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Best clam chowder in LA area?

ns1 Dec 15, 2008 06:00 PM


  1. Local Dec 15, 2008 06:44 PM

    start here.... http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/551417 i like Smitty's in Pasadena when they have it as the soup of the day- call first, i wanna say it pretty much is assigned to Friday's if and when it does appear.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Local
      ns1 Dec 15, 2008 09:33 PM

      great, thanks. CH's search feature leaves much to be desired.

    2. J.L. Dec 15, 2008 09:56 PM

      The Friday clam chowdah at Philippe's the Original in Downtown gets my vote. Fridays only. Cheap and good.

      1. n
        nosh Dec 16, 2008 12:07 PM

        Gotta throw my vote to Santa Monica Seafood. The revamped retail shop plus cafe should be reopened near the beginning of the year -- February, right? -- on the S/E corner of Wilshire and 10th in Santa Monica. The new bakery and breakfast spot opening by the Rustic Canyon folks is being built a door down in the former ChopStix place, with the Magellan's in the middle.

        3 Replies
        1. re: nosh
          Hackenbush Dec 16, 2008 08:52 PM

          Another vote for Santa Monica Seafood. The white chowder, at least. Never tried the red.

          1. re: Hackenbush
            epop Dec 17, 2008 07:00 AM

            I wish SM Seafood's chowders passed my test but I find both to be pale imitations.
            My hope is that they improve them with the opening of the new place.

            1. re: epop
              latindancer Dec 17, 2008 07:45 AM

              I'm with you on that one.
              I really don't find anything, in the way of prepared foods at SM Seafood, to be that great. I've actually, on occasion, had to return fish I've purchased because it had that 'fishy' smell. There's nothing more annoying.

        2. Baron Dec 16, 2008 01:09 PM

          The best clam chowder I've had recently was at the Taix in Silverlake. I think they only serve it on Fridays and they give you a huge terrine, which they will refill! Very fresh, lots of clams and very creamy, not gummy. Check out their website.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Baron
            Jwsel Dec 16, 2008 02:27 PM

            You sound like you are describing the Friday clam chowder a Piknic in Century City, between the CAA building and the two towers. It's by far the best clam chowder I've ever had. $6 for a big bowl or pint to go.

            Piknic Century City
            2000 Avenue, of the Stars Los Angeles, CA

            1. re: Jwsel
              grabtrees Dec 17, 2008 11:37 AM

              oh yum! that sounds awesome, silverlake is a bit far from me!

            2. re: Baron
              ns1 Dec 16, 2008 03:09 PM

              Interesting, I live down the street from Taix...

            3. rednyellow Dec 16, 2008 04:48 PM

              I don't know if it is every friday, but I've had great clam chowder at the Pacific Dining Car down town.

              2 Replies
              1. re: rednyellow
                sbritchky Dec 17, 2008 12:36 PM

                Does the Pacific Dining Car offer New England or Manhattan style? I've had a couple of good soups there over the years but don't recall ever trying the clam chowder.

                1. re: sbritchky
                  rednyellow Dec 17, 2008 03:08 PM

                  it was white, new england. not too thick, not too thin. just right.

              2. j
                JeetJet Dec 16, 2008 05:31 PM

                Pizza Place California has a version that is not thick lke most chowders out West and not watery like those back East, but falls somepce nice between the two. I have had it several times and each time my bowl had a lagre amount of clams in it, but it is the flavor that makes this one worth a try. The place is Italian with a Pacific Rim twist and the result is that this soup is something good. Most people like the garlic bread also.

                Pizza Place California (Go for the chowder, not the pizza, and maybe call first to be sure they have not sold out)
                303 S Mission Dr
                San Gabriel, CA 91776
                (626) 570-9622

                1. ipsedixit Dec 17, 2008 08:41 AM


                  1 Reply
                  1. re: ipsedixit
                    Foodandwine Dec 20, 2008 10:18 AM

                    My 11 year old like the souplantations chowder as well. Okay im ducking.. I like it too!!

