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Matzo Ball Soup Challenge

MichaelS Jan 13, 2007 11:08 PM

I love the Matzo Ball soup at Jerry's Famous Deli but would love to expand my horizons. I am sure many will disagree that their soup is great so give me some suggestions for the Westside, preferably west of the 405 but will travel for the best. Don't bother with Fromin"s - that did nothing for me. I will take Kosher or Non-Kosher. Thanks.

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  1. n
    NumeroUnoEat RE: MichaelS Jan 13, 2007 11:11 PM

    believe it or not....GREENBLAT'S up on Sunset.

    1. r
      RicRios RE: MichaelS Jan 13, 2007 11:25 PM

      Langer's matzo ball soup is pretty decent.

      2 Replies
      1. re: RicRios
        cjla RE: RicRios Jan 24, 2007 08:39 AM

        I love Langer's matzo ball! Its the broth!

        1. re: cjla
          ciaoxtina RE: cjla Jan 25, 2007 07:42 PM

          I will have to thirds for Langer's. Mmmmm.

      2. tony michaels RE: MichaelS Jan 13, 2007 11:25 PM

        I get the MB soup at Junior's pretty frequently. Sometimes the chicken can be a little on the dry side, but usually a tasty bowl of soup. Westwood Blvd. just a quarter of a block north of Pico in West LA, (and while not quite West of the 405 - it's close).

        1 Reply
        1. re: tony michaels
          cincodemayo1 RE: tony michaels Jan 27, 2007 11:12 PM

          I agree...Junior's is the way to go. You get a huge tub full for about $10-15...I usually get it to go when I'm sick. But it's got it all...matzoh ball, kasha, rice, kreplach, veggies, chicken, etc. It's enough for about 3 meals. The ball itself is fluffy and good.

          Factor's is really good too. It doesn't have all of the above, but I believe it's got the ball, kasha, veggies and chicken. Also quite good.

        2. g
          goldbergd RE: MichaelS Jan 13, 2007 11:46 PM

          Brent's deli in the valley or langers in LA

          1. b
            bdumes RE: MichaelS Jan 14, 2007 12:46 AM

            I find the Matzo Ball Soup at Jerry's Deli disgusting, to be honest. Usually if something is greasy, at least it tastes good, but in this case, it's the worst of both worlds.

            But to be honest, I've never had any Matzo Ball soup that comes close to homemade, so that's what I do, so I guess I'm not much help! :-)

            I haven't tried it at Langers, so I guess I ought to...

            1. z
              zoomchic RE: MichaelS Jan 14, 2007 12:50 AM

              Had a bowl at Factors on Pico last night and was pleased with it. Big matzo ball and decent amount of noodles. Lots of carrot rounds but no chicken. Not salty at all and for $5.95 with a ton of pickles and bagel chips, a good, tasty meal.

              3 Replies
              1. re: zoomchic
                yummyinmytummy RE: zoomchic Feb 9, 2007 03:06 PM

                Factors MB soup has no taste, thats because the MB has no soul and the soup has no flavor...the perfect MB soup in the city is Nat N Als...hands down.

                1. re: yummyinmytummy
                  Jeet Yet RE: yummyinmytummy Feb 10, 2007 07:02 AM

                  "the MB has no soul"... I love it. I don't think one can describe it any better. GIVE ME SOUL!!!!

                  1. re: yummyinmytummy
                    westsidegal RE: yummyinmytummy Aug 31, 2009 04:36 PM

                    completely concur--
                    Nate 'n Al's is the best around.

                2. n
                  natincali RE: MichaelS Jan 14, 2007 01:07 AM

                  Have to agree with bdumes: Jerry's Deli has the WORST matzo ball soup [among everything else on their menu]! Junior's, Greenblatt's and Factor's are good. Even Izzy's ain't that bad. My favorite, believe it or not, is Canter's. At least it was when my wisdom teeth were pulled! I haven't tried Art's [in the 818] but I love everything everything else there so its probably very good too. Good luck!

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: natincali
                    dtud RE: natincali Jan 14, 2007 07:34 PM

                    I so agree with natincali and bdumes: Jerry's has some of the worst food in los angeles - it's awful and i don't understand how they stay in business!!

                    that said - the best matzo ball soup is made at home - and it's so easy. But i've also had pretty good soup at junior's, nate & al's, roll & rye, factors, etc.

                    i also agree that i used to LOVE the matzo ball soup at Canter's - i haven't been there for a few years, so i have no idea how it is now. but it used to be super and they're open late - so that helps after a late night.

