Chili In Los Angeles

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ChowChow
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2004/10/01 10:36:03 (permalink)

Chili In Los Angeles

I am a Texan, a newcomer to Los Angeles. With the coming of fall and chili eating weather, I am in need of some good chili. Any recommendations
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    EdSails
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    RE: Chili In Los Angeles 2004/10/02 13:39:01 (permalink)
    Chili John's in Burbank is a good old choice. They've been around forever. The new up-and-comer is Chili My Soul in Encino. They have a wide variety from mild to wid. I haven't been there yet but friends tell me it's great.

    http://www.chilimysoul.com/
    #2
    BT
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    RE: Chili In Los Angeles 2004/10/02 13:45:44 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by ChowChow

    I am a Texan, a newcomer to Los Angeles. With the coming of fall and chili eating weather, I am in need of some good chili. Any recommendations


    Just 'cause I'm curious, why don't you make your own the way you like it? Seems easier than enduring that LA traffic just for a bowl of red.
    #3
    macguy4321
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    RE: Chili In Los Angeles 2005/04/06 20:34:55 (permalink)
    I've been to Chili My Soul and I can recommend it. They've got a wide selection of chili and definatly worth the trip.
    #4
    Tristan Indiana
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    RE: Chili In Los Angeles 2005/04/06 21:12:46 (permalink)
    Reading the menu for chili my soul, I see a bowl of chili is $10 and fries are $5. I left LA 15 years ago so I'm not up on food prices in the southland but that seems a little high to me.
    #5
    markolenski
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    RE: Chili In Los Angeles 2005/04/06 21:13:16 (permalink)
    Another vote for Chilimysoul
    #6
    EliseT
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    RE: Chili In Los Angeles 2005/05/17 02:00:33 (permalink)
    Well, chili John's is more of a Cincinatti style chili. I find it a little bland. As a Texan, you may not like it. Definitely go to BBQ King on Sunset for Texas BBQ. I'm not sure if they have chili...
    #7
    mar52
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    RE: Chili In Los Angeles 2005/06/03 10:18:58 (permalink)
    Another fan of Chili My Soul... kind of.

    I love their chili, but the owner used to buy hot sauces from me. Now he sells it.

    I get their chili from Jinkys which is also a fantastic place to eat.
    #8
    enginecapt
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    RE: Chili In Los Angeles 2005/06/04 00:05:53 (permalink)
    Anyone here old enough to remember Chasen's chili? My Dad used to take me there just a couple of years ago. **sigh**
    #9
    ChiliPepperPot
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    RE: Chili In Los Angeles 2005/06/17 03:34:57 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by EliseT

    Well, chili John's is more of a Cincinatti style chili. I find it a little bland. As a Texan, you may not like it. Definitely go to BBQ King on Sunset for Texas BBQ. I'm not sure if they have chili...
    #10
    ChiliPepperPot
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    RE: Chili In Los Angeles 2005/06/17 03:38:28 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by EliseT

    Well, chili John's is more of a Cincinatti style chili. I find it a little bland. As a Texan, you may not like it. Definitely go to BBQ King on Sunset for Texas BBQ. I'm not sure if they have chili...


    The hot isn't bland, order that. You must have hit an off day?

    But they close the day before the 4th of July till the day after Labor Day so time's running out. If there is anything you wanted to know about them I've done a write up at the www addresss of ChiliPepperPot dot com.

    #11
    ChiliPepperPot
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    RE: Chili In Los Angeles 2005/06/21 09:10:54 (permalink)
    This is for EliseT:

    Curious, what year did you try Chili John's? In the last 15 or prior or both? If in the last 15, when was that?

    Thanks

    Chrisitne
    #12
    EliseT
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    RE: Chili In Los Angeles 2005/07/27 03:09:44 (permalink)
    Two years ago when I moved down the street from there. I got chili, no beans, on spaghetti. I admit I did not get "hot". But I would imagine the seasoning would be similar, with added cayenne or whatever ingredients they are using to add heat.

