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Jul 12, 2010 06:15 AM

new (good) ramen shop alert: RAMEN MOTTAINAI in gardena (nano-review)

so there's a brand new ramen shop in gardena; ramen mottainai in marukai pacific square. shops have been cropping up a-plenty lately, but this place is pretty legit. they actually do a kogashi (burnt) miso ramen. by charring the miso paste, the soup takes on this fragrant flavor. their shoyu-tonkotsu ramen is authentic as well, done in the tradition of a proper yokohama ie-kei shop. anyone interested in checking out what "ie-kei" ramen is all about can get a pretty accurate representation of the dish here. the place opened on july 1 and doesn't even have a sign up yet (it's in the southwest corner next to the udon/soba shop), but it's good enough for me to tell you to go and try it already. enjoy!

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  1. Nice review...on my to-go list now. But why "mottainai"? It makes me think that their portions are so huge that there might be some left over....

    2 Replies
    1. re: OCAnn

      nah the portions are normal-sized. there's a little story on the menu explaining their name, about how they use the best ingredients in nature and don't waste anything, or something like that.

    2. Gracias. On my radar.

      1. Stopped by after work today. It's in the corner where the Peruvian-Japanese restaurant used to be.

        I ordered a large Yokohama(shoyu-tonkotsu) with a "red bomb". The portion size was similar to a large at Santouka. Doesn't look that big initially, but it fills you up pretty quickly.

        The noodles are thicker and more substantial than I've had at any of the other ramen-yas in the area. The soup had visible flecks of pork fat floating in it and was nice and rich. Adding one of the flavoring bombs to this was overkill. The chili bomb wasn't that hot, incidentally. About the heat level of of spicy miso at Santouka.

        Overall a nice addition to the South Bay ramen scene.

        Next time I'll try the regular shoyu with the garlic-pig-fat-bomb!

        1. Excellent review as always: so how does Mottainai stack up compared to the other heavyweights in the area? If some place like, for example, Santouka is my gold standard, is Mottainai going to turn my head?

          3760 S Centinela Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90066

          1. Anyone know the hours of operation? Wondering if they're open for lunch today...