                    1. re: dtud
                      eecue RE: dtud Jan 24, 2007 04:22 PM

                      I will also vouch for Canter's. I also love the Mishmosh which comes with a nice gigantic matzoh ball as well as other goodies. For some strange reason I really love having matzoh ball soup AND beet borscht with a dallop of sour cream... not in one bowl though!

                      Canter's is cool because:
                      a. it is open 24 hours
                      b. the waitresses have worked there for 60 years
                      c. my mom used to go there when she was a teenager
                      d. the same waitresses probably served my mom

                      1. re: eecue
                        sambrown3 RE: eecue Feb 13, 2007 11:22 AM

                        i agree with you about Canters! So Good!

                        1. re: sambrown3
                          bernardo RE: sambrown3 Feb 13, 2007 06:40 PM

                          Before wasting time & moolah on Canters, denizens should first check out the diametrically opposed opinions about Canters expressed by deli mavens at http://www.chowhound.com/topics/36529... and similar threads on this board. Very sobering.

                          BTW, delis with the lowest %s of detractors overall include Nate'N Als, Langer's, Brent's and Billy's. Not that they don't attract an occasional quvecher, but on balance they seem to comfortably and persistently occupy that rare but hallowed middle ground between hounds' love & hate.

                  2. n
                    NYCnowLA RE: MichaelS Jan 14, 2007 01:10 AM

                    i had it a month ago from Joan's on third. it was a little salty, but it was at least home made, not massed produced like i've had form the deli's around here.

                    1. Cicely RE: MichaelS Jan 14, 2007 06:00 AM

                      MB soup is one of my favorite things. My favorite so far in LA is Nate 'n' Al's. Huge, tender matzo balls in flavorful chicken broth. The perfect drink: Dr. Brown's Cel-ray.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: Cicely
                        jacqueline f RE: Cicely Jan 16, 2007 09:01 PM

                        I completely agree! I love to have half a brentwood (brisket & coleslaw on rye) with matzo ball soup and a cel-ray soda. Sensational!

                        1. re: Cicely
                          nancyxo RE: Cicely Jan 24, 2007 12:31 AM

                          Please do try Nate n Al's. I've tried Barney's Greengrass and found there to be too much STUFF in it. Nate and Al's is simple and perfect esp. with rice! It doesn't even matter that no one seems to want to work there (aside from their cute female cashier with the funky clear glasses & their sweet greeter.)

                          Try their rugela too! I have no idea how to actually spell that.

                          1. re: nancyxo
                            foodiemahoodie RE: nancyxo Sep 2, 2009 12:24 AM

                            Too much STUFF? What does that mean? That could be a good thing. So you must have liked the broth then but felt the STUFF displaced it?

                            Please elaborate nancyxo!

                            1. re: nancyxo
                              lobe RE: nancyxo Mar 23, 2010 01:55 PM

                              The rugelach at Nate n' Al's is actually made by the famed Beverlywood Bakery on Pico, west of Doheny. Save yourself some money and get them fresher there!

                              Beverlywood Bakery
                              9128 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

                          2. Emme RE: MichaelS Jan 14, 2007 06:12 AM

                            Weird rec, but it's pretty darn good at Mel's Diner... that and egg white omelettes are the only things I'll eat there...

                            1. g
                              GK in SO RE: MichaelS Jan 14, 2007 06:18 AM

                              Solley's on Van Nuys Blvd. has some pretty decent CMB soup.

                              The broth is nice and flavorful, and the matzo ball is nice and soft and fairly tasty. Not as good as my mom's (but whose is?), but still good.

                              They will also give you lots of pieces of chicken (you have to specify, though). And noodles. And carrots (if you want, but not for me, thanks).

                              Sometimes it seems that there's not enough broth because the matzo ball is so darn huge, there's only so much room in the container. A lady in line once told us the trick is to order the matzo ball in a separate container. Wow, did that make a difference; I think we had double or triple the amount of food.

                              1. perk RE: MichaelS Jan 14, 2007 07:07 AM

                                I like Greenblatt's. And they have a very nice wine selection by the glass to pair with it.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: perk
                                  foodiemahoodie RE: perk Sep 2, 2009 12:25 AM

                                  Wine with matzo ball soup? What wine works well with matzo ball soup?

                                  1. re: foodiemahoodie
                                    rednyellow RE: foodiemahoodie Sep 7, 2009 04:13 PM

                                    I'd pair any good white with it. An Albarino comes to mind or a white rhone , Viogner. Lots of possibilities, all good.

                                2. SauceSupreme RE: MichaelS Jan 14, 2007 07:27 AM

                                  I like the Matzo Ball Soup from Joan's on Third.

                                  1. h
                                    Hackenbush RE: MichaelS Jan 14, 2007 08:31 AM

                                    Jerry's chicken soup used to be excellent. The last three times I've had it, it was so bad that those were the last three times.

