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Good soup?

So, I used to be so spoiled. I lived walking distance to 3 Paneras back home in VA. Now I'm in downtown LA, and I can't find a Panera that is close enough, and I really miss their amazing soup and bread. I know it's a chain restaurant, but they do pretty good soups, and I can't find a good hearty, crusty baguette anywhere.

Anyone know restaurants around the downtown area that sells affordable and good soups for the colder season? Preferably with good bread, too!

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  1. Urth Cafe, Mendocino Farms, and Panini Cafe.

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    Paninis
    1825 Redondo Ave, Signal Hill, CA 90755

    Mendocino Farms
    300 S Grand Ave Ste Lp40, Los Angeles, CA 90071

    3 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit

      I second Mendocino Farms. And I'll bet Church & State does a mean french onion soup.

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      Mendocino Farms
      300 S Grand Ave Ste Lp40, Los Angeles, CA 90071

      1. re: perk

        Church $ State does do a good French onion soup. And Mazke seems to have rectified the previous issue with over saltedness.

      2. re: ipsedixit

        Oh yes! Mendocino Farms. I've been eyeing that place for awhile, and was wondering if it was any good. Thanks for your rec!

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        Mendocino Farms
        300 S Grand Ave Ste Lp40, Los Angeles, CA 90071

      3. The New England clam Chowder at Philippe's the Original (served only on Fridays) is the best rendition of this soup I've yet come across in L.A.

        Philippe's is an institution, near Chinatown/Union Station. Enjoy.

        2 Replies
        1. re: J.L.

          I live in Silverlake and there's NO good soup anywhere (except wonton soup and I'm getting sick of it). I was on location w my hubby in Michigan this summer -- and everywhere -- even in the middle of a muggy summer, there was good soup. And yeah, I ate clam freaking chowdah in August and it was great! What's up LA! I have the flu and I want soup -- and not the salty, icky kind at Gelson's or even Whole Foods. Wish there was a Granville or CPK in Los Feliz -- I know, chains, but who cares when they deliver. Or a good deli! Waahhh!

          1. re: Silverlaker

            "I live in Silverlake and there's NO good soup anywhere"
            Polka in Eagle Rock has very good soups.

        2. Langer's Deli customers are usually too pastrami-craved to remember that they have very good soups.

          And I agree with Silverlaker that the lack of a decent deli between Langer's and Billy's is a disgrace.

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          Langer's Delicatessen
          704 S Alvarado St, Los Angeles, CA 90057

          4 Replies
          1. re: maxzook

            I was at Langers last week. But it's a schlep and their hours are TERRIBLE! Not open for dinner or Sundays - eeck. Anyway, I always get a cup of soup and half a sandwich when I go there. I'm not a fan of Billy's, their matzoh ball soup is not very good, don't like the matzoh balls or the broth. I can make a better soup.

            1. re: Silverlaker

              Silverlaker -- this is my pet gripe about our hood, too!!! NO GOOD SOUP!!!
              Victor's on Franklin and Bronson makes a good chicken soup. If you can stand to hop on the 101 and get off at Gower or brave the side street traffic, it does the trick. I like to add some dill to mine and just a pinch of salt.
              But seriously, this is a real problem, the lack of decent soup.

              1. re: mandelabra

                "Victor's on Franklin and Bronson makes a good chicken soup"

                Not any more. Victor's is closed - or so they said when I called this past week.

                1. re: Briggs

                  Victor's Deli: closed :(

                  Victor's Square Restaurant: alive and well :D

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                  Victors Square Restaurant
                  1917 N Bronson Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90068

          2. soup plantation. Its cheap and made fresh everyday. Selections change often but they keep their signatures: Chicken noodle, chili, clam chowder, minestrone

            12 Replies
              1. re: sumo3175

                While I like souplantation alot myself, there is none within the general vicinity of downtown LA (per the OP request).

                1. re: ipsedixit

                  I occasionally get a Soup Plantation craving..but in reality their soups are pretty lame. The vegetable soups are just salad bar carry-overs, and their cream based soups are just wrong.