    I have to say, it is very picturesque, and has been around a very long time. And I may be prejudiced because I make the best chili in the world.
    #13
    EdSails
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    RE: Chili In Los Angeles 2005/07/27 18:56:33 (permalink)
    Interesting that you should say you make the best chili in the world, Elise.....you obviously haven't tasted mine yet!

    Friday I went to Chili My sould for the first time. First disappointment----out of the 30+ listed chilis, they had only 8-10 available. I tasted 6 samples-----some were OK, a few good. None were close to my homemade chili (and I bet they weren't as good as Elise's either!). The $8 cup was barely enough for an appetizer. It included a piece of garlic bread and a few carrot sticks. The hottest one they had that day * on their scale of 1-10) still needed some tabasco to bring it up to snuff. Very overpriced! Overall, decent chili----but no standouts, and for the price it is certainly overpriced.
    #14
    Farfromhome
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    RE: Chili In Los Angeles 2005/07/27 19:15:37 (permalink)
    I'm also a transplanted Texan living in So Cal and if you find some really good chili please post about it because I haven't found any in the 3 years I've been here. Probably the best solution is to make your own. Also, there are many ingredients and food items you could get in Texas that you just can't find here. Its funny, when you run into another person from Texas or the South even, the conversation immediately turns to food, as in what foods you can't get here, and what foods you can get that are really good.
    #15
    Chili Boy
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    RE: Chili In Los Angeles 2005/08/04 16:46:53 (permalink)
    Hey Y'all!
    I was another Southerner/SouthWesterner who moved to L of A and constantly lived on the hunt for Southern Eatz/comfort fewd.
    Well, since I was born in New Orleans (and no, we DON'T say "Nawlins". Its "Noo ORE-lenz", thank y'all very much.)and raised in and around Texas, Chili is something we can only live with for a matter of days before we die of blandness. And good chili, REAL chili, is a LOT more than just HOT! Its savory, tomato-y, slightly sweet and has a good Cumin kick and it SHOULD have a spoonful of Masa Harina (Mexican cornmeal) mixed in. And never, never, never BEANS!!!
    If you've GOT to have something that will give you greasy gas, eat a bowl of pintos on the side. If you do eat beans in your chili, please sit down wind from the rest of us, please. Okay, now, with that said, you CANNOT get a good bowl of Texas Red in LA. Just can't be done. That doesn't mean, however, that you can't get hooked on Chili John's in Burbank. Yes, its Yankee chili, and it basically some sort of hot, greasy meat sauce. It's almost black and really finely ground. Probably doesn't have cumin in it and it's basically a BIG BOWL OF BEANS!!! If you want it mild, they dump you a bowlful of pinto beans then drop on two of three SPOONFULS of their "chili". If you want it hot, they give you the same bowl of beans and add another spoonful or two of chili. You're supposed to mix it together. Okay, it doesn't hit my chili spot, but you know, I kind of got addicted to the strange taste. It's mostly HOT. And I started liking it. I still never liked the beans in it. So, I'd buy a frozen pound of the meat sauce/chili and microwave it and eat it straight at home. It cost TEN DOLLARS and a pound is the size of a can of vegetables. It isn't a big bowlful. But, oddly, it's worth it. Chili John's bizarre meat sauce does grow on you. But, the search for chili, real chili goes on.
    Which led me to "Chili-My-Soul" (in Encino)...whatever that's supposed to mean. A nice Jewish guy used to run it and he was very proud of his chilis, of which there are several millions kinds, from mish to mash. And I tried as many as I could stand over several months. It's overpriced out the wazoo! And it lacks almost everything that makes chili taste like chili, except for chili powder. I don't know how this place stays in business, but I suspect it's because his well-to-do customers in the valley wouldn't know chili if they stepped in it. It's surprisingly tasteless, no matter what kind I ordered. I spent over a hundred bucks there trying to find something that tasted good. It was money shucked down a rat hole. Por nada. Even his sides are puzzling. Ummm, nothing like an order of carrot sticks to bring out the best in a bowl of chili. ??? So, I'd say if this guy would leave chili alone, about which he obviously knows nothing, I'll leave matzo ball soup alone. I reckon we all might oughta stick to our own heritages, but again, bless his little pointed head, he tries. Unfortunately he sells false hope to folks like me at a premium price!!! And that sux.