                                    I really like the matzo balls and chicken soup at Canter's but what I really like is the mish-mosh they serve. It's an extra large bowl of soup with a matzo ball, noodles and chicken, plus you can pay a little extra and have them add chicken and carrots.

                                    If you really want soup, order the Chicken in a Pot. It's a huge tureen of soup with half a boiled chicken, matzo ball, boiled potato, carrots, noodles and rice. Sometimes when I have a cold, I have someone get me one and I take three days to eat the whole thing.

                                    1. a
                                      alexfood RE: MichaelS Jan 14, 2007 05:59 PM

                                      Second on Brent's Deli!!! And while you're there, get the best corned beef, the best pastrami, and best bagels & lox.
                                      Greenblatt's & Solley's (Van Nuys) will give you your fix.

                                      1. t
                                        tastebuds RE: MichaelS Jan 14, 2007 06:35 PM

                                        The matzo ball soup at Roll n Rye in Culver City is really good. Huge,filling and fresh.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: tastebuds
                                          Obessed RE: tastebuds Jan 14, 2007 06:37 PM

                                          I second Roll n Rye!

                                          1. re: Obessed
                                            bcrall RE: Obessed Jan 27, 2007 05:13 PM

                                            I third Roll N Rye (on Jefferson near Target in Culver City). I went on a MB soup kick a few uears ago and tried them all over the city: Jerry's, Langers, Factors, Izzy's, and some place at the top of the hill off Mulholland and Beverly Glen.

                                            Good old Roll N Rye came out on top!

                                        2. russkar RE: MichaelS Jan 14, 2007 07:37 PM


                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: russkar
                                            foodiemahoodie RE: russkar Sep 2, 2009 12:26 AM

                                            Barney's? Beanery? Greengrass?

                                            1. re: foodiemahoodie
                                              russkar RE: foodiemahoodie Sep 4, 2009 09:28 PM


                                          2. d
                                            Diana RE: MichaelS Jan 14, 2007 10:15 PM

                                            I found Jerry's to be over-salted, Langers' to be downright gross, Brent's to be flavorless (it was quite disheartening after all the pro-Brent's stuff on here...in fact, the whole Brent's experiecne was sub-par)..Solly's to be like Jerry's-no surprise since Jerr's has owned Solly's for years.

                                            I want totry Canter's soup, but fear the crowd and attitude. Art's is also worth a try. I hear Fromin's is good.

                                            1. c
                                              chazar RE: MichaelS Jan 15, 2007 12:16 AM

                                              I completely agree with Cicely, Nate 'n Al's has fabulous matzah ball soup. I even brought it to my family's Passover seder (no offense, mom!) for a few years. It's so tasty, the broth is golden, the matzah ball is substantial but also surprisingly light, it's excellent!

                                              Also, in Orange County, I like the matzah ball soup at Benjie's. It's really good, too.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: chazar
                                                russkar RE: chazar Jan 15, 2007 01:16 AM

                                                If your going to bring Benjie's into it let's also not forget the Kreplach with a Matzo?

                                                1. re: russkar
                                                  RicRios RE: russkar Jan 15, 2007 01:39 AM

                                                  But PLEASE don't bring the Kreplach to the Passover seder!

                                              2. s
                                                sophieej RE: MichaelS Jan 15, 2007 01:31 AM

                                                nate'n al's chicken in a pot is the finest - and from a British Episcopalian with 13 years of experience with my fave. comfort food.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: sophieej
                                                  omotosando RE: sophieej Jan 16, 2007 06:33 AM

                                                  I grew up on chicken in the pot and the chicken in the pot at Nate 'n Als is horrible.

                                                2. caitybirdie RE: MichaelS Jan 15, 2007 04:49 AM

                                                  billy's deli, but its over in glendale off of orange. been there for forever.

                                                  1. foodseeker RE: MichaelS Jan 16, 2007 02:34 PM

                                                    Was feeling under the weather this weekend, and tried Juniors' Matzoh ball soup for the first time. Have to say -- it hit the spot! Only problem was that the matzoh balls were way too big! But, I've tried matzoh ball soup all over -- and this definitely hit the mark.

                                                    1. omotosando RE: MichaelS Jan 17, 2007 01:45 AM

                                                      I am sorry to report that I tried the matzoh ball soup today at the Pico Kosher Deli on Pico near Robertson and it was not good. The soup was tasteless and the matzoh ball was equally tasteless and the texture was not quite right.

                                                      Plus, I never understood why delis stick noodles in their matzoh ball soup. Isn't one carbohydrate in the soup sufficient? Seriously, when I was growing up, we never put anything but matzoh balls in our matzoh ball soup. If the soup and the matzoh balls were well made, why would you throw the kitchen sink in?

