Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >
May 6, 2009 10:58 AM

LA-style chili (Tommy's, Cupid's), in NY??

Hey all, I'm an LA transplant to the East Coast, and have done a pretty good job grafting my necessities onto East Coast establishments, while of course expanding with all the wonderful bounty that NY and its surrounding environs have to offer :)

The one thing I'm really craving at times, and have no idea where to find, is LA-style chili. For any of those who know the greats (Tommy's, Cupid's, etc.), you know *exactly* what I mean. For those who don't, it'll probably disgust you to hear it, but here goes- it's that almost radioactive orange, meat spackle-like substance. Not quite liquid, not quite solid, and never with any traces of actual beans, onions, tomatoes, or distinguishable pieces of red meat. I'm talking about that wonderful meat/fat paste that makes every burger and hot dog a masterpiece.

So, anyone??

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Try Lupe's in Soho, 6th Ave a couple of blocks north of Canal. I've never had the real thing in LA, but Lupe's full official name includes "LA kitchen" ( ) and when I was eating their chili, I was thinking "hmm I don't really like this, but it would be really good on a chiliburger." Now I'm thinking "chili cheeseburger". (in terms of Mexican, I prefer Lupe's green sauce things to their red, but that's my taste


    I can't recall if they serve burgers, it's Mexican food which is pretty good. If they don't you could BYO burger from Kool Bloo across the street :)

    110 6th Ave, New York, NY 10013

    Kool Bloo
    117 6th Ave, New York, NY 10013

    1. The original comment has been removed
      1. that was a perfect description of LA-chili! brought back many memories of Tommy's, Pink's, Carney's, etc...

        but i have no clue who serves in it NYC...but acidity's report of Lupe's sounds like a good bet...

        1 Reply
        1. re: Simon

          Don't get your hopes up too high :) Lupe's chili is more red than orange and more soupy than spackle, I mentioned it because I thought maybe they got the seasoning right and they have LA in their name.

          But it won't be a wasted trip in any case, their food is pretty good, and Mexican is awfully hard to get around NYC.

        2. The original comment has been removed
          1. OK, so here's an alternative for you. Go to Flushing, and find one of the XingXiang kabab stands and get the lamb skewers. I like the one on Sanford just off Main. Make sure to nod yes when the grill person asks if you want the extra powdered spices. For me, what makes them taste so good is that they remind me of the combination of flavors in a Tommy's chili burger. I know it seems strange, but the cumin, the slight gaminess of the lamb, and the chili and other spices just seem to be in a similar flavor profile of a Tommy's (or Pink's or Jay's) chili burger. I've been wondering what would result if I brought sesame seed buns, and slices of beefsteak tomato and asked them to just place the lamb in the bun. I might try it one of these days.

            Oh, and don't bother with Lupe's. And if it's just the chili that you're going for, give the one from Daisy May's a shot. There are stands around midtown and downtown, as well as the main store on the westside. It's nothing like Tommy's pasty chili, and more in line with real Texas chili, but I find it enjoyable in the way I've enjoyed a Tommy's burger of my youth.

            Daisy May's BBQ
            623 11th Ave, New York, NY 10036

            2 Replies
            1. re: E Eto

              Hmm, a good suggestion, but I have to say, I've had those exact skewers there and it doesn't hit the spot- I hear you on the spices, definitely, but without that glistening lardy goodness it just ain't it ;) Well, any others?

              1. re: BigBrother

                I'd say your SOL then. You can try the chili burger at Houston's (Saturdays only, I think). Maybe that might console you.

                378 Park Ave S, New York, NY 10010