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best place in Torrance/Gardena for an Osaka native?

Tmblweed Oct 13, 2006 02:50 AM

hi fellow chowhounders! here's a challenge that I hope you all can help with!:

next week, one of our company executive managers from Osaka will be coming to visit.
I know that it's a rather open-ended question, but I'd like to know of any recommendations in Torrance/Gardena for us to take him to lunch/dinner. (The closer to the 405/105 interchange, the better.)

I'm sure that there are a lot of fancy and posh places to take him, but I'd also like to know of some reasonably priced, casual, down-to-earth places to take him, as well. Any recs for either?

Also, since he's a Japanese native, are there any Japanese restaurants in the area that I should make sure are at the top of my list, or places to make sure to stay away from? After all, I'm trying my best not to lose my job due to him getting food poisoning...

thanks, all!

(P.S. He'll be here allll week, so our department is scrambling to think of over 10 different places for lunch/dinner to take him.)

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    young_chower RE: Tmblweed Oct 13, 2006 04:47 AM

    Azuma Izakaya... get the tempura and the beef terriyaki. Also great croquettes. Close to the corner of Western and Redondo Beach Blvd.

    For expensive but very traditional and great sushi, i here that Tsukiji also somewhere around the interesection of Western and Redondo Beach Blvd. is good.

    El Pollo Inka (Peruvian) is down in the Torrance area. Get the saltados.

    1. s
      salmon RE: Tmblweed Oct 13, 2006 11:09 PM

      Tomi sushi in redondo ( 402 PCH at torrance I think). Its a small, very unpretentious japanese restaurant. It does not look fancy and trendy at all and is in a parking lot next to a liquor store but it is fantastic! You MUST sit at the sushi bar and you MUST ask one of the two chefs for omakase/ chefs choice for at least a few dishes. You could call ahead for resevation and they will save the prime seats for you in front of the owner who is also one of the sushi chefs -- it can get crowded. It may end up a bit pricey but they will take care of you and serve you real sushi in traditional ways you have never seen at other restaurants. no mega rolls with two pounds of sauce. The restaurant was one of the first sushi places in the area and has been around like 26 years. One of the chefs is something like 16 generation sushi chef. These guys are real! I always see japanese business men from toyota and all the other companies in torrance. Oh, also they have the huge bottles of sake starting at $60 that you can write your name on and they will put it in the fridge for your next visit. Its a small place so it probably best for just a few people (not theentire office) plus you wont end up breakin the bank that way. I love this place!

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        frank828 RE: Tmblweed Oct 13, 2006 11:15 PM

        shin sen gumi in gardena for yakitori?

        1. BombayUpWithaTwist RE: Tmblweed Oct 13, 2006 11:34 PM

          Is he actually coming from Japan? If so, wouldn't he rather have western food than Japanese food? I know people from Japan like beef...hamburgers, steak etc.

          Bistro Laramie in Gardena which is a Japanese/Western place may be a good choice. It's in the same mini-mall on Western where Sanuki no Sato is...which may be another good choice if he wants Japanese food. Komatsu for tempura. Torimatsu for yakitori.

          Here's an old review on Bistro Laramie:


          1. Normal Garciaparra RE: Tmblweed Oct 13, 2006 11:35 PM

            If I were a businessman staying in a foreign country for a week, the last thing I'd want to eat is something I can find at home.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Normal Garciaparra
              ronnie_gaucho RE: Normal Garciaparra Oct 14, 2006 02:16 AM

              I totally agree. Especially if he is from Osaka, he has been exposed to amazing japanese food his whole life. I'd skip taking him anywhere japanese unless he is intriged by american style sushi (spider, catapiller, dragon, rainbow rolls) like some Japanese natives are.

            2. f
              frank828 RE: Tmblweed Oct 14, 2006 02:18 AM

              do they get a lot of fresh crab in japan? How bout the redondo beach peir if he doesnt mind getting his hands dirty

              1 Reply
              1. re: frank828
                rameniac RE: frank828 Oct 17, 2006 09:10 PM

                the kansai-osaka area is known for crab lol. but crab over there is prepared very differently. i've had a lot of success taking j-visitors to places like the crab pot in long beach of all things. that is, assuming they like shellfish. the gimmick and the american-style seasoning are surefire winners.

                if and ONLY if he truly expresses being homesick for japanese comfort food, take him to gaja in lomita. osaka is also the home of okonomiyaki, so you can't go wrong with that.

              2. mstinawu RE: Tmblweed Oct 14, 2006 03:39 AM

                Wouldn't he want to try some "American" food for at least one of the meals since he is visiting? In any case, I reccomend Otafuku on Western in Gardena for seiro and udon noodles. It's a "down to earth" noodle shop I frequest at least once a week.

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                  goodetime RE: Tmblweed Oct 17, 2006 05:34 PM

                  I frequently host Japanese business people and often go to Non Japanese places. Beach places are always good. Try Kincaid's at the RB Pier. Even Hennesey's in Hermosa. Havana Mania just of the 405 on Inglewood for Cuban sandwiches. In El Segundo their is a decent restaurant ( I forget the name) next to Purple Orchid -tiki bar - not recommended for this occasion.
                  For Japanese
                  Sanuki no sato

                  Gambatte !

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: goodetime
                    mstinawu RE: goodetime Oct 17, 2006 07:39 PM

                    Musha and Havana Mania I second! =)

                    1. re: goodetime
                      fpugirl RE: goodetime Oct 17, 2006 09:03 PM

                      The place in El Segundo next to Purple Orchid is called Second City Bistro. I highly recommend the Tomato, basil and gorgonzola bisque. It's the best I've ever had and I frequent the restaurant just for this dish! If he enjoys wine, I would recommend visiting on Monday night for free wine tasting from 6-7pm and then getting reservations for dinner after.

                    2. v
                      Vickie McCorkendale RE: Tmblweed Oct 18, 2006 02:06 AM

                      How about a REALLY american place for a steak dinner? Try Outlaws in Playa del Rey (close to your needed location). The place is very laid back, steak house with a huge grill on the deck with beef piled all over it. They make their own salad dressings and it's just a very american experience.


                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Vickie McCorkendale
                        westsidegal RE: Vickie McCorkendale Oct 18, 2006 02:57 AM

                        must respectfully disagree with this suggestion.
                        imho, the food at outlaws is awful and their dishwashing leaves a LOT to be desired.

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