    Okay, so the search leads to this. Go to Ralphs Supermarket. Buy one of those little brown sacks of Carroll Shelby's Chili Makin's. (Shelby's a former racecar driver who created the famous "Shelby Cobra" hot rod!) Buy some extra cumin. Buy a packet of Pasilla Chili powder. Buy a can of tomato sauce. If you've got a little dab of brown sugar at home you don't need to buy any more. The seasoning sack has enough Masa Meal in it, so you don't need to buy more. Go home, brown up a pound or two of ground beef, maybe one pound of beef and one pound of ground pork. Toss all Chili Makin's in the pan as per package directions. Add the extra cumin and the extra chili powder. Toss in a teaspoon of brown sugar, maybe more if you like. Simmer is all together and during the last twenty minutes add the Masa meal (put it in a cup and slowly stir water into it until it becomes a thick but pourable paste) and add it to the pan. NOW HEAR THIS, Y'ALL: I don't care what your Momma from Minnesota used to do, DO NOT put in GREEN (BELL) PEPPERS! NO CELERY. NO MUSHROOMS. NO CARROTS. NO CALIFLOWER. NO ASPARAGAS. NO BROCCOLI. AND NO OREGANO (this ain't Italy, son!) NOTHING ELSE!!! PLEASE!!! AND I'D BEG YOU TO NOT BE COOL AND POUR A CAN OF BEER IN THE CHILI. If you like beer, drink a couple while you make the chili and have a couple while you eat it. Chili is a minimalist thing. Real Chuck Wagon cooks didn't have much to put in their trail chili. Just beef, dried chiles (red) and maybe some hot red peppers, cumin seeds (Crushed with a rifle butt) and they probably didn't use tomatoes. Their chili turned red from the Chiles as they cooked into the meat. And branch water. And salt and a pinch of raw sugar, maybe. Nothing else. And their chili was probably so strong and so gut-punchin' we fat and lazy city slickers probably couldn't handle it. So...that's all I got to say about that.
    Then, toppin's: If you're from Louisiana, make a pot of rice. You know what to do with it (ladle the chili over the rice). If you're from Texas, don't. You might cook up a pan of cornbread. Mmmm. Dice up some yeller onions. Open a can of chopped Chiles. Grate some rat trap cheese. A splat of sour cream. And leave the beans in the can in the cupboard! Only Yankees who eat that soup they call chili in diners in Racine, Wisconsin eat crackers on it. Gross.
    So, if you think you're going to find chili in LA, you're not going to. And if you think you remember Chasen's chili as being the best in the world, your memory ain't so hot. It was full of beans and bell peppers. (And Italian seasons! Gag!) It might have been (like Chili John's) a good meat sauce, but, chili?...it wasn't. Hell, if Elizabeth Taylor adored it, there must have been something wrong with it.
    Go to the store, do what I told you. Go home and make it yourself. After you make it a few times, you'll throw the Carroll Shelby Chili Makin's away and start doin' it yourself. You'll tinker with it and sooner or later, like everybody else...your's will be "The Best Chili" in the world! (Yeah, like everybody's a 1/4 Cherokee!) LOL!!!
    See Y'all in the kitchen!
    Chili Boy
    #16
    EliseT
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    RE: Chili In Los Angeles 2005/08/16 06:08:11 (permalink)
    One place to get real Texas chili, if you are still not up to making it yourself, is to follow the chili cookoff circuit. In summer it's usually in full swing.
    #17
    enginecapt
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    RE: Chili In Los Angeles 2005/08/22 02:42:20 (permalink)
    Hey Chili Boy, I'll give you a bowl of my homemade chili and a beer (if you're 21) if you promise to use paragraph breaks in your long posts.....
    #18
    mar52
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    RE: Chili In Los Angeles 2005/08/25 00:54:44 (permalink)
    If I tried 2, maybe 3 types of a restaurant's chili and disliked it as much as Chili Boy professes, I certainly wouldn't go on to the hundred dollar mark.

