The Best Soups in Los Angeles, from French Onion to Pork Belly Ramen
In Los Angeles, the best soups in town reflect our wealth of cultures. You’ve got your Vietnamese pho, your Korean ox-bone broth, 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. Make a mental bookmark of these, because there are none tastier in the city, and there’s no better cure for the common cold or the late-night munchies.
1. Laksa at Cassia
At this Southeast Asian restaurant, rice noodles in a spicy coconut-seafood stew is just what you want on a cold day. Or a rainy day. Or, failing that, Angelenos, anytime you want to be perked up by this flavorful and protein-packed dish.
1314 Seventh St., Santa Monica; 310-393-6699 or cassiala.com
2. Pho at Pho Café
In a sketchy strip mall in Silverlake, this bright little Vietnamese home-cooking restaurant serves swimming-pool-sized bowls of pho to locals draped over the modernist chairs, inhaling basil-scented steam. Imagine obscenely good food served in a clinic decorated by Design Within Reach—this is it.
2841 Sunset Blvd.; 213-413-0888 or phocafela.com
3. French Onion Soup at Petit Trois
Be silent the critics extolling the escargot here, and let us now praise an infamous soupe àl’oignon. This perfectly salted broth with caramelized onions—topped with a crusty cap of Emmental and Gruyère cheeses, no less—transports you to Paris, especially when washed down with a glass of vin ordinaire while you’re sitting at the bar.
718 N. Highland Ave.; 323-468-8916 or petittrois.com
4. Ramen at Silverlake Ramen
It’s like the roulette wheel of ramen up in here, with spicy, vegetarian and meaty varieties to try to your heart’s content. We’re partial to the tonkotsu, flavored with pork belly and scallions.
2927 Sunset Blvd.; 323-660-8100 or silverlakeramen.com
5. BONE BROTH AT HAN BAT SUL LUNG TANG
Angelenos’ favorite hangover cure is served up steaming and to your liking at this Koreatown restaurant. You’ll order the seolleongtang, which is made by boiling down beef bones for hours until the broth is milky white. Choose brisket as your add-in meat, then garnish with a bit of salt and green onion. And hydrate, for goodness’ sake.
4163 W. Fifth St.; 213-383-9499
6. Clam Chowder at Connie & Ted’s
It’s a polarizing issue: Do you prefer Manhattan (tomatoey goodness), New England (smooth and creamy) or Rhode Island (clear-brothed and fresh) clam chowder? This popular seafood spot excels at all three, so your table should order them all to keep the lines of communication open.
8171 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood; 323-848-2722 or connieandteds.com
7. Fennel soup at Soupelina
This soup delivery company began when its owner started whipping up vegan soups to help build up her strength while she was fighting aggressive breast cancer. Eight years later, she’s selling soup (rather than juice) cleanses and individual pints of the clean, aromatic and vegan offerings, including this savory blend of fennel, celery root, leeks and garlic.
You can order a bowl and have it delivered to your home at soupelina.com.
8. Lentil soup at Joan’s on Third
Hangry newbies grouse over this Pottery Barn–esque café/deli where the beautiful people swan next to still lifes of attractively labeled rosés. However, those same cranks put a sock in it when they settle down over a bowl of humble and hearty lentil soup that’s got a smoky depth you can never quite achieve at home.
Locations on Third Street and in Studio City; joansonthird.com
9. Wonton Soup at Kop Jai Lai
This new Mission Hills restaurant is worth the drive, not only to brag that you’ve been to the only Laotian restaurant in town, but also that you’ve been healed by a bowl of fresh wonton soup, made here with chicken and shrimp rather than the usual pork.
15423 Chatsworth St., Mission Hills; 818-891-1068 or kopjailai.com
10. Matzoh Ball Soup at Langer’s Deli
This Jewish deli really cares about us. Know how we know? ’Cause it’ll fill up a mason jar with its golden broth and chewy dumplings, and run it out to the curb for us to take back to the office. No spills + major convenience = soup heaven.
704 S. Alvarado St.; 213-483-8050 or langersdeli.com
11. Jungle Curry at Jitlada
You think you love the heat? Hit this beloved Hollywood restaurant that specializes in southern Thai dishes. Adventurous eaters flock here for the hyper-spicy curries like this one, a mélange of pork spare ribs and veggies (including Thai eggplant, which softens as it cooks and absorbs even more of the spice).
5233 1/2 W. Sunset Blvd.; 323-667-9809 or jitladala.com