Tub's 12 oz. Steak Town Chili, complete with Tub Topper
A few months ago, signs began popping up along Overland Avenue in Culver City, promoting a very welcome addition to the West L.A. restaurant scene – a honest-to-God chili joint. As soon as you step inside the cozy cowboy interior, you’ll immediately get the sense that Tub’s Fine Chili & Fancy Fixin’s will not disappoint.
I’m a big fan of restaurants that choose to focus on one type of food and do it well (such as The Counter or Shabu Shabu House), and Tub’s certainly fits the bill. They excel at the art of chili, offering such wonderful and aromatic options such as the Smokin’ Pig (8 hours of smoked, seasoned pork) and the Chicken & Spurs (roasted chicken with garlic and green chilies), all served in a soft, warm bread bowl that is truly divine.
The chili at Tub’s isn’t meant to be spicy enough to knock your socks off – they leave that option entirely up to the customer. Bottles of “TNT (Tub’s-Nitro-Tonic) Sauce” are available if you’d like to add a little heat to your bowl, but the chili is downright delicious in either case.
The Steak Town chili has a wonderful smoky flavor, and the Turkey Drive is absolutely fantastic, filled with giant chunks of moist ground turkey and flavorful enough to keep you eating long after you’ve had your fill. Tub’s offers seven varieties of chili in all, including a vegetarian chili (the Cattleman’s Pass) for the non-carnivores.
Pick your chili then opt for a size – the $4.99 City Slicker tub is a more than satisfying 6 oz., or if you’re really hungry, try the 12 oz. Showgirl Tub for $6.99. There’s also the Rancher Tub, weighing in at a whopping 18 oz. ($8.99), but this chili is so filling you’d have to have a mighty hungry belly to attempt that monster!
As for the “fancy fixin’s,” the big winner is far and away the Tub Topper – order it and watch them top off your chili with mounds of shredded cheese, red onion, and sour cream, not to mention a nice big tortilla crisp for dipping – all for just $1.29. The Slaw Tub was a bit lacking in flavor, but the Buffalo Chips (a giant basket of seasoned potato slices) are yummy and just perfect with the accompanying ranch dressing.
Tub’s dishes up some mighty fine grub, but perhaps the best part of the experience is the down-home greeting you’ll get immediately upon walking through the door. The owner, Rick, exudes warmth and charm, and he’s more than happy to give you a taste of any of his fine chili choices. He makes you feel right at home, and in this massive metropolis we call Los Angeles, that’s no small feat.
Tub’s Fine Chili & Fancy Fixin’s
4263 Overland Ave.
Culver City, CA 90230