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Jan 22, 2002 12:01 PM


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I returned from LA last night and already miss CHILE MY SOUL on Balboa Blvd. in Encino. I was glad to see that it had expanded since my last visit. I can't stop thinking about the nachos, and the "soul fries" which are spiral cut and served hot and salty with a mayo/ketchup sauce. The best chile I tried was Espresso Black Bean, rich, earthy vegetarian with not too much heat. The next best was the Roasted Garlic ( big roasted garlic cloves, not too spicy either, but medium spicy is my preference.) It is possible to try any flavor before you buy it ( samples in tiny paper cups like Baskin Robbins). I didn't do this, but its a nice touch . The thing is, everything I ate was varying degrees of wonderful. Any other flavor recommendations at Chile My Soul for next time I'm in LA.?

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  1. Chili my Soul is also served at "Jinky's" a Sherman Oaks staple for breakfast....

    1 Reply
    1. re: johanna

      I'm a big fan of their "Demon" myself...try the folded lavash bread with chili on top. Outstanding!

    2. However, if you want a chili that's less bland, head north on Balboa, turn right on Burbank and mosey on up to Chili John's. Of course if you're a yuppie, stick with Chili My Soul.

      6 Replies
      1. re: PHIL

        Actually, Chili My Soul does have lots of hotter Chili's, and my husband & brother both had them there & liked them. I'll try Chili John's the next time I'm in LA. You mean, liking milder Chili makes me a Yuppie? Gosh, who knew?

        1. re: Nettie B.

          Not a question of hotness. Question of flavor. Plus Chili John's gives you oyster crackers.

          1. re: PHIL

            chili is pretty good at john's except you can't get it straight up if you're dining in. you have to get it with beans or spaghetti. etc and the beans were really really bland and detracted from the flavor of the chili.

            but on another note, chili john's has pineapple cream pie, which is quite weird though tasty. i bet Chili my soul doesn't serve any desserts like this one.

            1. re: kevin

              The reason you can't get it straight is because they cook it for 48 hours and are using 400 pounds of meat for one batch. Meat is expensive. Beans and spaghetti aren't.

              1. re: PHIL

                but i have no problem with paying for just the chili. but they have that crazy rule about anyone who is eating in at the counter.

                1. re: kevin

                  I've been eating at Chili John's for years, and ONLY order straight chili (no beans, etc.). I formerly ordered only a full pound, but lately I've been getting 1/2 pound (in the large bowl -- because it's easier to mix in the cheese, onions, sour cream, etc.) They've never told me I can't have it straight! They're very accommodating.

      2. f
        felix the dog

        It's chili. WIth an I.