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The Eastside's Best Soups to Keep you Warm

Dave Robles

"When you have roots in a community, you love to help it grow. Mine run deep." The Los Angeles area has been my home since birth...

"When you have roots in a community, you love to help it grow. Mine run deep." The Los Angeles area has been my home since birth...

Feb 15 4 minutes read

"I live on good soup, not on fine words." — Moliere

In Los Angeles, our wealth of cultures means a jackpot of soups. You’ve got your Vietnamese pho, your Mexican pozole, your New England clam chowder…the list goes on. They’re satisfying, healthy, and ready to eat with no long wait in between ordering and the get-in-my-belly part. Here are some of our favorites to enjoy while the weather is still chilly.

Pho - Good Girl Dinette

This Highland Park invention is a Vietnamese joint mashed up with a modern-day diner, which makes the homey, humble bowl of phở an oddly perfect dish to be served between these exposed brick walls. The soup here comes in two stripes, one for those on the perpetual hunt for a decent bowl of phở ga (chicken phở) and one for those who like the idea of phở but for the meat. That vegetarian phở is particularly strong, well ahead of other attempts to make a vegetarian version of this traditionally beefy soup. Both are especially restorative on days when you feel under the weather. And where else can you have delicious french fries as a side to your phở? 110 N. Avenue 56, Highland Park; (323) 257-8980

Ramen - Kanpai

While there’s more ramen in Glendale than there used to be, the ramen is what people often order off the izakaya-style menu at Kanpai. It’s a simple shop with a minimalist interior and old school vibe set within the recesses of a strip mall. The tomato and shoyu broth soup are the gems here, as are the kale -- yes, kale -- noodles. Now no one can accuse you of not eating your vegetables! 1023 E Colorado St unit d, Glendale (818) 956-5550 

Ramen - Tatsunoya

Pasadena used to be a ramen desert, but Tatsunoya’s excellence means it’s come a long way: Go with the Koku Tonkotsu for a bolder flavor or the Jun Tonkotsu for a mellower taste, but both broths are guaranteed to have you slurping their house-made, deliciously thin noodles into oblivion. Their toppings are simple, so don’t forget to add that flavored soft-boiled egg. 16 N Fair Oaks Ave, Pasadena (626) 432-1768

Clam chowder - Fish King

Fish King is one of the best places in the valley to get fresh fish. This market/cafe has a wonderful selection of delicious things from the sea to take home to cook yourself or for a bite to eat right then and there. The clam chowder is strict traditional New England, but is still one of the best this side of the Hollywood sign. Enjoy a cup for $3.50, a bowl for $4.50 or bring home a quart for the family at a very reasonable $10.95. This is another place with courteous service. 722 N. Glendale Ave., Glendale (818) 244-0804  

Menudo - La Abeja Restaurant

La Abeja’s red menudo, chock full of tripe and served with a side of lemon, onion, and cilantro, satisfies even the most discriminating abuelas. And at $7 for a large bowl, it’s a small price to pay for the ultimate hangover cure. 3700 N Figueroa St, Los Angeles (323) 221-0474

French Onion Soup - Church and State

Now considered an Arts District pioneer, this Downtown bistro has even more French flair with chef Tony Esnault at the helm. His soup  à l’oignon gratinée is a fantastic version filled with savory, meaty broth, sweet onions, and it's topped with a baguette and bubbly Emmentaler cheese. 1850 Industrial St.; 213-405-1434

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