                  2. c
                    Citron58 Dec 17, 2008 08:54 AM

                    Based on my experience, the easy winner is the Water Grill downtown.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Citron58
                      Jwsel Dec 17, 2008 11:57 AM

                      I know it's more authentic, but I just can't bring myself to like Water Grill's clam chowder. I prefer thick, creamy clam chowder, not the thin, watery kind they have at Water Grill (and also Providence). I'm also someone who doesn't really like having clams in the shell in the chowder.

                      1. re: Citron58
                        epop Dec 17, 2008 01:04 PM

                        Yes, water grill makes the only good one i've had in LA. But I want to find a place that has it that is simpler (and on the west side).

                        1. re: Citron58
                          epop Dec 17, 2008 01:05 PM

                          Really good is a stretch

                          1. re: Citron58
                            bu dat Dec 17, 2008 06:31 PM

                            i like the water grill's chowder. bacon! the clams in shell is annoying - but i still think the taste is there.

                            redwood bar & grill does a poor man's water grill chowder - clams in shell and hint of bacon.

                            other than that - malibu seafood has pretty good clam chowder. pch past pepperdine on land side.

                          2. w
                            woojink Dec 17, 2008 12:04 PM

                            Water Grill does a very nice Clam Chowder. Also if you are in/near Long Beach I would highly recommend Lasher's. Their Clam Chowder is excellent.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: woojink
                              Breakbread Dec 17, 2008 12:53 PM

                              honestly to tell you whole foods has some really good clam showder

                            2. Baron Dec 17, 2008 07:21 PM

                              ok Ns1. Friday is almost upon us. So walk over to the Taix and order the clam chowder which comes with some pretty good french bread and let us know if it's as good as I remember. For anyone who goes to Santa Barbara there's a seafood joint on the pier called Brofies (sp) or Brophy's which also has great clam chowder. I can't see going to a place like the Water Grill and ordering clam chowder. sorry. That's like going to Cut and ordering a tuna sandwich.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Baron
                                J.L. Dec 18, 2008 12:22 AM

                                Again, I am putting in a recommendation to go to Philippe's for their Friday white chowder. Taix isn't too far away - you can make "chowdah rounds" there also!

                                Water Grill is also "down the street" on Grand Ave. (though I do think their chowder is too watery).

                              2. j
                                JosephEBacon Dec 17, 2008 09:39 PM

                                When I think of clam chowder in Los Angeles, I think of either Taix (only on Fridays) or House of Pies on North Vermont--they serve clam chowder every day.

                                1. m
                                  MengMacFoodie Dec 18, 2008 06:29 AM

                                  Try Gladstones in Malibu. The ocean view, a rich creamy and delectable bowl of New England Clam Chowder... You can't go wrong with that. I'm thinking about heading out there right now just thinking about it. This cold and rainy weather makes me crave a huge bowl of hot chowder.

                                  1. t
                                    The Wiz Dec 18, 2008 09:51 AM

                                    In the Thousand Oaks/Conejo Valley area, you can get pretty good clam chowder at Thousand Oaks Fish and Chips. Everything is pretty good there, served hot and fresh. Everything seems like it's cooked to order, I don't see anything sitting under heat lamps!

                                    It's around the corner from Trader Joe's, in the same little strip mall
                                    3825 E Thousand Oaks Blvd

                                    1. Veggietales Dec 19, 2008 06:42 PM

                                      I might get flamed for this but I really like the clam chowder at this bar in Hermosa Beach, Fat Face Fenner's Fishshack, FFFF for short. The style is thick, with lots of bacon and clams.

                                      Also, Brix, also in Hermosa, has a great clam chowder, brought to the table deconstructed: bacon lardon, smoked fingerlings and clams in shell are at the bottom of a huge bowl, then the hot cream soup is poured from a tea pot into the bowl. French service, right? This soup is med thin and very rich and creamy.

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