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Know anywhere to find non-creamy clam chowder?

estone888 Nov 22, 2006 04:27 PM

Many years ago I frequented a place called Ma Davis' Brown Derby in Olympia, Washington. They had a clam chowder that was made without cream or milk. The broth was made, I think, from stock, clam juice, white wine and the drippings from all the stuff that went into it: clams, bacon, potatoes, celery, onions, garlic and some other stuff I'm no doubt forgetting. It was thick and rich and utterly delicious; one of the best soups I've ever had. Is there anywhere that anyone knows in the Greater L.A. area that makes a clam chowder like that?

  1. ipsedixit Nov 22, 2006 05:25 PM

    Do you mean Manhattan Clam Chowder?

    People rave about the Manhattan clam chowder at the the ORIGINAL FISH CO., but I've never been a fan.

    For me, the best Manhattan chowder I've had has been at the DAILY GRILL in downtown Los Angeles (although I'd imagine other locations would be comparable).

    612 S. Flower St.
    Los Angeles, CA 90017

    11061 Los Alamitos Boulevard
    Los Alamitos
    (562) 594-4553

    3 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit
      estone888 Nov 22, 2006 05:31 PM

      Nope, not Manhattan clam chowder, no tomatoes or anything like that. The clam chowder I'm thinking of is white - although not so white as cream or milk would make it, just kind of a dull white from the other ingredients.

      1. re: estone888
        Dommy Nov 22, 2006 05:46 PM

        Well one that is not QUITE so creamy, but may have milk or cream is Hungry Cat's oyster chowder.... so good, very thin but FLAVORFUL...e specially since they use black kale in it... YUMMMM!!


        1. re: Dommy
          echo eater Nov 22, 2006 06:15 PM

          The Hungry Cat definitely has what you are looking for. I went a week or so ago and the oyster chowder was not on the menu (I'd had it before, yum), but clam chowder was and it was DIVINE.

    2. b
      Babette Nov 22, 2006 05:32 PM

      The chowder at Water Grill or Providence's chowda might make you very happy, though I wouldn't say either is really thick. Both have delicious broths and are made with whole clams.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Babette
        jacinthe Nov 22, 2006 10:07 PM

        Oof - I'd say Providence's chowder is definitely made with cream and/or whole milk. It's very very good, but very very filling due to its richness (when I went, I ordered that and the risotto with broiled eel, which was another appetizer, and couldn't even get to the risotto after having finished 2/3rds of the chowder). So if the OP is looking for a clam chowder without cream/milk, Providence is definitely not the place to go.

        But if the OP doesn't mind the cream - oh, definitely go to Providence. The presentation is also lovely - the broth comes in a separate ewer, the clams/potatos/etc arranged nicely in a bowl, then the waiter pours the broth over the clams. Yum!

        1. re: jacinthe
          ipsedixit Nov 22, 2006 11:29 PM

          No, if the OP wants clear (non-creamy) chowda, it ain't gonna be at Providence.

      2. Sarah Nov 23, 2006 12:37 AM

        If you ever end up in Marin, try the one at Pacific Cafe in Kentfield. I'm working on getting their recipe...

        1. h
          Henry2054 Nov 23, 2006 01:59 AM

          Santa Monica Fish Market has awesome chowder!!! There are 2 or 3 different kinds.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Henry2054
            igj Nov 23, 2006 02:03 AM

            ahhh, true, but their New England chowder is very definitely creamy. But a big tub of that chowder makes a nice fast lunch on a cold day - such as those are in Santa Monica.

            1. re: Henry2054
              epop Nov 23, 2006 04:27 AM

              i give the New England one at SM seafood an average rating--- their manhattan
              i wouldn't taste again

            2. e
              estone888 Nov 23, 2006 02:13 AM

              Since I'm being referred to as one, what's an OP anyhow?

              See, this stuff is harder to find than you would have thought. Other than the place in Olympia, which alas is no more, I've never found it.

              4 Replies
              1. re: estone888
                Babette Nov 23, 2006 02:30 AM

                Original poster.
                I'm betting the chowder at Water Grill or Providence should give you a whole new kind of joy.

                1. re: Babette
                  estone888 Nov 23, 2006 02:49 AM

                  Any excuse to go to Providence or Water Grill is always welcome. It's the problem with nostalgia though - Ma Davis' was only a counter, the soup was $4.95 for what seemed like a gallon of it and it came with freshly baked, dense, slightly sour brown bread.

                  1. re: estone888
                    Babette Nov 23, 2006 03:09 AM

                    So you've already had their chowders?

                2. re: estone888
                  igj Nov 23, 2006 02:30 AM

                  OP=original poster
                  Not quite an OG, but still...

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