                                                      On the other hand, the pastrami sandwich at the Pico Kosher Deli wasn't bad and was much cheaper than other places in the neighborhood (which is kind of strange, given that kosher meat is more expensive). Wouldn't recommend the place for anything but take-out though - it is very dingy and in the afternoons is invaded by large gaggles of loud teenagers.

                                                      1. w
                                                        way2cook RE: MichaelS Jan 17, 2007 01:50 AM

                                                        Might be a bit far for you, but Billy's Deli in Glendale has a pretty good one. However, they also have a location in Torrance (which I've never been too).


                                                        1. cant talk...eating RE: MichaelS Jan 24, 2007 01:03 PM

                                                          Magic Carpet (Yemeni Kosher restaurant) on Pico just west of La Cienega. I forgot how great this place was until I ate there again Monday night.

                                                          It's probably also the cheapest bowl you're gonna find too - $4.50 for a cereal-bowl-sized portion, a little more for a bigger one - but don't expect lots of chicken and noodles. It's straight up broth, balls, and some coarse-cut carrots and celery. All the soups at this place are really good. Plenty of other standard and non-standard Middle Eastern dishes, all fresh and inexpensive (and without the glaring light and general grime of many falafel places in town).

                                                          8566 W Pico Blvd
                                                          Los Angeles
                                                          (310) 652-8507

                                                          [And for the record, I'm no fan of Jerry's (too much going on, too giant, yet still not satisfying) and Canter's (I pay extra for what now?), but find Nate 'n' Al's good.]

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: cant talk...eating
                                                            Muhlyssa RE: cant talk...eating Jan 24, 2007 07:44 PM

                                                            Yes! Magic Carpet has the best MBS in Los Angeles. You wouldn't expect it but it's just that good.

                                                          2. j
                                                            jlq3d3 RE: MichaelS Jan 24, 2007 01:13 PM

                                                            I remembering Magic Carpet also having good lentil soup.

                                                            1. s
                                                              snoobie RE: MichaelS Jan 24, 2007 03:04 PM

                                                              Greenblatts has a great Matzo ball soup. It is not salty ; the broth is rich and it is loaded with pieces of chicken and vegetables.

                                                              1. yinyangdi RE: MichaelS Jan 24, 2007 03:37 PM

                                                                not a fan of Jerry's, Langer's or Canter's matzo ball soup at all (and to an insult to injury, the kreplach at Canter's is uber icky, ptewy!)

                                                                right now, my favorite matzo ball soup is at Roll 'nRye, the drawbacks are that its on the other side of town and it closes way too early for me.

                                                                Roll 'nRye
                                                                10990 W Jefferson Blvd.
                                                                Culver City, CA 90230
                                                                (310) 390-3497

                                                                Tue-Sat: 6:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m.
                                                                Sun-Mon: 6:00 a.m.-8:30 p.m.

                                                                you can view a menu at:

                                                                4 Replies
                                                                1. re: yinyangdi
                                                                  bernardo RE: yinyangdi Jan 24, 2007 07:20 PM

                                                                  How do you rate their pastrami on rye vs Langer's?

                                                                  1. re: bernardo
                                                                    Dommy RE: bernardo Jan 26, 2007 03:46 PM

                                                                    Not even close... We live down the street from Roll n Rye and shop at the safeway right next door, we are always amazed at the amount of people they have in there... may have to stop in again and have some soup (We've had their various sandwiches and were not impressed...)


                                                                    1. re: Dommy
                                                                      bcrall RE: Dommy Jan 27, 2007 05:15 PM

                                                                      Um, sorry... I hit the "back" button on my browser and this is what happened :(

                                                                    2. re: bernardo
                                                                      yinyangdi RE: bernardo Jan 26, 2007 11:47 PM

                                                                      bernardo, besides the one time I had prime rib (the prime rib, btw, was rare and tasty; the baked potato perfect and ginormous), I've only had breakfasts and MBS.

                                                                      As for Langer's, I've had the BEST and the WORST of pastrami on rye.

                                                                  2. bernardo RE: MichaelS Jan 24, 2007 07:16 PM

                                                                    Question is where's best for MBS followed by a corned beef or pastrami sandwich on rye? I'm thinking Nate N'Als but am open to opposing views. Great pickles, kraut & bread, my only reservations are the slaw & potato salad which are just OK IMHO. Other regrets: No 2 cents plain, but Dr Brown works instead at a price of course. And some of the dingiest bathrooms in BH to boot, but who rates a deli on their facilities anyhow?

