Ask Mr. Gold: Manhattan Clam Chowder 

Wednesday, Jun 21 2006

Dear Mr. Gold:

One of my favorite experiences with my dad was driving to a pier in Freeport, Long Island, on a cold winter day and having the best Manhattan clam chowder ever. Most places in Southern California serve the New England–style clam chowder. I’ve had some outstanding New England–style chowder here, but I can’t find a memorable Manhattan chowder outside of New York. Could you recommend any places in Southern California?

—Eric, South Pasadena

Location Info

Related Stories

  • Party Nation

    Southern California is often seen by the rest of the nation as a cultural outlier, a relatively new region with traditions that are sometimes at odds with the heartland of America. But when it comes to the ultimate celebration of U.S. nationhood, there are few other places that party as...
  • Best Fourth of July Fireworks in L.A. For Whatever Your Scene

    Despite the U.S.A.'s devastating World Cup loss, you shouldn't lose your American pride just yet. The Fourth comes this year at the end of a four-day work week, and if that isn't enough reason to celebrate, there are cookouts, parades and, yes, fireworks. Regardless of whether you prefer your neighborhood...
  • L.A. County Craft Brewers Win at the 2014 World Beer Cup

    The World Beer Cup is the Olympics of beer. There is no better way to describe one of the biggest and most prestigious commercial beer competitions open to breweries from around the world. Held in Denver on Fri., April 11, at the end of the Craft Brewers Conference, the World Beer Cup awards ceremony...
  • Beer Festivals 3

    Nothing says summer in Southern California like unlimited beer outside on a sunny day. If you're new to craft beer, attending a festival is the perfect way to access many different breweries and styles in one place. Plus food to keep you grounded and music to keep you occupied.  Every...
  • Cambodian Rap Explodes

    In May, the two Long Beach rappers released a music video for “I’m a Cambo” — an anthem to their shared Cambodian heritage, in the style of Jermaine Dupri’s “Welcome to Atlanta”...

Dear Eric:

To tell the truth, I can barely think of a great tomato-based Manhattan chowder in Manhattan. They serve one at the Oyster Bar in Grand Central, but the New England chowder there is clearly better, and my favorite chowder in town, at Pearl’s Oyster Bar, is creamy in the best New England style. (The chowder at Mary’s Fish Camp is tomato-based, but spicy in the Floridian style.)

In Los Angeles, Astra West, the semihidden lunch restaurant in the Pacific Design Center, has Manhattan chowder on the menu sometimes, and it’s pretty good, spicy and full of clams. The Crab Cooker in Newport Beach practically specializes in the stuff — almost everybody gets a plastic cup of it to go along with their fried fish or crab — but it isn’t much. The Dal Rae has Manhattan chowder on the menu, but it’s a pretty perfunctory dish. Which leads us, inevitably, to the clam chowder at the Hungry Cat, which is as New England as they come, creamy, tomatoless, and spiked with potatoes, spartan vegetables and smoky bits of Nueske’s bacon — it’s as good as it gets. Astra West, 8687 Melrose Ave., Suite 180, Los Angeles; (310) 652-3003.

Related Content

Related Locations

Now Trending


  • Ramen Yokocho Festival in Little Tokyo
    Little Tokyo in downtown Los Angeles became a ramen paradise over the weekend as part of the Japanese cultural festival Nisei Week. Everything was hot -- from the food, to the weather, to the scene. All photos by Danny Liao.
  • Pollo Loco at ChocoChicken
    ChocoChicken is a restaurant dedicated to chocolate-flavored chicken. It sounds like a joke. And when Adam Fleischman, founder of the Umami empire and monetary force behind many other L.A. restaurants, announced in January that he’d be opening a concept based not around mole but actual, yes, chocolate-flavored chicken, many of us treated it as a joke. It is not.
  • Daw Yee: Mission of Burma
    L.A. has a very small pool of Burmese restaurants; among them, Daw Yee does not boast the most extensive menu. Nonetheless, Daw Yee, in Monterey Park, is fascinating for one big reason — namely, that it gives L.A. something unusual: a Burmese restaurant that caters to younger diners.