Well, I'm just kicking myself to no end--here is the info on food and restaurants I've been searching for since I moved to LA over THREE years ago (zagats wasn't cutting it), and took me this long to find it!! ARGHHHHH!!!! I'm practically tearing my hair out in frustration at how much great info I've missed out on by not finding this board sooner!! *sigh*
Ok, now that I've gotten that out of my system, I just want to say that I hope this is the beginning of a long and fruitful relationship--one that makes my palate and my tummy extremely happy! Man, I've been so looking for good places to eat at in West LA, and here you guys were all this time... Heh, I'd say that I'm a total chowhound cause more than half my friends say I should quit my day job and become a food critic, or at least put up my own web page to spread my rather strongly held opinions--but I'll let you guys decide once we see how crazy my recommendations are! ;)
Well, anyway, enough with the babbling. The reason for this post is that in the two+ hours I've been scouring this board following threads like one mesmerized, and reading the Ultimate restaurant reviews compiled by the wonderful Mr. Grub, I couldn't find even ONE mention of one of my favorite LA restaurants--Chili My Soul!
Have you guys really never heard of this place? It's awesome and amazing. There are 30+ different flavors of chili all slow-cooked for multiple days to defat them and in all sorts of combinations of flavors. Vegetarian chilis, ones with chicken and even turkey, some with beer or whiskey--all sorts of other stuff, and they're all amazing. The spice levels range from 1 to 10 to accomodate all palates. The owner, Randy, is a great guy and now that I think about, is practically a chowhound himself (he comes from a professional restauranteur background; I haven't heard of the place his family runs, but it's supposed to be famous in LA..).
As far as chili flavors, I'd recommend the Rojo Grande (lean pork cubes; my favorite), the Gunslinger (nice and spicy), the Durango (smoky!) and the Texas Pride (a general audience favorite). As you can see, I eat meat, but there are veggie chilis too, which are all good. You can also get a "chili split" which lets you try two flavors in a bowl, which is a great idea. Oh, try their soul fries too--they're some of the best fries I've had anywhere, no joke. As far as sides, get the garlic bread with the chili, their corn bread didn't impress me (see I don't like _everything_ here), and there's also tons of hot sauces if you need even more spice (or just the Demon chili, a 10+ chili that'll knock your socks off!)
The restaurant located in Encino, at the corner of Balboa and Ventura Blvds. Just get onto the 101 going either east or west and get off at Balboa Blvd and go south and turn left right before you hit Ventura; it's smack-dab in that little mini-mall. They're open till 9 every night and trust me, it's worth the trip. Oh, and the link below is to the web page that tells you what flavors are available that day (regularly updated daily too)--how cool is that?! I tell you, this place is amazing; I think I've dragged about 20 different friends there, and not one has said it wasn't the best, or close to the best chili they've ever had! As someone was saying in the Ultimate resturant thread, if I had friends visiting from out of town that wanted good food, this is one of the top 5 places I'd take them. If you do stop by from this recommendation, tell them where you found out about the place, and that Bino sent you. Btw the name is Bino, "keltraine" is just the handle I like to use online. :)
Well, I think this post is long enough for now, but I've got plenty more resturant reviews and questions coming up. Hope some people try it out and like it! Thanks, and I'm glad to haev found my fellow chowhounds!