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Best French Onion Soup???

Was curious to know who in LA has the best FOS?

Anisette? Bouchon?? The Kettle???

I'm very curious. Walked by Cafe Midi (next to American Rag) and their soup *looked* good but I wasn't really hungry.

VERY interested to hear people's thoughts!


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  1. My two favorites are Mistral in Sherman Oaks and Petit Bistro on La Cienega. I've had plenty of good soups around town, but they always deliver time after time. The absolute worst and the only one in L.A. I sent back was at Comme Ca. It was watery and had only a few slivers of onion.

    1. church and state has a good one

      1. My vote is Anisette in Santa Monica. The best I've had. Really rich broth.

        Anisette Brasserie
        225 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90401

        1. Agree on Anisette, and have heard good things about Church & State but haven't tried it yet.

          I didn't care for the onion soup at The Kettle (far too salty) and was really let down by the onion soup at Houstons ... I think it's the special Monday soup; I got there around 8:30pm and it had cooked down to a black gravy by then. Probably the only truly BAD thing I've ever had at Houstons.

          1. little next door's is really nice.

            1. A favorite dish of mine. The top choice (so far) is at Rive Gauche in Sherman Oaks. A really deep, savory and addicitve flavor that keeps me coming back to it year after year.

              Rive Gauche Cafe
              14106 Ventura Blvd Ste 200, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423

              1. It's been years since I've had it there, but I really liked it at the Marmalade Cafe in Sherman Oaks.

                Marmalade Cafe
                14910 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403

                4 Replies
                1. re: maxzook

                  I like Marmalade's too - but IIRC they use red onion instead of white? Or am I mis-remembering?

                  1. re: HastaLaPasta

                    Red onion in onion soup is just wrong.

                    1. re: maudies5

                      Red onion is not uncommon. At the end of the cooking, you add a little vinegar and the acid turns every thing a light brown. You've probably had and never noticed!

                    2. re: HastaLaPasta

                      I don't remember either -- the online menu isn't specific -- but if it was red onion it wasn't at all bad:


                  2. I await the re-opening of Doughboys on Third. They used to have one of the best French Onion soups around. I hope it's the same.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Fryboy

                      I 100% agree on Doughboys--thick, gravy-like broth, AT LEAST one huge onion in every bowl, garlicky toasted cubes of bread, and melted Gruyere.....Sooooo delicious!!!! I hope it's the same!!!

                      1. re: schrutefarms

                        Dougboys serves the best French onion soup I've had in LA, hands down.

                      1. I had the best FO Soup I have ever had at The Raymond in Pasadena. It was served in its own little cast-iron pot with lid. This was a couple of years ago, though, but I still think of it.

                        2 Replies
                          1. re: WSB

                            Taylors is good. I forgot about them.

                        1. I'm not a fan of the Anisette version. Le Petit Bistro's is pretty good. Had a really good version at Chez Mimi on 26th Street a few weeks ago. (Chez Mimi also had a Coq au Vin special that was the best I've ever had!)

                          1. The Kettle in Manhattan Beach is great. Perfectly melted cheese and a broth that is not too rich. Some of the higher end places make a broth so rich that you lose the flavor of the onions. Plus, if you need it at 3:00am, they are open!

                            1. It seems like we haven't reached a consensus : (

                              I will have to try all of these

                              ; )

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: upstarter

                                Hamburger Hamlet used to have a nice onion soup. Are there still Hamlets around? I think there is one on Sunset and Doheny? Any others? Anyway, I did enjoy the onion soup. Have no idea if it is still on the menu. Wonder if Kate Mantilini offers the HH onion soup.

                                1. re: maudies5

                                  I used to be a big fan of HH's onion soup too. I usually go to the location on Van Nuys Blvd. in Sherman Oaks. According to their web site, the only other remaining locations in So Cal is the one on Sunset that you mentioned, and one on Lake in Pasadena.

                                  1. re: HastaLaPasta

                                    The HH in Pasadena's FOS is still delish.

                              2. My long time favorite has been the onion soup at Hamburger Hamlet. However, I have to give two thumbs up to the onion soup at Comme Ca. Absolutely excellent.

                                1. Cafe Pierre in Manhattan Beach. I've reccomended it to so many who have told me it's the best they've ever had.

                                  1. Might I recommend:
                                    Brasserie Pascal in Fashion Island, Newport Beach
                                    327 Newport Center Drive
                                    Newport Beach, CA 92660-6935
                                    (949) 640-2700

                                    His soup is similar to the kind one can get in Bruxelles. There are many variations across France and the francophone world.

                                    1. Anisette. Haven't had it at Church & State which I suspect would be very good (everything else has been very good, so inductive logic tells me...)

                                      I've had it at Chez Mimi's - and it was pretty good there too, but prefer Anisette's.