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Tub's Fine Chili, Culver City - A Quick Hit

Whizzing down Overland in Culver City as we are very prone to do, my wife, Dommy!, screamed excitedly when she first saw the sign. "We've got a Chili joint near us!!" And I took a look and there it was in the place of the former 2Go Subs.

I saw they were open and stopped by to get a sample and maybe take some home to the wife.

The guy behind the counter was friendly and with with the samples. They were out of the Steak town and the Turkey drive but I did try a Tiny and I do mean Tiny, sample of the Chuck Wagon Grind, Smoked Pig, Chicken & Spurs, and the Cattlemen's Pass.

The Chili's had no heat. The heat is added in with their special TNT sauce but for some reason in the end I didn't end up with any. But for the Little tastes I did get there was potential. I walked out of there with the Cattleman's Pass which is the Veggie chili. it had Soy "meat', veggies and Beans Served on top of a toasted Pita formed into a bowl or as they say a Tub. The Chili was well rounded and Flavorful minus the heat and its worth a trip back to at least try some of the others and to get the hot sauce. Plus they have Sides of Fried Potato rounds and they will put chili on pasta or Pizza. Though there is no sign of a chili dog anywhere.

The other reason to go is the kitsch factor. They've Cowboy-ed the place with rope accents everywhere and all the the employees wearing the Cowboy hats with the logo and the Cowgirl manning the register is just the cutest thing.

It seems a bit random and a bit out of season to get excited about a chili restaurant opening up the street..but we'll be coming back 'round to try more now ya'hear!

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    Tub's Fine Chili
    4263 Overland Ave, Culver City, CA 90230

    1. Patrick, we're going to try this place. It sounds more interesting than Chili My Soul here in the SFV. Thanks for the heads up!.

      8 Replies
      1. re: TomSwift

        Chili My Soul has more varieties... but I like this base WAY better... Although vegetarian, the chili had body and hearty taste... much better than any veggie chili I've tried...


        1. re: Dommy

          you guys should try the veggie chili at earlez grille on crenshaw, near expositon. or is it rodeo. great stuff, and topped on a tamale it goes down great.

          1. re: kevin

            I have had it but Dommy hasn't and so far I like Tub's Better. But I need to go back to tubs and check it out more thoroughly to have a better sense of the place.

            1. re: Mattapoisett in LA

              if tub's is better for veggie chili then it's pretty darn good. did you just have a free sample or a bowl of it so that you more than a few tastes.

              so they have veggie chili, an all beef chili, and a pork an chicken chili?

              1. re: kevin

                I brought home a Bowl which Dommy and I shared. I am thinking I will have to Go back to earls and Retaste.

                They have Steak & Beans, Ground Chuck[ no Beans], Pork & Blackeyed Peas, Turkey & Beans, Chicken & Garlic [No Beans] Plus the Veggie which has beans

                1. re: kevin

                  OK So I biked over to Earle's today for lunch and I'd misremembered Earle's. But essentially Earle's and Tub's are two different chilis.

                  Earle's is trying to mimic a meat and bean chili that would be great on a dog and hardy enough to eat by itself. It also has a slight sweeteness that reminds me of Baked beans but that may be used to mask the soy flavor which is didn't taste in the dish.

                  Tub's Veggie is too hearty for a Hot Dog. It has lots of different veggies in it and not too saucy But it is very flavorful.

                  I'm not sure i could pick one over the other, but I'm glad they're both around.

                  Take Care.

                  - P.

                  Earle's Grill
                  4326 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90008

                  1. re: Mattapoisett in LA

                    I really like Earle's veggie chili, but yeah, I'll try Tub's soon.

                    At Earle's a good way to go, is the Thriller, veggie tamale with cheddar cheese, pickles, peppers, and of course the veggie chili (keep in mind this might just be vegetarian, but of course not vegan, though you can get soy cheese there, though i haven't tried the soy chz yet.

              2. re: kevin

                I drove past Earlez just the other night on my way down to Pann's and wondered if it was good. Anything worthwhile beyond the chili and tamales, kevin?

          2. Chili on sphagetti?!? Do I smell Cincinnati-style chili? Do they have anything with the classic OH chili cinnamon-clove-spice flavors? My Cincinnati born and raised SO will thank you!