                                                                    1. q
                                                                      quinntran RE: MichaelS Jan 24, 2007 07:22 PM

                                                                      Orange County is probably too far a drive for you but the matzo ball soup at Benjies in Santa Ana is amazing. They serve it with fresh rye bread. It is perfect!

                                                                      1. n
                                                                        normalheightsfoodie RE: MichaelS Jan 24, 2007 07:27 PM

                                                                        NATE AND AL'S is the best!

                                                                        1. e
                                                                          EricV RE: MichaelS Jan 24, 2007 08:50 PM

                                                                          dang, Michael S... i do sympathize with you westsiders... apparently you really need to venture east for the good stuff when it comes to matzo ball soup! Jerry's Deli?? Pulllease! Come on out to the Fairfax district or the Strip for some of the best MBS at Cantor's or Greenblatt's!

                                                                          10 Replies
                                                                          1. re: EricV
                                                                            MichaelS RE: EricV Jan 25, 2007 10:56 AM

                                                                            Wow EricV, such biting humor. Please tell me you are not one of those EastSider Foodie Snobs. That can get very annoying. Look's like I will be heading to the hinterlands for some great MBS. I will report back to see if this Goy agrees with the recommendations. I will be judging based on: (1) quality of MB, (2) saltiness; (3) greasiness; (4) quality of chicken; and most importantly, (5) quality of bagel chips. Price will be taken into consideration. May the best MB win!!!


                                                                            1. re: MichaelS
                                                                              Diana RE: MichaelS Jan 25, 2007 11:08 AM

                                                                              Wow, relax, his reply wasn't really all that bad. I mean, really, Jerry's Deli is not quite like others...

                                                                              I'd really be interested in your MBS research and tasting notes! Pot them here!

                                                                              1. re: Diana
                                                                                normalheightsfoodie RE: Diana Jan 25, 2007 01:01 PM

                                                                                Since when do bagel chips come into play with MB Soup.

                                                                                The Soup at Nate and Al's rated the best in LA MAG, is a clear consume with a perfect MB.

                                                                                1. re: normalheightsfoodie
                                                                                  MichaelS RE: normalheightsfoodie Jan 25, 2007 01:54 PM

                                                                                  Bagel Chips are just a personal thing with me...Nate and Al's is one of the first three I plan on going to....


                                                                                  1. re: MichaelS
                                                                                    Muhlyssa RE: MichaelS Jan 25, 2007 02:41 PM

                                                                                    Magic Carpet MBS does not come with bagel chips (I think that's a Jerry's thing), but don't count it out simply because of that. There are so many other amazing things to have there, I'm sure you can find something to complement the soup.

                                                                                    1. re: Muhlyssa
                                                                                      MichaelS RE: Muhlyssa Jan 25, 2007 02:59 PM

                                                                                      This only proves how much this MBS Newbie has to learn. Thanks for the tip...


                                                                                      1. re: Muhlyssa
                                                                                        esculent RE: Muhlyssa Feb 12, 2007 02:04 PM

                                                                                        "something to complement the soup"...

                                                                                        like a melawach! I'll be there tonight for mbs & melawach. i find the greasiness in the melawach cancels out the "clean" (read: not oily at all) broth.

                                                                                  2. re: Diana
                                                                                    MichaelS RE: Diana Jan 25, 2007 01:52 PM

                                                                                    I took no offense to Eric's reply...just playful banter. Actually, I am really excited to check out these places. If Jerry's is on the lower end, I look forward to the some really good MBS. Cheers.

                                                                                    1. re: Diana
                                                                                      EricV RE: Diana Jan 25, 2007 03:35 PM

                                                                                      Thanks Diana! Wow, Michael S. seems to need some real good MBS, and SOON! I bet that would sooth his temper. He's probably just stressed having to deal with the endless westside traffic nightmares, and darth of good restaurants out there! :-) Cheers, Mikey!

                                                                                      1. re: EricV
                                                                                        Jeet Yet RE: EricV Jan 26, 2007 11:31 AM

                                                                                        Brutal EricV.....

                                                                                2. bernardo RE: MichaelS Jan 25, 2007 07:42 PM

                                                                                  Billy's for lunch in (North) Torrance today -- perfectly decent MBS, and a tasty and generous corned beef on rye. However rye was wimpy & not crunchy enough (packaged?), pickles poor (slices of weird appearance and taste), slaw so-so compared to Nate N'Al's, for example. Strangely, even Tommy Pastrami's rye (out in my jenerweldt) is superior by far. So if you do Billy, relish the meat & soup, but just tolerate the bread & sides.

                                                                                  Now if we could only cobble together the best breads, pickles, meats, soups, smoked fishies,sides & desserts from dfferent sources wouldn't that be incredible?