    Chili My Soul's chili is unique. It is what it is... different. They aren't trying to copy someone else's chili or please everyone. They have their target market and it's working. That's not an easy feat in today's market.

    I like larger servings at lower prices, but once in awhile I like a cup of theirs. Try the chipotle.

    It sounds like the type Chili Boy is describing is "A Bowl of Red"

    Here is a recipe by my friend, Jane Butel:

    2 tb Lard or Bacon drippings or butter
    1 lg Onion; coarsely chopped
    3 lb Lean beef; coarsely ground or small chunks
    3 med Garlic cloves; finely chopped
    4 tb Ground chili peppers; (hot)
    2 tb Ground chili peppers; (mild)
    2 tsp Ground cumin
    3 c Water
    1 1/2 tsp Salt

    Melt lard, butter, or drippings in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until transparent but not browned, about 5 minutes. Combine meat with garlic, ground chilis and cumin.

    Add the meat-spice mixture to the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until meat is evenly browned. Stir in water and salt.

    Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 2 1/2 to 3 hours, stirring occasionally, until meat is very tender and flavors are well blended. Add more water if necessary. Taste and adjust seasonings.

    Serve with your favorite fixins and mixins!

    As far as Matzo ball soup analogy, do you really know who's in the kitchen at your favorite restaurants?

    I'm sorry. I found Chili Boy's post offensive and wouldn't be true to myself if I didn't say so.
    #19
    enginecapt
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    RE: Chili In Los Angeles 2005/08/25 04:38:01 (permalink)
    I wouldn't necessarily call it offensive. Pompous, yes. Corny and overblown, yup. Narrowminded and exceedingly parochial, you betcha. Full of hubris and regional jingoism, most certainly. He stridently orders all who read his scrunched up, hard to follow prose to construct a batch of chili to his specifications lest they be accused of not knowing what a good bowl of chili tastes like. Then follows the usual jabs at LA, but alas, those of us who were born here have come to expect that from outlanders.

    I'm stricken to hear that my memory is failing, as I have fond memories of the chili at Chasen's. In fact, I sometimes make it at home straight from Dave Chasen's own recipe which came to me via my Dad back in the mid 80's. Dad, who managed the BofA branch at Melrose and Irving, had a banking relationship with Mr Chasen. BTW Chili Boy, there's no Italian seasonings in Chasen's, unless you consider chili powder, ground cumin and chopped parsley Italian.

    I wonder if it ever crossed Chili Boy's mind that maybe he can't find the kind of chili he's looking for in LA because we don't like that chili in LA? I know years ago I tried a bag of Carrol Shelby's. Didn't care for it. I went right back to my tried and true recipe I base on my late Mom's chili. I add things like beans, bell pepper, beer and sometimes grated carrots. And I LOVE crackers in it. I can't get enough of it. But then, I make it to please me and my family, and not an ex-pat Texan who loves his home state and its Southern ways so much he won't live there.

    Mr Chili Texas Boy, thar's plenty of Texas red just brimming with branch water and rifle butt crushed whatever's waitin fer yew in Texas. Git along dogie. FYI, I'd kill myself before eating a bowl of chili with sour cream in it.

