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Are there hidden Japanese treasures in Gardena?

cls Oct 5, 2006 08:06 PM

Gardena comes up occasionally on this board for different types of Asian food. On a recent drive through Gardena I noticed a number of interesting looking Japanese restaurants. Is it worth a trip? Not just sushi but Izakaya, yakitori, kushiyaki, noodles, country style cooking (is there anywhere with nabe?) or simple homestyle.

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    young_chower RE: cls Oct 5, 2006 08:37 PM

    I like azuma izakaya close to the corner of western and redondo beach ave.

    excellent tempura and beef terriyaki.


    1. r
      revets2 RE: cls Oct 5, 2006 08:50 PM

      OTAFUKU for sarashina soba.


      also, Ichimi-an in downtown Torrance and in South Torrance in Rolling Hills Plaza.

      For udon, Kotohira (handmade udon) in Gardena, Sanuki No Sato in Gardena (a bit pricey, though), and Takefuku in Torrance.

      6 Replies
      1. re: revets2
        linlinchan RE: revets2 Oct 5, 2006 09:52 PM

        Sanuki no Sato isn't that expensive... I used to eat there every week.
        It's the best in the area, in my opinion, and has an expanded menu now. I highly reccommend it.

        1. re: revets2
          meesha RE: revets2 Apr 29, 2007 01:59 PM

          Where is Ichimi-an in Rolling Hills Plaza? Is it in that string of Japanese businesses around Nijiya Market and Koraku?

          1. re: meesha
            ristretto RE: meesha Apr 29, 2007 05:43 PM

            It's right across the street from it, at the rear of Trader Joe's. Japanese staff and customers. Their specialty is soba, but the tempura is good as well.

            1. re: ristretto
              meesha RE: ristretto May 1, 2007 06:50 PM

              Thanks, I will definitely check out their soba! Cool!

              1. re: meesha
                rameniac RE: meesha May 2, 2007 05:19 PM

                the ichimian in rolling hills is totally different from the ichimian honten in downtown torrance. rolling hills has a more standard soba/tempura/etc. menu. honten does cold BROTH (not dipping) soba loaded with freshy toppings. i much prefer downtown torrance - way better than otafuku imho.

                1618 Cravens Ave., Torrance, California, 90501

                1. re: rameniac
                  meesha RE: rameniac May 5, 2007 04:29 PM

                  I may have to give both a try. ;) Thanks!

        2. c
          calabasas_trafalgar RE: cls Oct 5, 2006 10:34 PM

          Gardena is generally the best place in L.A. for all types of Japanese food. Forget the hype of Sawtelle; this is where it's at.

          Shinsengumi on Western for Yakitori
          Spoon House on Redondo Beach Blvd for Japanese style spaghetti
          Daruma on Western for izakaya
          Kanpachi on Artesia for sushi

          1 Reply
          1. re: calabasas_trafalgar
            So Ho La RE: calabasas_trafalgar Dec 19, 2007 04:25 PM

            Spot on!

          2. c
            coffee_addict RE: cls Oct 6, 2006 06:35 AM

            I just ate at Kotosh at Kamiyama for the first time last week. They had really fresh sushi, good salad, and a yummy peruvian fish dish. It's a combo peruvian and sushi place - weird concept but it somehow worked.


            2 Replies
            1. re: coffee_addict
              bulavinaka RE: coffee_addict Apr 29, 2007 05:18 PM

              Peru has a very large Japanese community (you might remember the controversial former president Fujimori). The Japanese-Peruvians have a reputation for having a knack for being pretty handy in the kitchen. A friend who is from a small coastal town in Peru told me that his favorite restaurants in Peru were almost all owned by either Peruvians of Japanese or Chinese ancestry. The same seems to be consistant here. Alot of the Peruvian restaurants around LA are owned/operated by Peruvians of Japanese as well as Chinese ancestry. You also may have heard of Nobu Matsuhisa - the chef who brought the $300+ sushi experience to LA. He is from Japan but spent alot of his formative years as a cook/chef in Peru.

              What I'm wondering is did you really really like it? The combination sounds amazing.