            3 Replies
            1. re: jdwdeville

              I think there's a place in Burbank or somewhere that serves the kind of "chili" you're describing. 3-way or 5-way chili, however, does not depend on that stuff for its existence. An ancient lunch joint in Nashville, Varallo's, specialized in bowls of their own chili (still available in cans, I think, though the restaurant closed about 10 years ago) with beans and spaghetti (3-way) or the same plus cheese and something else (hot dogs? ravioli?) for the 5-way. And whenever I'm finishing up a pot of leftover chili for lunch, I nearly always add it to either spaghetti or egg noodles.

              Oddly enough, someone opened a Cincinnati-style chili place in Nashville maybe 20 years ago, called Queen City Diner, but closed after failing to build a clientele beyond the few homesick Cincinnati emigrés.

              1. re: Will Owen

                by burbank, Do you mean chili john's/ they do serve there chili many ways, but they are not from cinncinatti but rather green bay (the also have the oringial in green bay, but that one has been sold and resold many times and the chili has suffered)

                1. re: kevin

                  Sorry, I just had the impression that CJ or whoever had a Cincy option. I have been wrong before, enough times that I'm used to it...

            2. Went to Tub's today. Variety. Commitment. Flavor City in Culver City,especially the (pulled) pork, (garlic) chicken, and (meaty) steak recipes. Good, filling American food can be tough to come by in LA and as a Mid-Western college boy I know it when I see it. Straight off the chuck wagon taste served up on a unique flat bread reminded me of my famous "bread on the bottom" chili recipe. Pick it up and eat it taco style. Don't be afraid to "gun sling it" for their comfort food sides (especially the slaw). A little joint with fun country style. If only they served Fritos and Budweiser. Chili comes mild, so get liberal with the special hot sauce.

              1. Thanks for the info about a new chili place! I'll have to check Tub's out VERY soon as I'm a BIG chili lover! To some of the posts I've read out here, yes, Chili John's (in Burbank), does have Chili Mac...chili served over pasta. You can also get it by the bowl there, but, the chili mac is my favorite way to get their chili. And, yes, Chili My Soul has 30 or so varieties, so, they do have more varieties than Tub's, which, from their website, seems to be about 5 or 6 different varieties. And, yes, Earlez has really good veggie chili!

                One place I haven't see anyone mention is a fabulous chili place I recently discovered called Chili Addiction. They sell chili, chili dogs, chili over macaroni. I found them, of all places, at the Hollywood Farmer's Market on Sundays. They're kind of tough to find as they are on a small alley, but, they are well worth the hunt as they have really excellent chili and, over 70 varieties, including many veggy ones! (although they only bring a handful with them each week). I had the Prime Rib chili and was amazed.

                Anyway, it's great to hear that LA has a new chili place and I can't wait to check it out....I'll be sure to report back after I've given them a try, :) YUMM!

                2 Replies
                1. re: lderringer

                  Is the new chili place only there on sundays as part of the Farmer's Market?


                  1. re: kevin

                    kevin, I believe you are correct. As of now I think they only sell chili during the hours of the market on Sunday, but, I believe they'll also do catering and deliver if you are close to the Hollywood area.

                2. I've had the vegetarian and the turkey chili and they were both good. I highly recommend this place. It's also great to support a local business.

                  1. I hit this place up the other day with my daughter and agree with much of what the forum has said: it has potential.

                    The kid had the steak chili; I opted for the Chuck Wagon grind. Both were mild-flavored with a very high sauce-to-meat ratio. Their optional TNT sauce provides extra heat—it's a strange amber colored fluid that doesn't resemble hot sauce, but does seem to add a little punch.

                    I wasn't all that impressed: tiny chunks of meat in a mild sauce not unlike you'd get from a can. If you remember the Taco Bell Chilito, this is a very similar animal. Sort of a Midwestern rendition. However, the grilled flatbread bowls the chili comes in are delicious and work well with the chili.

                    The staff is very friendly and as others have noted, the Western kitsch factor is delightful (didn't see the cowgirl:). I suspect the place will be a big hit with the local high school crowd, although priced a bit high for teen budgets. Texans and chili purists, though, will probably "steer" clear (sorry).