                                                                                  1. Golem RE: MichaelS Jan 26, 2007 10:34 AM

                                                                                    Ahhh, Brent's is still tops, for me. Second: Art's in Studio City. Something about Jerry's just doesn't sit right...

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: Golem
                                                                                      bernardo RE: Golem Jan 26, 2007 11:21 AM

                                                                                      How often do you chow at Art's? I was guessing the significant number of negative posts about Art's at http://www.chowhound.com/topics/350659 might be attributable to inconsistency.

                                                                                    2. b
                                                                                      bergerqueen RE: MichaelS Jan 27, 2007 12:08 AM

                                                                                      Art's is wildly overpriced for ordinary food. At Brent's they put sugar in their soups. Good matzoh ball soup at Factor's and Roll 'n Rye. But as someone who was weened on the superlative mb soup at Sol 'n Sol in Englewood, NJ, my vote for LA's best is Langer's, with Greenblatt's in second position.

                                                                                      1. n
                                                                                        NYCnowLA RE: MichaelS Jan 27, 2007 07:26 AM

                                                                                        i loved sol n sol!!!

                                                                                        1. bernardo RE: MichaelS Jan 27, 2007 07:26 PM

                                                                                          Well, at least one thing is evident, there doesn't seem to be any concensus on NY style delis in LA that do just about everything right, from soup (MBS) to nuts (corned beef, pastrami, rye bread, pickles, lox, slaw, potato salad & cheesecake), although if my read is right, Nate N'Als, Brent's & Canter's may come closest in that regard. I still favor Nate N'Al's as a solid all around choice, but admittedly others excel in particular categories, like Langer's for hand cut pastrami and superb rye.

                                                                                          1. Arthur RE: MichaelS Jan 27, 2007 10:26 PM

                                                                                            If I may, allow me to throw a new wrinkle into this matzo ball debate:

                                                                                            I like matzo balls to be compact, dense and chewy, just like the old-world Eastern European ones my mother makes. But I find that most restaurants make them light (but ridiculously huge), fluffy and pretty flavorless - a giant cotton puff in a bowl of soup, which I simply cannot abide. I actually prefer the ones Manischewitz sells in a jar to most of these overpriced air balls. So which restaurants make 'em my mom's way (i.e., good)?

                                                                                            1. MeAFoodieYep RE: MichaelS Jan 28, 2007 05:36 AM

                                                                                              Outside of the Valley, I go to Katella Deli in Los Alamitos (Orange County). It's a few miles away from the race track. They have the best matzo ball soup in Orange County. I also love their corned beef. They are generous with the portions. They have an excellent bakery. Their cookies are to die for.

                                                                                              1. MeAFoodieYep RE: MichaelS Jan 28, 2007 05:42 AM

                                                                                                I forgot to mention a tiny hole in the wall Jewish deli in the city of Laguna Hills/Laguna Woods called Kosher Bite Deli. Despite the senior citizens that frequent this place during lunch time and the "not-so-fancy" ambiance, I loved the home-made appeal of the food. They have great Matzo ball soup and I love their stuffed cabbage. The service is down to earth.

                                                                                                1. mushky RE: MichaelS Jan 28, 2007 12:01 PM

                                                                                                  Golan in North Hollywood has very flavorful matzo ball soup with lots of chicken and veggies. It truly taste like homemade , not the horribly bland MB soup from Brents.Don't get me wrong-I love everything else at Brents but the soup taste like hot water and the matzo ball has no flavor at all. Golan is not a deli, but it is a kosher restaurant- that serves israeli and chinese food?!

                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                  1. re: mushky
                                                                                                    Diana RE: mushky Feb 9, 2007 08:49 AM

                                                                                                    I agree, Brent's Matzoh had NO flavor.

                                                                                                    Golan is really good!

                                                                                                  2. a
                                                                                                    audacious28 RE: MichaelS Feb 8, 2007 08:49 PM

                                                                                                    Blue Plate on Montana-- amazing matzo ball soup!

                                                                                                    1. b
                                                                                                      Barbara Ladden RE: MichaelS Feb 8, 2007 09:50 PM

                                                                                                      Nate 'n Al's on Beverly Dr., Beverly Hills, and Greenblatt's on Sunset Blvd., W. Hollywood in that order.

                                                                                                      When I make matzo ball soup, I buy the best matzo balls from Label's Table, Pico Blvd. at Beverly Dr. They also have the best rye bread.

                                                                                                      1. truefoodie RE: MichaelS Feb 10, 2007 10:09 AM

                                                                                                        You are all wrong -- for the best MBS you have to schlepp to the valley to Brent's Deli on Parthenia (or new location in Calabassas or maybe it is Westlake)...even better than their MB is their cabbage soup which my parent foodies in NYC even crave! DELISH!!

