Strip Mall Satisfaction at Encino’s Taste My Soup

Soup’s on, but sandwiches, salads rule at Taste My Soup.

Sometimes culinary excellence is discovered in the most mundane of places. Welcome to life in the Valley—right? Taste my Soup in Encino (in the small, L-shaped strip mall behind Corner Bakery) is one of those places.

The independently owned eatery is tiny, basic and attractive in a no-frills kind of way. The chef is from the Midwest—Indiana to be exact—and his strong suit is comfort food recipes based on fresh, seasonal ingredients and homemade dressings, spreads and condiments.

Interestingly enough, the soup here is not our favorite menu item. Although many, if not most, of the diners order it (reasonable prices: half $5.49, full $8.29, quart $11.99), we are most impressed by the sandwiches (all are $8.29). Meats are oven-roasted, and sandwiches come piled high—really generous proportions—on super fresh bread (the most impressive one is the whole wheat multigrain). Rave review “sangys”: rosemary turkey on multigrain with delicious homemade rosemary aioli; the chicken jalapeno melt with bacon and tangy pickled red onions; and Slim’s grilled cheese (mozzarella, cheddar and fire-roasted tomato) on an indulgent, thick, grilled sourdough.

The salads are also delicious. Our hands-down favorite: the triple B salad chock full of brussels sprouts, gorgeous purple kale, cabbage, spinach, bacon, toasted almonds and dried cranberries. The house balsamic dressing gives it a sweet/savory experience that is truly standout.

The soups are tasty, but overall we found them a bit too salty. Advice: Try the special soup of the day. Our favorite soup thus far was the vegetable special offered one day. It had lots of fresh, perfectly cooked veggies with just the right amount of seasoning.

Also open for breakfast … we loved the Boulevard breakfast sandwich. Super fresh toasted bread; eggs were light and fluffy; the finely chopped chives were the coup de grace!

Tip: Surrounded by high-rise office buildings, Taste My Soup is packed between noon and 1 p.m. And during that hour, we have experienced slow service. If you are “eating in,” we advise dining outside that time slot. Another option: Go online or call in your order in advance for pick-up. They also deliver.

15608½ Ventura Blvd., 818-783-4204

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