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Where to Eat in Torrance?

g
grawlicks Aug 16, 2006 12:28 AM

Any good restuarants? All I can seem to find are chains and that weird "Hawaiian" place.

  1. CynD Aug 16, 2006 12:34 AM

    The Depot, off Torrance Blvd. at Cabrillo. Aioli, directly across the street from the Depot, is okay for lunch. At Carson & Western is the Mikawa Japanese market, with a food court offering just about every type of Japanese cuisine. There are also Japanese restaurants on the Carson Blvd. side of that center, including Musha. The Torrance Bakery in Old Town Torrance has a sandwich counter that's good for a quick lunch (about $6 for sandwich, chips, and a cookie), but I can't recommend their other baked goods. Sonya's, another tiny sandwich shop, is on Torrance Blvd. near Cabrillo. Consistently good, if uninspired, sandwiches and salads.

    Hope this helps you out.

    1 Reply
    1. re: CynD
      f
      Fat Billie Apr 25, 2008 12:20 AM

      Go to Musha now and forget everyone else

    2. t
      tuttifrutti Aug 16, 2006 12:35 AM

      aioli is good for tapas

      christine's is more for fine dining (california cuisine)

      i-naba on hawthorne has fantastic japanese-more noted for the tempura

      if you want to venture out to manhattan beach, michi and avenue are great restaurant options as well...

      1. n
        Nicole Aug 16, 2006 01:04 AM

        Ditto on Christine--it's the best restaurant in Torrance.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Nicole
          g
          Griller141 Aug 17, 2006 04:48 AM

          Christine's would be a good place anywhere in the City, but in the South Bay, it is a great place. It is not cheap, though.

        2. g
          grawlicks Aug 16, 2006 01:14 AM

          These are great choices, but slightly expensive -- I was looking for a great cheap find....that's not japanese (I love it, but it's for a picky party)

          3 Replies
          1. re: grawlicks
            t
            tuttifrutti Aug 16, 2006 01:26 AM

            although it's a chain, elephant bar on the corner of hawthorne and torrance has great food and drinks.

            el pollo inka has good peruvian chicken dishes

            pizza at samy's woodfire pizza on crenshaw and pch

            there used to be cafe luna on carson for italian, but i'm not sure if it's still there...

            1. re: tuttifrutti
              ChinoWayne Aug 16, 2006 03:10 AM

              Yes it is a chain, and the Elephant Bar is an insult to pachyderms everywhere:

              http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

              1. re: tuttifrutti
                w
                Wes Aug 17, 2006 07:21 AM

                We like the Elephant Bar. Wide choice of good, not great, menue items for a reasonable price. Ketchy decor s fun for the grandaughter. Nice kids menu. 20% off for you senior citizens for the same portion meals.

            2. f
              Francesca Aug 16, 2006 07:06 AM

              Sammy's Woodfired Pizza is a great pick. Friendly service, great salads, desserts. Something for everyone. When I'm in that area, Sammy's is where I eat. Beautiful patio day or night w/pit fireplace.

              1. n
                Nicole Aug 16, 2006 08:54 PM

                There's some good Chinese in Torrance, if you are open to that. I like PCH Chinese best, which is located in Lomita (just outside of Torrance).

                6 Replies
                1. re: Nicole
                  z
                  zruilong Apr 24, 2008 09:40 AM

                  For the most SGV-esque dining experience in Torrance, I highly recommend Sue's Kitchen on Crenshaw just north of Lomita Blvd. A nice combination of Northern and Taiwanese dishes. Plus they have cold, small dishes (xiao chi) in the front that you order 3 of. Recommend their peanuts as one of them. They have both the normal style noodle as well as wide, flat noodles which I personally perfer. Now, English is not their strong suit, but the menu is in English and their growing popularity among non-Chinese has forced a bit of language acquisition.

                  Small, small place that is super easy to miss if even if you are looking for it. Has about 8 tables. I recommend most dishes, being a Zha Jiang Mian freak, that dish is a little dissapointing. They follow the Northern Chinese salty style sauce with I prefer to the Korean adapted sweet version, but I felt the sauce could have a bit more salt twang to it. Otherwise the dishes are solid, very generous in size and a great deal at $5-$7. Oh yeah, their most popular dish is their Spicy Beef Noodle Soup (Hong Shao Niu Rou Mian), but I also really enjoy their Dan Dan Noodles, nice and decently spicy.

                  Sue's Kitchen
                  23918 Crenshaw Blvd
                  Torrance, CA 90505
                  (310) 539-1992

                  Here is a related link:
                  http://www.chowhound.com/topics/313635

                  ALSO, in the same little strip mall, at the northern end, their is a very small Indian spice shop. You can get all sorts of Indian products. They also serve food, both hot and cold. They have spicy, preserved vegetables, other snacks, as well as Samosas made fresh. The owners just recently changed (brother or something like that) and my wife who has super samosa calibrated taste buds noticed a difference just by looking and smelling them. Before they were very good to great. Now, they are smaller and I would place them between good (80%) to very good (20%). But, it is still worth it to pick up.

