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East Coaster - Need Torrance and Beyond Suggestions

I am from Southeast Virginia and I have an impromtu business trip next week in Torrance, CA and will be staying near the Del Amo Mall and the Honda R & D. This will be my second time to the Torrance area and on many occasions on my last visit was less than steller food-wise. I love to try new things and if you can recommend items that are especially good at the recommended restaurants. Please help!

5 dinners & 1 lunch anywhere (open to drive)
5 breakfasts & 4 lunches in Torrance
--$10 for breakfast, $15 for lunch and $30 for dinner (budget shooting for, I like to order water and focus on the food.)

I like ethnic foods:persian, chinese, japanese, fusion and mexican ( mexican food is pitiful in VA)

What are some really authentic dishes to try that are more on the light side for a lunch? What are some really California places, things to eat?
What's good at Venice or Hermosa Beach?
Also if you have any fun/unique things to do at night since I'll be busy during the days that would be great!
Thank you so much in advance for any help!!

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  1. For breakfast, lunch or coffee on Western Ave (close to Honda R&D) just north of the 405 is "The Locals Place" in Gardena. A fast food branch of Kings Hawaiian Bakery. They got decent coffee, pastries and adequate Hawaiian food. Stay away from the Kings Hawaiian Bakery & Restaurant on Sepulveda Blvd. in Torrance, food isn't the greatest but they have great bakery items.
    The Local Place
    18605 S Western Ave
    Gardena, CA 90248
    (310) 523-3233

    Also close to Honda R&D is Mitsuwa Market. They have a food court with lots of good Japanese cuisine from ramen to sushi for lunch.
    Mitsuwa Market
    21515 S Western Ave
    Torrance, CA 90501
    (310) 782-6800

    Azuma in Gardena for traditional old school Japanese for lunch or dinner.
    16123 S. Western Ave,
    310 532 8623

    1. I use to live across the street from the Del Amo Mall. Every time I watch that movie Jackie Brown, the part filmed at the Mall, it takes me back.... Seems like you should go to Roscoe's in Long Beach for some fried chicken and waffles.

      Anyway, I second the rec for the Local Place. You must buy thagt small orange Bunt cake (Sponge Cake). It is unlike any cake you have had. Good island breakfast and plate lunches also.

      Breakfast only
      Original Pancake House ( 49'er Flapjacks, Buttermilk pancakes, Crepes, Dutch Baby, Potato pancakes, Bluebarry, sometimes a long line but go-for-it)
      Redondo Beach
      1756 South Pacific Coast Hwy.
      Redondo Beach, California 90277

      Breakfast, lunch or dinner
      Eat At Joe's (Any omelet, I always seem to get the John Wayne Special. A large meal served anytime. Corn tortills topped with breakfast potatos, top with egss up, cheese in in this someplace, and then smothered in a mexican sauce and dollar sausages all around the side. The Duke told the cook how he wanted to eat and it has been made his way ever since. The Duke ate lots of red meat and big breakfast. He died of Stomach cancer in 79. So maybe not good to eat like this everyday but you gotta live sometimes or your dead before you die --No?)
      400 N. Pacific Coast Highway (5 min. drive from Del Amo Mall)
      Redondo Beach, CA 90277
      (310) 376-9570

      Bruddah's Hawaiian Foods (Hawaiian food, Loco Moco is very good here)
      1033 W. Gardena Blvd
      Gardena, CA 90247- 4957
      (310) 323-9112

      Gardena Bowl Coffee Shop (Very good Bacon Fried Rice and fish plates, U.S.A., Japanese, Polynesian, Continental Food)
      15707 S. Vermont Avenue.
      Gardena, California 90247-4328,
      (310) 532-0820

      Back Home in Lahaina (Hawaiian food, Loco Moco, Lau Lau, Kahuku Style Shrimp Scampi)
      916 N Sepulveda Blvd
      Manhattan Beach, CA 90266-5927
      (310) 374-0111

      Blue Water Grill (Seafood, Chowder, Beer Battered Fish (Halibut) & Chips, Fried Ipswich Clams, at lunch there is sometimes a Lobster roll sandwich)
      665 North Harbor Drive
      Redondo Beach, CA 90277
      (310) 318-3474


      1. If your the type to tip a beer now and then, a place you might try is the Red Car Brewery at 1266 Sartori, which is in Old Town Torrance. Good pub grub and great hancrafted beers. On another note, if you really want to try a real authentic mexican dish menudo comes to mind, one of my favorite mexican breakfast dishes.