                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: truefoodie
                                                                                                          SIMIHOUND RE: truefoodie Feb 11, 2007 08:00 PM

                                                                                                          Sorry, I am a big fan of Brent's but their standard soups are terrible. The mushrom barley has always had a strange flavor. Go anywhere else for mushroom barley soup even the dredded Jerry's if you must. Matzah Ball soup at Brent's is watery and the MB's are plain as white bread. YUCK!

                                                                                                          1. re: SIMIHOUND
                                                                                                            bernardo RE: SIMIHOUND Feb 12, 2007 11:41 AM

                                                                                                            Enuv quveching, IYO who in Socal has the best of each of the following:

                                                                                                            1. MBS
                                                                                                            2. Mush barley
                                                                                                            3. Chicken noodle/rice
                                                                                                            4. Russian cabbage
                                                                                                            5. Rye bread to accompany the soup

                                                                                                          2. re: truefoodie
                                                                                                            Diana RE: truefoodie Feb 13, 2007 10:14 AM

                                                                                                            Bret's MBS was wrose than Jerry's for me. No flavor, no true substance, in the broth or the motzoh. The potao pancake were NOT atke's, too. Why do people rave about it again?

                                                                                                          3. m
                                                                                                            maudies5 RE: MichaelS Feb 11, 2007 05:31 PM

                                                                                                            Try the matzo ball soup at Blue Plate on Montana in Santa Monica. It's fantastic. Not too salty. I love it.

                                                                                                            1. m
                                                                                                              mlgb RE: MichaelS Feb 12, 2007 12:56 PM

                                                                                                              The Yorkshire Grill in Los Angeles makes a matzo ball soup that is not too far off from a Bubbie version, although maybe too large.

                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: mlgb
                                                                                                                Jeet Yet RE: mlgb Feb 13, 2007 07:16 AM

                                                                                                                Is that the one in downtown on 5th or 6th?

                                                                                                                1. re: Jeet Yet
                                                                                                                  mlgb RE: Jeet Yet Feb 13, 2007 07:42 AM

                                                                                                                  Yes, Sixth Street I think.

                                                                                                              2. l
                                                                                                                leydegeyer RE: MichaelS Feb 13, 2007 08:38 PM

                                                                                                                I like Broadway Deli's soup--some days it's sublime, particularly if you're feeling cold and/or down. It's too expensive, but some days that's irrelevant.

                                                                                                                While I generally dislike Jerry's and I always want to dislike Jerry's given it's megasize and chain-ness, I have to say their chocolate malts are awesome. And the challah's tasty, though I doubt they make it.

                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                1. re: leydegeyer
                                                                                                                  foodiemahoodie RE: leydegeyer Sep 2, 2009 12:29 AM

                                                                                                                  Broadway Deli's soup is very good. It's not exactly traditional and that's not a bad thing. But it's not wildly out there unique either. Very satisfying with a nice depth of flavors.

                                                                                                                2. m
                                                                                                                  MichaelS RE: MichaelS Feb 15, 2007 03:36 PM

                                                                                                                  Well, tried Nate & Al's today. Starting to come down with the flu so timing could not have been better. We can contemporaneously test its medicinal value.

                                                                                                                  Ordered a cup because I wanted to have a half sandwich. I got it with noodles. It was pretty good. The broth had good flavor and the noodles had great texture. The MB itself was good although it was very hot. Combined with not feeling great, I don't think I got the the most of the flavor. I did not get to taste any chicken because apparently, one must specifically ask for it. Why it is then called Chicken MB is a bit confusing. Therefore, I cannot comment on that.

                                                                                                                  Will I ultimately schlep all the way there from BW and deal with parking if I get the urge, I don't know. Certainly, if I am around, I would stop by. I will give it another go before I ultimately decide, however. With chicken next time.

                                                                                                                  The Pastrami was great. Now that might be worth the trip.

                                                                                                                  On to Greenblats. Cheers.

                                                                                                                  1. n
                                                                                                                    normalheightsfoodie RE: MichaelS Feb 15, 2007 09:02 PM

                                                                                                                    It is made from chicken stock, that is why it is called chicken. You are right about the pastrami. You can park in the lot next to the Crate and Barrell, it is a couple of doors up from Nat and Al's.

                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: normalheightsfoodie
                                                                                                                      MichaelS RE: normalheightsfoodie Feb 16, 2007 07:17 AM

                                                                                                                      Good point although it does not explain why Fromins and Jerry's puts in chicken automatically. Now that I am in the know at N&A's, however, I will always get the chicken. Forgot about the C&B parking lot. Thanks for the reminder.

