In search of a great bowl of soup....(this is a challenge!)
No Jewish delis please (not that they don't have good soup, they have great soup...but it's always pretty the same thing at most Jewish delis so that's why I'm leaving them out of this list).....where can a person get a great bowl of soup in the areas of Santa Monica to Beverly Hills, or the West Valley? I'm frustrated with too salty and too bland....help! I'll kick off with Le Saigon on Santa Monica Blvd, I just had a bowl of Pho Ga that was quite nice....delicate flavors and nicely tender pieces of sliced chicken. Not a hearty chicken soup, but a nice light soup for a warm summer day.
I believe Nook has a lentil soup always on the menu as well as another soup each day. They serve a cheddar cheese soup that is scrumptious.
Perhaps the best soup I've ever had in L.A. was a four-onion soup at the 17th Street Cafe up on Montana. Thick and creamy, intensely flavored, not at all like a french onion soup -- it was like sipping a sauce or gravy. Amazing. But that was several years ago... (It was the best single dish I remember having that year.)
I had a ginger carrot butternut soup at Hugo's that was AMAZING.
I also am a fan of Follow your Heart's great soups.
Gelson's has some a few great cold summer soups, Gazpacho, cucumber, strawberry mint, Melon and such.
the West Hills Gelson's has some great seafood soups near the fish section.
The French Onion Soup at Dougboys on either Highland or 3rd Street is by far the BEST French Onion Soup I've ever had... and I've tried MANY from around the country. Anyone who I've introduced it to (even people who are lukewarm about the type of soup in general... no pun intended) are instantly addicted. The quality of cheese, broth, and croutons is absolutely wonderful. While you're there, you have to get the Velvet Cake (their signature dish). You will not be disappointed.
Also, the hot and sour soup at City Wok in Studio City is to die for. This isn't your ordinary hot and sour soup... it has chicken, tofu, and bamboo in it with an amazing broth that is an instant favorite for anyone who tries it. Personally, I'm addicted to it during the winter days in LA.
Here's a couple of topics for you:
Eliminating Jewish delis, my top soups look like this:
1. Pho Dac Biet at Pho So 1 (Reseda
)2. After School Special Tomato Soup at Doughboys (Mid-City)
3. Crab Soup at The Hungry Cat (Hollywood). Also the FIsh Stew.
4. Steak Soup at Doughboys (Mid-City)
5. Sopa Azteca at Monte Alban (West LA) <-- best. tortilla. soup. ever.
The Hungry Cat
1535 Vine St, Los Angeles, CA 90028
Pho So 1
7231 Reseda Blvd, Reseda, CA 91335
11927 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA
8136 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048
A few thoughts:
Weirdly enough, I love the albondigas at Casa Vega more than anything else on their menu.
I adore Kyushu Ramen - a hole in the wall on Sherman Way. Due to proximity, I get my ramen fix in the SFV though I am confident Little Tokyo has better than my 'hood.
Definitely second Emme's rec on the Sopa Fideo at Tere's.
The chowda' at Providence.
The tortilla soup at Hotel Bel Air is superlative but for $14 bucks it should be.
Cauliflower Monsoon soup at Golden Bridge Yoga studio is excellent (and vegan too).
The tom yum at Krua is super-spicy and delicious.
vegetable puree at delmonico's (not the best restaurant, but that soup is really good... love the blackened prawns, garlic spinach, and grilled corn too)
ivy for corn chowder
lentil soup at carnival
grub's tomato soup
albondigas at mi india bonita
sopa de fideo at tere's
doughboys esp french onion
sopa de azteca at monte alban
islands' tortilla soup
The best soup I've had out here was a roasted red pepper soup at the Napa Valley Grille in Westwood. Just the perfect amount of creaminess blended into the peppery taste. I guess that's not ideal for stopping by and grabbing a bowl, but it is the best I've had.
Also incredibly good is the Avgolemono soup at the Great Greek on Ventura. I think that fits under West Valley. The lemon adds a needed kick to the usual chicken soup. If I were feeling ill, I'd want nothing but that soup.