                    1. is this more of an 'eat in' place or a 'to go' place?

                      17 Replies
                      1. re: westsidegal

                        It's TINY... but they have tables... We perfer to go (Since we live nearby and can enjoy beer with the chili) but its does have a fairly sizable eat in crowd... Like I said, it was a rather random thing to do open up a chili joint a month before in THAT spot... but it seems to have really fit a void!


                        1. re: Dommy

                          Stopped in today for a quick lunch -- took two passes to find Tubs, which is next to a comic book store in a strip mall on the west side of Overland south of Culver. Very clean, bright, small shop with a husband-wife ownership team out front and a couple of other employees cooking and prepping in the back. Very eager to please, quite enthusiastic and friendly. I ordered the midsize meat-only chili bowl for $6.99 + tax -- tasty chili, which was improved with the judicious addition of the clear habanero oil that adds a clean and strong heat. They were very willing to provide free tastes of the homemade potato slices, which are a bit too thick to be called chips and have varying textures. As a solo diner, I would have liked some sort of combo dish that would have given me some variety in texture and composition without paying almost double for the works of additions they offer of slaw, onion, cheese, and even pasta. The thin "bread" bowl was an interesting novelty, but wasn't tasty enough to make worth actually eating. I think I'd have liked it more if I enjoyed beans -- the meat-only chili got a bit monotonous on its own. But I must stress how friendly and eager to please the proprietors are -- I wish them success and urge other 'hounds to give the place a try.

                          1. re: nosh

                            we'd wish everyone success. but if the eats are just not that good, why patronize a particular restaurant over another? did you happen to sample any of the other chilis. i tried to visit a few days ago, and knew it was on overland in culver city but just couldn't seem to find it.

                            1. re: kevin

                              The Owner is working on a bit of his dream. With the Original Recipe [Turkey Chili, which is the only one to have some beer added to it] People kept on telling him it was good enough to make some money with it and he has taken a shot at it by opening this place. I've had all of the chilis on the Menu and I like them all. I prefer the Turkey, chicken and Veggie chilis over the Meat and pork ones but that is a matter of Preference. With the flat Bread Bowls he was trying to do something different. He even has a Bowl shaped Cast Iron Griddle for Cooking them on Before serving so they hold their shape. and I have seen people use the Bread Bowl to make a Chili taco.

                              The Cole Slaw is a bit overdressed but the dressing is a really good ranch which they also use as a dipping sauce for the Potatoes. Also the Potatoes do not have a consistent thickness so some are like Potato chips and some are like mojo Potatoes.

                              If it is not Busy they will talk you ear off but that is fine by me. [which is why I know so much about the place.] If i was in the mood for Stewy comfort food Chili I might drive 15 miles for it. if your in the area it is worth checking out. Kevin I would Like to hear what you think of the Place.

                              1. re: Mattapoisett in LA

                                Sounds good, I should be able to check it out in the next few days.

                                If anyone has the street number, on overland that would be great? and the nearest major cross street would be additionally awesome, i missed it last time i was in the culver city area.

                                1. re: kevin

                                  4263 Overland Ave Culver City CA

                                  In a strip mall on Overland [west side of the street] at Braddock. The mall is at the corner.

                            2. re: nosh

                              nosh, even though i DO enjoy beans, i share your lack of enthusiasm for this place.
                              i agree about the friendliness.
                              i really WANTED to like Tubbs.

                              my palate must be very different from everyone elses.

                              1) the food:
                              i had the vegetarian chile
                              to me, the chili didn't have much of a taste of chile peppers at all. dommy, i just didn't taste what you did--to me the base flavor was simply not very flavorful and certainly not at all complex.
                              i'm not talking about lack of heat, i'm talking about lack of flavor.

                              2) the place was kitschy and cute, but they only had a couple of counters against the wall (think abbots pizza in venice), and one two top. if you're charging $8 to $10 for a meal, this doesn't cut it for me.
                              also, admittedly this is a pet peeve of mine, they do not have a public restroom.