                                                                                                                      1. re: normalheightsfoodie
                                                                                                                        bernardo RE: normalheightsfoodie Feb 16, 2007 04:28 PM

                                                                                                                        I think NAL has the crispest and tastiest new pickles, rye bread usually quite good too. Kraut, slaw & potato salad OK but nothing to write home about. The waitresses can be advocates if you strike the right note, whether extra bread, multiple varieties of meats on platters & special requests like lean or thin sliced. Downsides include lousy napkins, claustrophobic restrooms and no 2 cents plain. Sill, a big thumbs up on balance IOHO.

                                                                                                                      2. m
                                                                                                                        MichaelS RE: MichaelS Feb 24, 2007 01:39 AM

                                                                                                                        Okay, I have not had a chance to check any new places since but did stop by Jerry's for some MBS since I was in the neigborhood. With N&A's still fresh on the palate, I realized that N&A's was far superior to Jerry's. Still will order the MBS at Jerry's but certainly may seriously consider the extra drive. Thanks for the tips, fellow houndies.

                                                                                                                        Look forward to checking out the others. Cheers.

                                                                                                                        1. f
                                                                                                                          Fat Billie RE: MichaelS Feb 24, 2007 02:35 AM

                                                                                                                          All my Jewish friends take me to Canter's

                                                                                                                          I love Canters

                                                                                                                          Enough said.

                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                          1. re: Fat Billie
                                                                                                                            bernardo RE: Fat Billie Feb 24, 2007 09:00 AM

                                                                                                                            While there's no accounting for differences in taste, hounds are directed to http://www.chowhound.com/topics/36529... for opposing opinions on Canter's. If a plethora of thumbs downs from hounds doesn't raise a red flag then nothing will.

                                                                                                                          2. m
                                                                                                                            Matzoh ball lover RE: MichaelS Jan 23, 2008 10:50 PM

                                                                                                                            Ok, here's my take.

                                                                                                                            Broadway Deli's MBS - it was not worth remembering because you know what? Until I saw that mention in one of these posts, I had totally forgotten I've ever eaten there. Their MBs had no bite to it. And they were bland.

                                                                                                                            Jerry's taste like crap. And the soup was too salty.

                                                                                                                            For those of us who worship at the temple of the glorious matzoh ball itself (now, I'm really not a fan of soft mushy MBs; I like em with some bite), I really like Canters. Yes, I know, they're overpriced and I would never sit down to eat but their Matzoh balls taste so good you can eat them by themselves without even so much as broth. Beware though as their soup tastes a little artificial to me, quite like they're out of the can.

                                                                                                                            Junior's MBS had a real tasty broth but there's so little of it because it comes in such a small container (take out) and it's crowded with all that touch chicken, carrot and celery crap. The biggest downer is that the Matzoh balls has absolutely no flavor so to be able to eat them you actually needed every drop of the broth.

                                                                                                                            So..in summary:
                                                                                                                            Broadway Deli - forget it.
                                                                                                                            Jerry's - Yuck.
                                                                                                                            Canters - Best Matzoh Ball (don't try the) kreplach
                                                                                                                            Juniors - Good soup, tasteless balls.

                                                                                                                            :-) Enjoy !

                                                                                                                            1. m
                                                                                                                              Matzoh ball lover RE: MichaelS Jan 23, 2008 10:54 PM

                                                                                                                              Oh, and I forgot to mention that the hot tongue sandwich at Juniors literally melts in your mouth. Delish....

                                                                                                                              1. m
                                                                                                                                Matzoh ball lover RE: MichaelS Jan 24, 2008 07:00 PM

                                                                                                                                Ok, so I tried Roll'n Rye's today and the Matzoh ball broth was absolutely heavenly and it's filled with lots of noodles, chicken ad vegetables. It felt SO good to reward my palette with that piping hot, satisfying, uber delicious and flavorful broth after a day of cold & rain. The Matzoh Ball itself tasted good (but not as good as Canter's) and it was the soft and fluffy kind. I'll definitely go back there on the occasions when I'm too lazy to drive to Canter's.

                                                                                                                                1. f
                                                                                                                                  foodiemahoodie RE: MichaelS Aug 31, 2009 12:23 AM

                                                                                                                                  I think Jerry's Famous Deli used to have decent chicken soup. About ten years ago. But having tried it a numer of times over the years, including this evening and I have come to the conclusion that it definitely, unequivocably SUCKS. The oversized matzo ball isn't bad, but the broth itself? Tastes more like water with a chicken boullion cube and a lot of salt. I think it maybe actually be the worst chicken soup I've ever had.

                                                                                                                                  The best? Was at Maple Drive. They called in Chicken in a Pot or something like that, but it was phenomenal. But nothing else comes close.

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