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Robata, soba, ramen in So Cal?

toridori Mar 16, 2008 06:56 PM

Ever since I've been to Tokyo I've been seriously missing fresh robata grills, soba, and ramen. It's just not the same here in my experience. A lot of the noodle places I've tried seem to include pork in most of their dishes but I'm not a fan of the "other white meat"... does anybody have some good, authentic restaurant suggestions in the LA area?

  1. burumun Jan 8, 2010 10:23 PM

    I guess someone had revived this topic!

    I said in 2008 my fave soba was Yabu. Forget that one, now my fave is by far Ichimiann in Torrance.
    Amazing handmade soba (and udon), excellent broth. An authentic and wonderful little place!

    My full review: http://gourmetpigs.blogspot.com/2009/...

    Ichimian (Bamboo Garden
    )1618 Cravens Ave., Torrance, CA 90501

    1. Professor Salt Mar 22, 2008 04:50 PM

      The ramen at Oki Doki uses their amazing chicken broth. They season it with salt, to not cloud the gorgeous golden color with soy or miso. It's the same broth they use for the sizzling rice and wonton soups. If you want a clear soup for your ramen that'll make a Jewish grandmother proud, head here.

      The noodles aren't all that great, though. I'm a fan of the thin noodles at Shin Sen Gumi. Truth be told, I'm a big fan of the rich, white porky tonkotsu broth served at SSG, Santouka, and Daikokuya. But since you're looking for something not pork based, do give Oki Doki a shot.

      Oki Doki
      3033 S Bristol St, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

      3 Replies
      1. re: Professor Salt
        toridori Dec 8, 2009 10:35 AM

        I forgot about this thread until I had a recent craving for Ramen. I'm going to give Oki Doki a shot, Prof Salt! Thanks!

        1. re: toridori
          Professor Salt Dec 8, 2009 11:02 PM

          FYI, since this 2008 post, they've opened a second location in Tustin, on Newport Ave. A few doors down from Kean Coffee

          1. re: Professor Salt
            toridori Dec 9, 2009 12:42 PM

            Oh good, that's actually closer to me! Thanks! :)

      2. e
        ExtraCheesePlease Mar 22, 2008 04:26 PM

        Was in Santa Monica a couple of weeks ago for a meeting and went to Sushi Roku on Ocean and Santa Monica Blvd. and they had a room dedicated to the robata grill. I loved it.

        1. e
          exilekiss Mar 22, 2008 11:49 AM

          Hey toridori,

          I would skip Gonpachi (beautiful setting, touristy, average food).

          For Robatayaki / Yakitori / Kushiyaki in L.A., my favorite hands down is:

          * Shin Sen Gumi Robata Yakitori (Fountain Valley)

          If that's too far for you, then the Monterey Park location (new) is a good compromise:

          * Shin Sen Gumi Yakitori - Shabushabu Restaurant
          111 N. Atlantic Blvd.
          Montorey Park CA 91754

          (BTW, the Fountain Valley location has one side devoted to Hakata Ramen; go next door to the Robatayaki side. Dinner Only. :)

          Shin Sen Gumi Hakata Ramen
          18315 Brookhurst St, Fountain Valley, CA 92708

          1. t
            toridori Mar 21, 2008 09:53 PM

            Wow, thanks for all the excellent info! I'm definitely going to give Otafuku a try... I didn't know Katsuya in Brentwood had robata, thought it was just sushi like the one in the valley. I'll give that a try as well.

            1. h
              hazelrah Mar 18, 2008 11:04 PM

              The robata menu at Takami in downtown LA is small but pretty good. Wouldn't recommend much else there in terms of food. Hip and lively after-work crowd, if you're into that sort of thing.

              I think Gonpachi had an extensive robata selection. Their soba is also quite good and you can watch them make it out front. But I agree, definitely make the trip to Otafuku in Gardena if you can.

              1. burumun Mar 18, 2008 04:47 PM

                I'm no expert like rameniac and I definitely never ask for anything other than pork in my ramen, but my fave ramen place is Daikokuya in Little Tokyo.
                I know Chabuya on Sawtelle has chicken ramen though.

                My favorite Soba place is Yabu on Pico (http://gourmetpigs.blogspot.com/2008/...


                and unfortunately, the only robata places I've been to is the fancy schmancy Katsuya in Brentwood (which, don't get me wrong, I think has great robata. Albeit expensive).

                1. DiveFan Mar 18, 2008 03:59 PM

                  In case you haven't discovered it, a wealth of noodle info resides in the blog of our esteemed rameniac: http://www.rameniac.com/

                  Another enthusiant goes by the handle of keizo: http://www.goramen.com/

                  1. m
                    mrhooks Mar 17, 2008 10:30 PM

                    I think you would be hard pressed to find a good bowl of ramen that does not have pork in it. Ramenya, maybe? (Although I don't think they're very good, mine is the minority opinion here.)

                    For soba...I can't really say that it's a great soba place, but I always thought the noodle shop (I forget the name) on the first floor of Mitsuwa Plaza in Little Tokyo (3rd and Alameda) had good soba. It's been years since I've been there though.

                    I don't think I've ever eaten Robata in LA. I suppose Shin-Sen-Gumi yakitori (Gardena, Fountain Valley, Monterey Park) isn't too bad...

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: mrhooks
                      Hailyn Mar 18, 2008 12:55 PM

                      For soba, Otafuku in Gardena. See Perceptor's excellent report: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/50031...

                      For robata, I like Nanbankan in West LA.

                      For ramen, Chabuya on Sawtelle or Santouka in the Mitsuwa in Torrance and also on Centinela.

                      1. re: mrhooks
                        SauceSupreme Mar 18, 2008 03:32 PM

                        Perhaps you're thinking Sanuki Sandou for the Mitsuwa soba. They've got a similar outpost at the West LA Mitsuwa location.

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