                              it was a cut above opening a can of chili, but i can't see driving my car past tacqueria sanchez, which has much more flavorful food, better facilities, and much better price/quantity/quality ratios, to get to this place,

                              1. re: westsidegal

                                Westsidegal, with all due respect, I think you may have a bit of a Mexican-preference. I'm thinking of the places you rave about and they seem perhaps a little disproportionately based on Mexican cuisine. Nothing wrong with this, obviously, but it may be why a drive past Tacqueria Sanchez can so distract you.

                                I just tried Tub's place today and really loved it; all the doggies did. We had the veggie chili and I found it very flavorful and frankly, perfectly spiced in terms of heat. In my DayzOfYooth I played games with ingesting the hottest food of anyone, but then I met my northern-India sil who taught me that good flavoring is a careful art usually obscured by heat; spice and spicy are not synonymous.

                                Course my disfavor with spiciness may just coincide with middle-aged reflux. Still, I appreciate that Tub's tastiness didn't get drowned out with spiciness. Just perfect piquancy and complex flavors. That was my surprised take on it at least. Plus, any hotter and the puppies would have squealed; I appreciated that the puppies' tails were wagging so hard.

                                We forewent the refried fry bread (corn pone). I was disappointed there was no real cornbread around. And the coleslaw while tasty was just, as noted by others, overdressed. There's just no need IMO to add so much fat to cabbage. So we just supplemented the repast with a giant green salad and it all tasted perfect together. I was quite surprised - I hadn't expected the chili to be at all noteworthy. But I think it is *far* better than canned and better than most prepared food available. A quart was a little pricey but everyone was very happy, so as a special treat this will find favor for us.

                                1. re: aliris

                                  i love all sorts of food: mexican, french, indian, eithiopian, greek, persian, italien, mediterranean, cape cod, n.y. deli, japanese izakaya and sushi,and Californian, just to name a few.

                                  i just find the chili at tubs insipid-tasting, and imho the place offers a poor price/quantity ratio as well.
                                  clearly, we just disagree about this place. no biggie.

                                  1. re: westsidegal

                                    There chili is good, good service.
                                    I miss all the variteys that Chili My Soul served.

                                    1. re: magic man

                                      Have you tried Chili Addiction up on La Cienega Blvd. yet? We need to give it a try but it certainly looks interesting.

                                      ADD: I think this link will take you to a page on their website that shows the chilis they are offering this week: http://www.chiliaddiction.com/lacienega

                                      Chili Addiction
                                      408 N La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048

                                      1. re: Servorg

                                        I believe there have been a few CH posts about Chili Addiction and it seems CH's aren't too impressed with them.

                                        Chili Addiction
                                        408 N La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048

                                        1. re: reality check

                                          That's funny, I found seven other threads mentioning Chili Addiction, and couldn't find any negative reviews. There were several very positive ones. Did I miss something?

                                          1. re: Peripatetic

                                            I too thought I'd seen mostly favorable reviews of Chili Addiction here. Mostly I brought it up to magic man because he had talked about missing all the different chili's that were served by the now departed Chili My Soul and thought it might be of interest to him from the standpoint of the number and flavors of what they (Chili Addiction) are offering.

                                            ADD: For instance (re. Chili Addiction): http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/698064

                                            Chili Addiction
                                            408 N La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048

                                        2. re: Servorg

                                          We liked Chili Addiction, but perfer Tubs. Our main issue with CA is that they mostly use finely ground meat, while Tubs is more likely to use cuts of meat, which makes a HUGE difference on the flavor and texture of the chili.


                                          We also weren't impressed with their sides. Onions Rings needed Salt, the Homemade sausage's texture was off and their Best Ever Cesar was one note. We DID However like their homemade Ketchup. One of the better ones we've tried (WAY better than Umamis)

                                          Onion Rings:

                                          Ceasar Salad:



                                          Chili Addiction
                                          408 N La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048

                                          1. re: Dommy

                                            Thanks for the feedback, Dommy. Since this is the type of chili we make at home (and prefer) I have a feeling we will like it when we eventually try it.

                                        3. re: magic man

                                          now, when i get to that part of the valley, it is no longer for chili, it is for the israeli food at itzak hagadol.