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Haven't found any inexpensive eats in Torrance/Gardena

Looking for inexpensive eats (excluding fast foods) around Torrance/Gardena on a student salary. Any good noodle shops, Korean, Japanese, late happy hours or seafood restaurants a plus.

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  1. Rice Things on Artestesia Blvd, between Aviation and Inglewood Blvd. GREAT combo meals for under 7 bucks.

    Its Japanese by the way.......fast food style but its not fast food really. But pretty damn good for the price!

    4 Replies
    1. re: Xericx

      I will check it out. We tried King Hawaiian Restaurant, but it wasn't that great. Good desserts though.

      1. re: Xericx

        Went to Rice Things right before it closed, take out only, but that was fine. I didn't care for the soba salad (bland) and I ordered the chicken soba soup, but when I got back to the hotel, I found out it was udon (thick noodles). Not much taste either. Definitely cheap for Japanese, but the food I tried wasn't tasty enough. I plan to try the combos on
        my next visit before I xo this place.

        1. re: lobsterlover

          yeah, i usually only get the combos.....the teriyaki beef or chicken and the katsu is decent...as is the salad dressing......watch out, the "sukiyaki"is like the beef at yoshinoya....

        2. re: Xericx

          Further west on Artesia before Aviation is a small Chinese place called Jade's that's pretty cheap for lunch. Inexpensive and fast service. Another inexpensive Chinese/Korean place in Gardena is on Western and 182nd called Little China which serves kim chee for appetizers. It's standing room only during weekday lunches and the food is above average. They specialize in soup noodle dishes which a lot of people have besides their daily lunch specials.

        3. Seafood town on Hawthorne right around Sepulveda has EXCELLENT lunch specials. I particularly like their pork chops. Very inexpensive.

          1. Here is a good site.

            also try Spoon House in Gardena, Italian/Japanese, very good, be sure to get the $1 salad and the coffee flavored desserts.

            1. I'm a sucker for L&L Hawaiian. Can feast off their bacon friend rice for DAYS (or share with friends....not).

              1 Reply
              1. re: brekkie_fan

                L&L should be right up lobsterlover's alley - the portions are generous - can't call it Hawaiian if the portions don't blow out your gut - the food is pretty good, and the price is right...

              2. Shin-Sen-Gumi, just east of the freeway on the Western Blvd. exit. First strip mall on your left. I used to eat there for lunch two to three times a week and now, living in San Francisco, is the one restaurant I truly, truly miss.

                4 Replies
                1. re: Carrie 218

                  Oh yes oh yes oh yes.

                  And Santouka, in the Mitsuwa Marketplace near 215th, too... get the shio ramen and drop the $7 that brings you shio ramen and whatever the dish of the day is... fantastic.

                  1. re: Carrie 218

                    We went to Shin-Sen-Gumi, great yakitori place, but don't go there if you think it's going to be a quiet place to eat. Reasonable prices, good beer, but not enough food to fill your stomach.

                    1. re: lobsterlover

                      You're kidding? I used to order the Takana Rice Platter for lunch and was always stuffed!

                    2. re: Carrie 218

                      Went passed there yesterday and made it a point to try it some day. I heard it was really good. Had the takara ramen at their other place on Redondo Beach and Gramercy Place which was pretty good a few weeks ago. They had a special that weekend for $3.00 which packed the people in even when it opened at 11am. I had the spice miso and my wife had the furikaki ramen. I especially enjoyed the little gyoza side orders. Sure was noisy with all of the traditional yelling out the orders and greeting the customers.

                    3. Kotohira has some of the best udon in town. It's not cheap but it's not expensive either. I can't remember how much it is but the combos are very reasonable too. They're on the Nrotheast corner of Western and Redondo Beach Blvds.

                      1 Reply
                      1. Pollo a la Brasa in Gardena on Vermont - my favorite rotisserie chicken. ~$5 for a quarter chicken with sides, no drink, but I always have water anyways. Much better chicken than El Pollo Inca.

