          1. White.

            Sort of the inverse of the old line about "We only serve white wine when we run out of red, and we've never run out of red."

            Anyway -- the Grill.

            1. Water Grill has a good version. Its white with baby clams. Not thick and cloying. Very nice.

              6 Replies
                1. re: epop

                  I really disagree.

                  While I cherish Water Grill as one of my favorite restaurants in LA (and not just for seafood), I find their clam chowder very lacking.

                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    3rd Water Grill, especially if Mr. Cookie likes the chowda at Providence. Didn't their version evolve from the original at Water Grill?

                    1. re: Babette

                      I assume it did, it seems very similar to me. Last time I had it at the WG, it was pretty good, altho perhaps too much bacon flavor.

                    2. re: ipsedixit

                      I'm not a fan of their clam chowder either. it's just a bit too watery for my personal taste.. the flavors are good but the texture is just... not right.

                  2. re: socal boy

                    I was horribly disappointed with the clam chowder at Water Grill. My favorite is at the Getty Center Cafeteria.

                  3. I'm from the bay area, and the Boudin chain over in Metro Pointe (Costa Mesa, next to South Coast *and* now inside South Coast Plaza) is the way to go for me. Throw it in the sourdough bread bowl, and it's home. Memories of scraping the inside of the bread bowl coated with the thick stuff are the best.

                    For some high class chowda, Providence is the way to go....

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: brekkie_fan

                      I've had the Boudin clam chowder. It's been a while, but as I recall it trends a little toward the gluteny. Still, I'd rate it decent, in an everyday sort of way.