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Mar 16, 2008 06:56 PM

Robata, soba, ramen in So Cal?

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?

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  1. 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

      For soba, Otafuku in Gardena. See Perceptor's excellent report:

      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

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

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

        Another enthusiant goes by the handle of keizo:

        1. 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 (


          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. 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. 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.