        1. Very good Mexican food in Long Beach at Enrique's. Pasillas asados consists of two flame-roasted peppers filled with diced potatoes and a blend of Jack and blue cheeses melted into a sort of sauce beneath the peppers. It's served with both a chunky guacamole and some tomato-onion pico de gallo. Delicious. Tortitas de cangrejo, (crab cakes garnished with a chipotle infused sauce)served along side lime vinaigrette-dressed greens.

          The best known of the dishes you will find is a whole pork shank stewed in tomatillo sauce. It's cooked until it falls off the bone.

          Enrique's Mexican Restaurant
          6210 E Pacific Coast Hwy
          Long Beach, CA 90803
          Phone: (562) 498-3622

          Addendum: I googled mapped it and got 9 miles from Del Amo Mall to Enrique's

          1. Shin Shen Gumi in Gardena for Japanese yakitoris

            1. Kan Yuzen Izakaya
              2755 Pacific Coast Highway (in Torrance Towne Center),

              Cho Dang Tofu (Korean)
              22549 Hawthorne Blvd , Torrance
              (310) 373-7055

              Musha Torrance
              1725 Carson St., Suite B
              (310) 787-7344

              1. Thanks so much for your replies and details on each restaurant! So it sounds like there are a lot of good Hawaiian Restaurants. Hawaiian and Polynesian don't exist where I live and since there is only one authentic Japanese restaurant I have only tried rice pocket stuff w/ items called unigiri?, ramen, sushi, tempura and the us style combo rolls and teriyaki bento boxes what are some new things to try (barring things like live octopus from movie Old Boy, shutter) and I'll have a sushi squimish guy coming to lunches, what can he order besides, tempura and teriyaki dishes?

                4 Replies
                1. re: VBeatso

                  Unigiri is close to what you heard. It is called Onigiri, (or more commonly -- as we refer to it at home -- Omusubi).

                  1. re: Servorg

                    go to neil's pasta and seafood house...in san pedro....about a 10 minute drive.
                    you can find them online....very best italian in the area.

                    1. re: peterboy

                      I was thinking of San Pedro, or even Rancho Palos Verdes, also. There have been many post recently about places there. I respect post by Ernie, and others, and these places keep being mentioned. I have been making a wish list....

                      Lunch or Dinner

                      Neil's Pasta & Seafood Grill (try the fresh fish specials)
                      383 W 5TH St
                      San Pedro, CA
                      (310) 548-3495

                      The Admiral Risty Restaurant (Grilled fresh Halibut with almonds
                      )31250 Palos Verdes Drive West,
                      Rancho Palos Verdes, California 90275
                      (310) 377-0050


                      Lighthouse Café (eclectic breakfast menu, Simpler items are best
                      )508 39th Street.
                      San Pedro, CA
                      (310) 548-3354

                      Gaffey Street Diner (Hash and eggs, biscuits and gravy)
                      247 N Gaffey St
                      San Pedro, CA 90731
                      (310) 548-6964

                      Pacific Diner (Everything home made – sausage, salsa, )
                      3821 S Pacific Ave
                      San Pedro, CA 90731-6912
                      (310) 831-5334

                      Also, another idea is to drive to the LAX, Santa Monica, Westside area which is not too far away. A current thread list many good ideas and I posted a list of most of my fav palces in that area.


                      1. re: JeetJet

                        dude... the lighthouse is a fun dive bar...BUT - Avoid the food... seriously.

                2. Onami is a great Japanese seafood buffet. If you don't see sushi you like they'll make it fresh for you. Great tempura, lots of dishes, great service. This is a must but go hungry.


                  1. Close by and very casual are some mighty good tacos at Los Paisas - open until 8pm.
                    If you don't want to go all the way to Bruddahs or Gardena Bowl for Hawaiian, next door is Aloha Teriyaki (also very casual) - the saimin or other soups will make a tasty light meal.
                    Hank's Bistro ('Pizza') is not too far away for Persian - can't recall others close by.

                    BTW some of the other places mentioned are considerably out of the South Bay and could be murder to get to in traffic.

                    Hank's Bistro
                    14406 Hawthorne Blvd, Lawndale, CA 90260

                    Los Paisas
                    21168 S Western Ave, Torrance, CA 90501

                    Aloha Teriyaki - closed?
                    21162 S Western Ave, Torrance, CA 90501

                    1. A fine breakfast place with an Asian touch is the very homey Country Touch - zoom north on Prairie and east on 190th.
                      El Recoto in Gardena is well regarded for Peruvian food.

                      Country Touch Cafe
                      3717 W 190th St, Torrance, CA 90504

                      El Rocoto
                      1356 W Artesia Blvd, Gardena, CA 90248

                      1. There are 500 million posts on good things to eat in the South Bay here: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/360745. Sift through and enjoy!