The winter months are upon us and even in Los Angeles, nights are getting cold. Thankfully the restaurant menus have switched seasonal gears and rich, hearty soup flows in abundance everywhere you go. Everything from tomato to winter melon to chicken and noodle soup is in this season. But don’t settle for mediocre when you can have spectacular. So whether you take it by the cup or the bowl, here are the top five places in Los Angeles for winter soups.
Han Bat Sul Lung Tang
4163 W. 5th St.
Los Angeles, CA 90020
When it comes to soup this winter, beef is the new chicken. Han Bat Sul Lung Tang keeps it simple yet absolutely delicious with five beef soup options. Choose between Seokum (mixed), Salgogi (beef brisket), Yangji (flank), Naejang (intestine, tripe and spleen) and Wusoel (tongue). All of the beef portions are plentiful but there’s always room for rice, green onions and kimchi. Once you have a bowl in front of you, you’ll be too busy eating to notice the bland decor.
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3760 S. Centinela Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90066
Once known as the staple diet of struggling artists and busy college students, Ramen has become a sought-after soup by many. Santouka Ramen uses bamboo, pickled plum, the finest noodles, jelly ear and Cha-Shu that are all carefully prepared before being added to the pearl-colored Tonkotsu soup, taking 20 hours to simmer the pork bones. From there it’s hard to believe it gets better. Choose between Shio, Miso, Shoyu and Tokusen Toroniku.
The Little Door
8164 W. 3rd St.
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Step out from the chilly air of Los Angeles and into a warm Parisian evening. The Little Door, like that of “Alice in Wonderland,” takes you into a whole new world of cuisine and atmosphere. The prices may leave your wallet a little cold but the exceptional food will keep you warm long into the night. The soups are no exception. While the soup du jour will change, past offerings have included pomegranate with shaved walnuts, truffle, squash and lobster. If you’re looking for something heartier, there’s a delectable lamb stew.
6374-A Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
Winter foods can easily pack on the pounds and some don’t want to get too far from their beach bodies during the off season. Veggie Grill has several soups that are hearty enough to keep you warm but also healthy as the Gill serves vegetarian and vegan with gluten-free options. The daily soups will change between tomato basil, corn chowder, tortilla, broccoli and cheese and many others, but they’re always good and good for you.
7000 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
Sometimes on a cold and rainy day, you need a little childhood comfort food to snap you out of a bad weather funk. Well, 25 Degrees in the Roosevelt Hotel has the perfect thing. A Tuscan tomato soup and three cheese grilled cheese sandwich combo will snap you right out of it. 25 Degrees only does one soup and oh boy do they do it well. It’s creamy and smooth with just the right amount of seasoning paired with a grilled cheese that you’ll need both hands to hold.
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Kristine G. Bottone is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.