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                  Soup Plantation
                  375 W Ventura Blvd, Camarillo, CA 93010

                  1. re: 1newyorkguy

                    Listen, my friend. You MUST hit up Souplantation in March. Souplantation has different "flavors" monthly, and March (oh, I'm salivating at the thought!) is Grilled Cheese Focaccia and Creamy Tomato Soup month. There are other things I like th ere, such as their chicken noodle soup, Greek focaccia (when it's Greek month) and the honey whipped butter on the fresh, warm sourdough. But nothing beats March.

                    1. re: schrutefarms

                      Closest Souplantation to downtown LA is Alhambra.

                      1. re: schrutefarms

                        They just had that same soup and same focaccia last month. It was pretty good, and I didn't have to wait until March.

                        1. re: ReelMike84

                          They have a "Fan Favorites" month. I was looking forward to it for weeks, then ended up with a bit of heartbreak and went off food for a while. And of course that was the week the Grilled Cheese Focaccia and Creamy Tomato Soup came back. It was a terrible week :(

                          1. re: schrutefarms

                            Whoops! Sorry to stir up bad memories. But hey, you could always make it at home, probably even better.

                  2. re: sumo3175

                    come on guys....seriously we can do better than soup plantation

                    1. re: peppermonkey

                      OP asked for "good soup", Soup Plantation has decent soups.
                      What is soup but liquid and meat and/or vegetables.

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                      Soup Plantation
                      375 W Ventura Blvd, Camarillo, CA 93010

                        1. re: peppermonkey

                          soup to me is a lot more than that...good soup takes just as much time, care, technique as any other dish. consider the sublte beauty of a bowl of pho bac at pho minh, or the brash in your face "beefiness" of sullongtang, or the rich, full flavor of onion soup at anisette. i've never met a soup i didn't like at campanile. There's so much good stuff out there. From warm and comforting to complex and savory. Soup plantation is the bottom of the barrel.

                      1. Eastside Market and Deli for an Italian style lentil soup. Big and hearty bowl served with an Italian roll.

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                        Eastside Market
                        1013 Alpine St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

                        1. How about Daikokuya for their famous tonkatsu ramen?
                          Paul's Kitchen Downtown for their wor wonton soup?

                          1. Not soup per say, but Lemonade (I don't know the address, but I know there is one downtown) has amazing stews-chicken lemongrass, chicken w/ artichoke hearts and olives, red miso shortrib, etc...Most are served over rice, and they have delicious breadsticks. OR.....and I can't believe I'm suggesting this, but Olive Garden has the $5.99 lunch special, unlimited soup, salad and breadsticks, none of which are half bad! There must be one downtown, what with all the travelers, conventions, hotels etc...

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: schrutefarms

                              No Olive Garden in downtown LA...closest would be in Glendale on Brand Blvd.

                              1. re: monku

                                Also at the Stonewood mall in Downey. The soup and salad deal is the best thing on their menu. It's also the only thing I'll eat on their menu.

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                                Olive Garden Italian Restaurant
                                101 N Brand Blvd Ste 100, Glendale, CA 91203

                                Olive Garden Italian Restaurant
                                9253 Firestone Blvd, Downey, CA 90241

                              2. There used to be a corner bakery in the southern fig area of downtown- not sure if it's still there but they have the soup/breadbowl thing and it's similar to panera.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: sheila1

                                  Corner Bakery is a good call. it's at the corver of 7th and Fig (not in the mall, but on the south side of seventh).

                                2. I love the chicken soup at Urth Caffe. I add a bit of lemon to it for a really refreshing bowl of comfort! Their bread does the trick, too!

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                                  Urth Caffe
                                  267 S Beverly Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90212

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: LAGirl

                                    Mmmm...I love the tomato rice soup....and the bread!

                                  2. For the siverlakers...there is an amazing pho soup place on sunset. i live in Venice but always hit it up when I am out that way....so delicious...no sign, in a strip mall

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: jannajones

                                      Do you at least have an address or cross street?

                                    2. Downtown LA sucks...Seriously, why is it so hard to find a simple decent soup?

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: burp_excuzme

                                        Again, I stand by my choice: Philippe's the Original in Downtown.