                  OK, fine! You got me on a roll now. Just north of this place, across the small side street in the next strip mall over, is Peter's Place (Sun Jia Yuan). Family owned place with a super nice family andh has been around for years. Food is pretty good, and has a bit more Americanized but not too bad. The menu has gone up over the years and we dont really eat there anymore because the dishes are $8-$9 each. Its a principle thing with Chinese food for us, I suppose. But the attraction for me is really their boba and smoothie bar. They have a LARGE selection of drinks, boba sizes and colors. They have many different items to add beyond boba, various jellies, etc. I personally like their Taiwanese Mango Slush. I thought I would give this place some credit as the family is so nice and I would not want to see them shut down. The Chinese on PCH just doesn't do it for me. Nothing special about them. A-1 BBQ maybe, but that's about it.

                  1. re: zruilong
                    h
                    heinous Apr 26, 2008 02:45 PM

                    Totally ditto on Sue's Kitchen. It's a little gem! Sometimes I stop buy for a tub of those awesome spicy garlic peanuts to have for guests. They're the perfect beer snack. They're the perfect anytime snack. I also highly recommend their Taiwanese cold noodles. It sounds like such a boring dish, but it's actually cold noodles with an amazingly garlicky spicy sauce with sliced cucumber and carrots and things. It's totally savory and yet refreshing at the same time. And you will smell like garlic for hours.

                    Nice shout out to the Indian place too!

                    I have to disagree with you on Peter's Place though. Yes, nice family. No, wouldn't want to see them shut down. But I couldn't recommend it in good conscience. That place is awful. The food is mediocre at BEST. I've eaten at every Chinese place in the South Bay and would have to say this is one of the worst, if not the worst outright. Nowadays, I think most of its trade comes from all the Chinese church kids hanging out there and getting slushies and bobas. Sadly, since the close of Leave Me Alone, this is the only place in Torrance to get traditional Chinese breakfast (soy milk soup, Chinese crullers, sesame bread, etc.) on Saturdays, but it's not very good. Also good to note is that it's closed on Sundays.

                    1. re: heinous
                      z
                      zruilong Apr 27, 2008 10:45 AM

                      Amen to "Leave me alone"!! I absolutely loved that place for breakfast foods. Saved driving to Monterey Park for decent breakfast food. I was sad when they closed and ate their once after the owner change and never went back.

                      For Peter's Place, a couple of the dishes I had were ok, but my recommendation for that place was really more for the drinks and boba if you are in to that sort of thing. Worst in the South Bay, I dunno, I think Asia Kitchen on Artesia takes that claim. :-)

                      1. re: heinous
                        t
                        TracyS Apr 28, 2008 11:24 PM

                        I'm completely intrigued by your mention of Chinese breakfast. This is one of my favorite things but usually doesn't justify the long drive out to the SGV. Do they have fan tuan and all the traditional pastries?

                        Any other places in the South Bay serving Chinese breakfast?

                        1. re: TracyS
                          z
                          zruilong Apr 29, 2008 11:07 AM

                          Unfortunately, I don't believe there are any chinese breakfast places left in the South Bay. If there is, please let us know!

                          The "closest" descent breakfast place that I know of is Yi Mei in "South" Monterey Park on Atlantic.

                          736 S Atlantic Blvd
                          Monterey Park, CA 91754

                          They have all the requisite Chinese breakfast goodies. Hot you tiao (the fluffy fried cruellers), cha ye dan (tea flavored boid egg, yum), tian and xiande dou jiang (sweet and salty soy milk), zong zi (lotus wrapped sticky rice), jiao zi (dumplings), bao zi, gua bao, and YES, fan tuanr (the sticky rice, pork, you tiao-ish stuff).

                          They also have the green onion pancake (cong you bing), maybe even xiao long bao, though never tried it there. They have more goodies than I can remember.

                          Now, I've heard that you can get breakfast at the newer 99 ranch on Pioneer in Artesia on weekends. And there used to be a few restaurants out in that area of artesia and cerritos that advertised breakfast on weekends. That may be worth looking into.

                          1. re: zruilong
                            w
                            will47 May 1, 2008 03:36 PM

                            [sorry to continue the thread drift]
                            They do have Xiao Long Bao; I don't eat meat, but from what I've heard, there are probably better places to get this... I don't think they're horrible, though.

                            They also have ci an gao (the rice "hash brown", though nowhere near as good as the ones I had in China). There is a vegetarian version of their Fan Tuan, which I've been told is actually better than the one with pork floss. I get it without egg, but you can also get it with a fried egg inside. The shen (salty) dou jiang is great, and they can make it without the little fish if you're vegetarian. And they have a bunch of other pastries including these huge, puffy, slightly sweet baking powder muffin things (not sure what the chinese name is - something like fa gao maybe?).

                            They now have an English menu, so if you're willing to figure out what is what based on the English translations, folks who don't speak Mandarin or Taiwanese should have a little more luck here than you would have a year ago.