                        Bob's Okazuya in Gardean on Vermont- cheap hawaiian plate lunch & combos from the steam table. Nori wrapped chicken is a favorite there.

                        Bruddah's on Gardena Blvd. Not exactly cheap(<$6), but for a long time, the only place for good Hawaiian food, that is still around.

                        Tasty Kitchen in Gardena on Artesia - good chinese, comparable to SGV. Some of the people there started The Kitchen in Alhambra.

                        Josie's or Diana's in Gardena on Normandie for mexican. Josie's for the chicken tacos or taquitos. Diana's has pretty good tortas.

                        Food court inside Marukai at Pacific Square. The chinese take out is a bit more expensive than the typical $1 chinese places, but WAY(x10^100) better quality. Shin Sen Gumi has ramen and yakitori counters there with lunch specials. Bento box place in the corner is good if you are looking for something like curry cutlet rice that is quick and portable. Beard Papa is also in the food court if you're hankering for those dreamy cream puffs.

                        JayBees BBQ on the outskirts of Gardena on Avalon. Solid Q with attitude. The hot BBQ sauce has got some kick. Pulled pork sandwich for ~$5 and available in two sizes. Large BBQ combo plates can feed two or is enough for 1.5 to 2 meals.

                        Deliah's or DJ Bibingkahan in Carson for filipino food. Very reasonable prices and good selection of food. BBQ, adobo, inihaw, ...

                        Pho So in Tozai Square (Western and Artesia). Not the cheapest pho, but solid. Cha gio is OK there, but smaller than what you'd typically get in San Gabriel.

                        Sue's Kitchen on Crenshaw for good taiwanese beef noodle soup, jajian mien, or chicken/pork chop rice. used to be around ~$6. Jajian mien is huge.

                        Super Udon on Western for quick and cheap udon. The broth is a bit sweat for me, but satisfying nonetheless.

                        Tofu Village on Western for Korean soon tofu.

                        California Fish Grill on Artesia for reasonable gilled or fried fish items. I go for the fish tacos. Not Tacos Baja Ensenada level, but good with grilled fish options for your tacos.

                        The coffee shop in Gardena Bowl used to make a mean bacon fried rice, but I haven't been in years. I just couldn't eat bacon fried rice that often, no matter how good it was.

                        Gulliano's on Gardena Blvd for their good italian sandwiches. The Gaetano and Guillio are my favorite sandwiches there. I like to get the sandwiches on a Country French roll, instead of the standard roll. The Country French has a nice crust to go with the soft interior. You can get a good variety of cold cuts and cheeses at the deli counter to roll your own sandwiches. Lots of bakery items available too. Salads are OK, but to me an underwhelming value.

                        11 Replies
                        1. re: mpken

                          We tried Bob's Okazuya (it's listed as Bob's Ohana in the phone book), the ox tail soup was the best. Just like the bowling alley kine in Hawaii. $8.95, but worth it, comes w a bowl of rice and ginger and chinese parsley condiments.

                          1. re: lobsterlover

                            The oxtail soup sounds good! A little pricey but probably worth it? Don't eat the oxtail at Kappa's in Carson because they gave me only two small pieces of tail and lots of shitake mushrooms and veggies for fillers. Very disappointing especially when you are paying over $7 - $8 for a bowl. Kam Bowling Alley in Hawaii is still the best even though they are closed. I heard they are planning to relocate the coffee shop somewhere else though.

                          2. re: mpken

                            I second Giuliano's. Great sandwiches and italian groceries.

                            1. re: mpken

                              Bruddah's is THE place to go for real HI food. Their butterfish is top notch and ridiculously cheap. I hear their beef stew is great too, but I'm a sucker for butterfish

                              1. re: ns1

                                Just had the beef shortrib stew on Sunday. It was so good. Can't wait to go back and go for more. Not big on their mac salad though.

