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Jul 16, 2009 07:57 PM

Tatsunoya tonkotsu ramen at the Mitsuwa (Torrance) Kyushu & Okinawa Fair

If you like Asa or Shin-Sen-Gumi, you ought to love this place. There isn't much in the way of toppings - a fairly generous portion of chashu, a piece of nori, some green onion, some beansprouts, that's it - but the quality of everything is really good. I don't know how the broth compares to the yatai in Japan that rameniac frequents, but it's definitely a few notches above the tonkotsu broths at Asa, SSG, Kyusyu Jangara in Tokyo, and possibly Ippudo NYC. It's very rich and opaque, with a bit of seabura (diced pork back fat) and chili powder to give it a little something extra.

I also tried some brown sugar sata andagi (Okinawan donuts), which reminded me a bit of hush puppies. They were good, but I didn't know what they were when I bought them, and the little sign (which had a lot of romaji on it) said "ham somethingorother," so I thought there might be ham inside it. I guess "ham" was either "han" or an inaccurate transliteration?

There's also a mackerel sushi stand, a pastry stand, and all kinds of southern Japanese groceries, including umi-budou (sea grapes).

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  1. If you buy the cream puff stuffed with flan or any of the other flan goodies at the pastry stand, don't eat it right away! They keep the flan semi-frozen so it keeps its shape. Take it home and let it sit on the counter for an hour or two before you eat it so the flan can get soft and creamy. Don't make the same mistake I did!

    2 Replies
    1. re: huaqiao

      Aah. My friend had one and thought it was weird. I wonder if that was the reason why. I'm generally not a fan of (the texture of) custards, so I didn't try it.

      1. re: huaqiao

        We bought the two-pack of cream puffs with flan on Saturday at about noon. They were perfect -- and not frozen. Also, the tofu items and other assorted "pancakes" were quite tasty.

        The mackerel looked very delicious, but it was sold only in large packages. After sampling everything else, we did not have any room left.