                            Here's a recent (short) thread with some other suggestions in the SGV area.
                            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/501747

                  2. c
                    calabasas_trafalgar Aug 16, 2006 10:18 PM

                    Monjiro on Hawthorne for yakitori
                    Guiliano's Italian Delicatessen for a great meatball sub
                    Spoon House(in Gardena) - 40 + varieties of Japanese style spaghetti

                    1. mksasaki Aug 16, 2006 10:27 PM

                      Misto's off of Hawthorne

                      1. b
                        BobMack Aug 16, 2006 11:01 PM

                        There's a lot of good eats real close to Torrance in the actual city there are mostly chains.

                        Gaja (Japanese) Lomita & Crenshaw
                        Kotosh (Peruvian + Japanese) Same Place but across the street
                        Il Chianti (Japanese Italian Fusion) It's in Lomita
                        Harry BBQ in Lomita

                        These are all in Gardena near vermont & artesia
                        Pollo a la brasa (Peruvian Chicken
                        Rob's Ozaku Ya and Bruddas(Hawaii)
                        Giuliano's Deli (Italian)

                        1. g
                          grawlicks Aug 16, 2006 11:34 PM

                          Thanks to everybody -- Chowhound rocks! Great suggestions/leads.

                          1. HulaShakeJaz Apr 24, 2008 04:43 AM

                            Okay, it's not in Torrance... but a great and affordable place- El Roccoto. It is on Artesia and Normandie. Right off the 91 and in the Ranch market Shopping Center.
                            It's Peruvian and DELICIOUS! I would eat here before El Pollo Inka anyday!

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: HulaShakeJaz
                              l
                              Low Blood Sugar Apr 25, 2008 12:59 PM

                              I went to this place 20 minutes after I saw you mentioned it. It's GREAT. Definitely a few cuts above El Pollo Inka in terms of quality and authenticity.

                              1. re: Low Blood Sugar
                                b
                                bulavinaka Apr 25, 2008 05:44 PM

                                BobMack's list is great as well... try Kotosh as well if you enjoyed El Rocoto... And save room for dessert at Patisserie Chantilly (right next to Gaja)...

                                -----
                                Patisserie Chantilly
                                2383 Lomita Blvd., #104, Lomita, CA 90717

                                Kotosh at Kamiyama
                                2408 Lomita Blvd, Lomita, CA 90717

                                1. re: Low Blood Sugar
                                  HulaShakeJaz Apr 28, 2008 10:05 AM

                                  I am so glad that you enjoyed it! I wish people would stop with this El Pollo Inka addiction.

                                  1. re: Low Blood Sugar
                                    HulaShakeJaz Apr 28, 2008 10:05 AM

                                    What did you order? The bread and dips are fantastic!

                                2. c
                                  Clinton Apr 24, 2008 08:04 AM

                                  If you like all-you-can-eat places, try Grand Chinese Buffet on Hawthorne Blvd. north of 139th in Torrance. TNT near PCH and Hawthorne has way better Hawaii-type food than King's Hawaiian or the Loft, which in my opinion caters mainly to non-Hawaii types. Seafood Town on Hawthorne is probably the better of the Chinese restaurants in the South Bay including Seafood Port (same owners) and the PCH Restaurant. PCH used to be the best but has gone downhill after change of management. You may like Hank's for Italian on Hawthorne and PCH but there is an Olive Garden nearby too (not my cup of tea).

                                  If you venture to Gardena not too far away, Happa's in the Gardena Hotel on Redondo Beach Blvd has great American-Japanese dishes. We love their tender meaty short ribs as well as the misoyaki butterfish. On Vermont not too far away is Cherrystone next to the Hustler Casino that serves up a mean prime rib on weekends.

                                  1. DiveFan Apr 27, 2008 12:36 AM

                                    Since someone has reawakened this old topic, the Mitsuwa Marketplace food court on Western must be mentioned. Santouka is renowned for ramen, and there is another stall that reportedly serves the elusive okonomiyaka.
                                    Speaking of the latter, a stand at the Bunka-Sai Japanese festival (Torrance cultural arts center) this weekend is serving a vegetable version. This is one dish I have to try making!

                                    1. w
                                      will47 May 1, 2008 03:40 PM

                                      Check out Kotohira in Gardena on Western for delicious handmade udon. The same shopping center also has a decent Korean Soon Tofu place, and an apparently decent ramen place (Tampopo).

                                      I also kind of like some of the stuff at Casa de Tree (vegan Japanese pastry / lunch place). I don't know if I'd like it if I weren't vegan, but check it out sometime (it's in the big Whole Foods plaza).

                                      1. z
                                        zruilong May 18, 2008 12:30 AM

                                        Cho Dang Soon Du Bu on Hawthorne, just south of Sepulveda in the same plaza Gable House Bowling. Great soondubu and their kalbi is good as well. Their expanded menu, includingn Bulgogi seems to be very popular as well.

                                        -----
                                        Cho Dang Tofu
                                        22549 Hawthorne Blvd, Torrance, CA 90505

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