                              2. re: mpken

                                Great post. I second the Hawaiian style Bacon-Fried-Rice at Gardena Bowl Coffee Shop. One of my fav meals in the USA. I could eat it several times a week. Also, they have some good deals on fresh fish plates. I went with my son a few weeks ago anf the Bacon-Fried-Rice is as good as ever. I took one home and re-heated it the next day and it was just as good. Great comfort food place.

                                Gardena Bowl Coffee Shop (U.S.A., Japanese, Polynesian, Continental )
                                15707 S. Vermont Avenue.
                                Gardena, California 90247-4328,
                                (310) 532-0820

                                1. re: JeetJet

                                  I was gonna mention Gardena Bowl, too.

                                  There are also a ton of all you can eat Chinese buffet places on Hawthorne. I've been to a few (I've got a sister and brother in law who love all you can eat places) and have had some decent meals. Sort of greasy in a bad Chinese food sort of way but if you pick and choose your all you can eat items carefully, you can survive.

                                  Not sure if the prices are cheap, but it's relative. When I was a student, we lived for all you can eat places.

                                  Sorry, I can't remember any names, but the ones I know of are on Hawthorne ... what in Torrance isn't?

                                  1. re: PaulF

                                    I just went to Gardena Bowl a couple of weeks ago and had a less than stellar experience there. Maybe I caught them on a bad day.


                                    1. re: PaulF

                                      The best all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet to me is still the Grand China Buffet on Hawthorne in Torrance. Another place is on PCH near Best Buys called China Buffet was one of first place offering NY style Chinese buffet. Further up north on Hawthorne is a smaller place but not as good as the others called the Bamboo Hut (?). Up further in Hawthorne is Number One Buffet which is cheaper at $9.99 for dinner but not as good as Grand China Buffet at $12.95 during dinner time.

                                      1. re: Clinton

                                        the number one buffet resturaunt has the best kung pua chicken I've found in ten cities! chop sticks up.

                                    2. re: JeetJet

                                      Gardena Bowl has probably the best char shu fried saimin in LA. They also serve up a mean tempura/beef teriyaki combo plate. Funny all the cooks behind the counter are Mexicans. But the food is always good and reasonable.

                                  2. And just in case you are ever in a mood to make a pilgrimage to where the mecca of all American meat can be worshipped in an explosion of beefy goodness - all cooked to a drippingly perfect medium rare - then you should venture over to B&R Burger in Hawthorne.

                                    B & R's Old Fashion Burgers
                                    (310) 679-4774
                                    3512 W Rosecrans Ave
                                    Hawthorne, CA 90250

                                    link to previous thead on B&R: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/363871

                                    1. Dont forget Santouka at the Mistuwa Market Food Court, yea for ramen!

                                      1. I love Lee's Tofu for korean soon tofu, on Redondo Beach Blvd & Western. They really good cucumber kimchee.
                                        Sea Empress has some of the best dimsum in L.A., and you don't have to wait for 1 hour like at Empress Pavillion downtown.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: jamiepinkpanda

                                          Don't know why I didn't throw in a "second" sooner, but I've been to Lee's Tofu and I like it very much. Less than 8 bucks for a nice dinner with lots of tasty condiments (kim chee, korean seaweed, etc.). It's right next to Fu Rai Bo which some people seem to like also. I'm not a fan, but I've noticed it's popular in these parts.

                                        2. Get some PHO! If you're an ECC student, Pho Hong Long on Crenshaw is good for pho (haven't tried anything else); not crazy about their banh mi shop next door. Huong Vi, Pho Hoa and Ha Noi on Prairie near Marine are very good. Some also think well of Saigon Dish on Hawthorne Bl. at Manhattan Beach Bl. Only SD has a pho option > $6.
                                          For a number of reasons 'Torrance' and 'inexpensive' are rarely used together.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: DiveFan

                                            I was totally surprised at how good the pho was at Pho Hong Long. Great broth, and summer rolls the size of your forearm.