    What the hell's branch water?
    #20
    fablerox
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    RE: Chili In Los Angeles 2005/08/25 07:39:25 (permalink)
    I was lucky enough to get a reservation at Chasens soon before the closed. Wasn't a Roadfood place at all-very elegant and pricey. But I remember the chili as sensational. I thought I read you could get it by mail order.
    #21
    enginecapt
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    RE: Chili In Los Angeles 2005/08/26 23:37:40 (permalink)
    I'm surprised no one has mentioned Barney's Beanery. I haven't been there in years, but I remember great chili and burgers. I just heard Tim Conway Jr say he's taking his MiL there tommorow because she, an Oregonian, wants to dine at a quintessential LA joint. I'm going to make Barney's a must do for the near future.
    #22
    Pirate Paul
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    RE: Chili In Los Angeles 2009/07/30 13:05:32 (permalink)
    Most of y'all seem to be on the right page here.  I'm another Texan who spent some years in L.A., and Chili John (Burbank)remained my favorite.  Then along came Chili My Soul, also a winner.
    For a short time, a Cincinnati Chili place opened in Van Nuys, so you didn't have to buy it in a can if you were too far from Cincinnati.
    But Chili John will put theirs on spaghetti too, if you like.  And they'll even put their great pink beans (the only kind for chili, not those hard red kidney things) IN the bowl too, if you insist.
    I got a couple of tubs of Chasen's frozen, before they closed down, just because Elizabeth Taylor had some flown all the way to France where she was filming.  I wasn't enormously impressed.
    Now, back in Big H, I miss all the great chili joints and chili cook-offs in L.A., although we are starting to develop some heated competition cook-offs down here now.

    #23
    Pirate Paul
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    RE: Chili In Los Angeles 2009/07/30 13:29:23 (permalink)
    Chili Boy:  Well, yes, it's true you can't go wrong with Carroll Shelby or Wicke Fowler in a bag.  Mickey Gilley and Red River (from Nieman Marcus, believe it or not) and others put out those "kits" too, and a bunch of seasonings companies put out little baggies of fixins/mixes in grocery stores.  Any can be doctored to your personal liking.
    Long slow simmering after initial cooking, to meld and blend complex flavors (use a number of different peppers!), is a concept I like, but Chili My Soul's 30 hours may be going somewhat overboard;  he does that only to make his low-fat, but is that really what we care about in a true bowl of red?  Oy.
    #24
    Slim Strummer
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    RE: Chili In Los Angeles 2009/08/05 15:20:47 (permalink)
    http://www.latimes.com/features/food/la-fo-find5-2009aug05,0,2263816.story

    Today's LA Times has an article about a chili place that just opened in Culver City, I believe.  If I still lived there, you can bet I would check it out.
    #25
    enginecapt
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    RE: Chili In Los Angeles 2009/08/05 18:08:56 (permalink)
    Interesting story on chili's relationship with L.A. Of course, the restaurant mentioned featured that L.A. original, the chili size.

    http://www.latimes.com/ne...9aug02,0,7722742.story
    #26
    MiamiDon
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    RE: Chili In Los Angeles 2009/08/05 22:01:18 (permalink)
    BT

    [id=quote font="arial, helvetica"]quote: Originally posted by ChowChow

    I am a Texan, a newcomer to Los Angeles. With the coming of fall and chili eating weather, I am in need of some good chili. Any recommendations



    Just 'cause I'm curious, why don't you make your own the way you like it? Seems easier than enduring that LA traffic just for a bowl of red.


    Because this is Roadfood.com and it is about restaurants.
    #27
    PapaJoe8
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    RE: Chili In Los Angeles 2009/08/09 13:24:06 (permalink)
    One correction Chili Boy... Chili Rice is a dish made famous, back in the 50s, by Shanghai Jimmy in Dallas... Texas . You can read all about it right here at Roadfood. Folks in Louisiana I am sure had the same idea of putting chili over rice. Hey, they put almost anything over rice. Not that this is a bad thing.

    And... some of us Texans love ALL kinds of chili.
    Joe
    #28
    rfoster
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    Re:Chili In Los Angeles 2010/09/09 03:54:33 (permalink)
    Hi, glad to hear you are a chili lover. My business partner and I recently opened a new chili restaurant in LA called Chili Addiction. We are located at 408 N La Cienega Blvd. We make over 90 varieties of chili and feature 8 or 9 each week. You should check us out; I don't think you will be disappointed.
    #29
    Pea
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    Re:Chili In Los Angeles 2011/10/06 00:30:06 (permalink)
    Just so no one goes looking Chili my soul closed a few years ago.  The Owner got sick.
     
    #30
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