              1. re: bulavinaka
                fdb RE: bulavinaka Dec 1, 2007 10:55 PM

                I was bepuzzled by the concept of Perruvian in a Sushi restaurant. Now I know.

            2. velozo155 RE: cls May 1, 2007 10:19 PM

              Tomo-E Bento
              1569 W Redondo Beach Blvd
              Gardena, CA 90247
              (310) 515-3964
              Xlnt bento lunches with fresh ingredients...good quality food. In the same building as the old Aikane, across Denker from Spoon House. You won't be dissapointed. Unable to see this place from either Redondo Beach Blvd or Denker, so not many people know about it.

              Akane Chaya
              1610 W Redondo Beach Bl #5, Gardena, CA 90247
              Japanese style spaghetti, spicy cod roe spaghetti, hamburger steak meals. I like this place a lot better than Spoon House. Last two times I went to Spoon House, they put way too much garlic to the point where I couldn't even finish the meal.

              1747 W Redondo Beach Bl , Gardena, CA 90247
              Great udon and gives Sanuki No Sato a run for their money for udon.

              Sennari Sushi
              18220 S Western Av , Gardena, CA 90248
              Xlnt sushi, owned by classically trained chef. If you know what that means, nothing else needs to be said.

              Umemura Restaurant
              1724 W Redondo Beach Bl , Gardena, CA 90247
              Despite the many other ramen houses in Gardena, this one is my favorite because of the kanitama ramen. Big crab cake with some sweet and sour sauce poured over it all on top of a hot bowl of good ramen noodle in soup. Kinda hard to imagine the meal on paper, but when you see it, you'll be impressed. It's very good. The other good thing about this place is that it's nowhere near as crowded as Hakata Ramen down the street.

              The recs in the above posts are good too. Keep in mind, there's a lot more here in this small city, than mentioned here.

              2 Replies
              1. re: velozo155
                Clinton RE: velozo155 Oct 12, 2007 01:12 PM

                Umemura's ramen is good but the service is terrible. Haven't been there in a long time ever since they took the whole lunch hour to serve us. We waited close to 45 minutes to get waited and finally had our food to go since we had to get back to work. This was not an isolated case since we've been there for dinner also and had the same experience. We prefer across the street called Hakata Ramen which to us is more people friendly and the food is good.


                Best for Japanese cuisine in Gardena is Azuma by far. Their tempura and teriyaki is probably their best. Most of the time it's crowded but it's worth the wait. I don't mind waiting to get seated but to wait a long time when you're already seated to get served is something else and uncalled for.

                1. re: Clinton
                  velozo155 RE: Clinton Nov 30, 2007 10:13 PM

                  All the times I've been to Umemura, I've never had the bad service experience you noted above. Hakata is good, but too crowded.

                  Azuma is pretty darn good. The teriyaki chicken and beef is some good eatin'. Plus, the beef teriyaki is a half inch thick steak, not thin strips. The teriyaki sauce is not overly sweet, but just right. There is a line during dinner at Azuma, but once you're seated you don't feel as packed in as Hakata Ramen.

              2. l
                lisako RE: cls Dec 1, 2007 06:15 PM

                Not in Gardena, but not too far either, Il Chianti in Lomita for Japanese style pasta is mightly tasty.

                Il chianti Restaurant
                24503 Narbonne Avenue, Lomita, CA 90717

                1. SauceSupreme RE: cls Dec 2, 2007 01:17 AM

                  Though this is an older thread, I still think it's a pertinent thought to look for hidden Japanese treasures in Gardena. Admittedly, my experience there is severely limited, but since Asa Ramen is newer than this thread, it's a logical addition to all of these other suggestions.

                  Cafe Ahsah
                  18202 S Western Ave, Gardena, CA 90248

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: SauceSupreme
                    velozo155 RE: SauceSupreme Dec 19, 2007 03:26 PM

                    Better hurry your adventures quick. The demographics in Gardena are rapidly changing. Many of the Japanese-Americans and Japanese-Hawaiians are moving out. Back in the day (1970-80s) we had a good variety of Mexican "sit and dine" restaurants and many old school Japanese restaurants. Now we have a lot of Korean restaurants. I can't keep up and try all these new places and they're right here in my town.

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