                                            Pho Hong Long
                                            15709 Crenshaw Blvd Ste A, Gardena, CA 90249

                                          2. the absolute BEST ramen place in town, hands down, is Shin-Sen-Gumi Hakata Ramen: 2015 W Redondo Beach Blvd Ste C, Gardena, CA 90247. it's a small restaurant, and you usually have to wait for about 10 minutes to get in, but it is well worth the wait! if you get the hakata ramen it's $6.95, and you can get a refill of noodles for $1! you HAVE to try it!

                                            1. Good Japanese food is Azuma's on Western and 162nd. New Hawaii-type rstaurant called Kappa's on Carson and Cabrillo (formerly Ding How) is not too bad with lots of room. Happa's on Redondo Beach Blvd in the Gardena Hotel has great short ribs plus an assortment of Japanese dishes. If you like the Gardena Bowl Coffee shop, then you'll like TNT on PCH near Anza. Used to be the same chef. Cherrystone on Vermont across Bob's Okazuya serves excellent prime rib on weekends and has pretty good bentos and Hawaiian dishes. Lomeli's for Italian food on Redondo Beach and Van Ness has been there for years. Excellent combos. Always crowded. Real hungry? Go to Grand Chinese Buffet on Hawthorne and 139th next to Cost Plus for all-you-can-eat Chinese. El Pollo Inca has good Peruvian dishes. My favorite is the Lomo Saltado which is their beef lovers special. Odd dish with French fries mixed in with the meat...pretty good!

                                              1. Is there still a Brolly Hut in Torrance?

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: PaulF

                                                  There is a Brolly Hut on Artesia and Yukon in Torrance.

                                                2. find a lee's sandwich shop. pull in. order a sandwich, eat. delicious and usually less than 5 bucks.

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: lotta_cox

                                                    I am going to be bold for $10.99 you can get the best soul food in all of LA County at Flossie's. You get your choice of entree AND *3* sides PLUS a drink PLUS dessert. I recommend the mixed fried chicken and peach cobbler or the banana pudding.

                                                    Flossie's Southern Cuisine
                                                    3566 Redondo Beach Blvd
                                                    Torrance, CA 90504
                                                    (310) 352-4037
                                                    Closed on Mondays

                                                    Here is a nice blog review.


                                                    1. re: frenetic

                                                      Flossie's used to be very good many years ago but the service and friendliness went downhill. Heard that the original Aunt Kizzie's was still the best in Marina Del Rey. $11 for lunch is pretty high even though the food is OK. M&M's on Rosecrans used to be good for soul food but just like Flossie's, prices are pretty steep.

                                                  2. Still looking for the best tasting saimin whether it be here in LA or in Hawaii. Cannot find anything close that resembles the old time taste when I was growing up in the islands many years ago. Harry's Aloha Chop Suey in Gardena used to have the best saimin but the original owners have retired and sold out to the Loft. No more long lines anyore...

                                                    1. Sanuki no Sato on Western. They have got some great udon dishes. They have a yummy nabeyaki udon. Their set meals are great too and reasonable prices for what you get.

                                                        1. Shisen Ramen on Sepulveda and Western. Best ramen, gyoza and chicken karaage - period. If you make it to Josie's for Mexican - definitely try the tamale. Weirdly addicting. Spoon House, Flossies, Cafe Petite in Torrance in the Mitsua plaza. Excellent Italian and Japanese dishes with some incredible fish dishes. A lot of great places to explore in Torrance around Carson Street and Western Ave. Go to Rizzo's Pizza for the bread sticks.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: gaylenwaydelich

                                                            I second Rizzo's pizza on Sepulveda in Torrance (between Crenshaw, Arlington sts). Lunch specials for under $5. Killer garlic or cinnamon breadsticks.