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Ramen Yamada-ya coming to Culver City in May

I was at Yamada-ya last night, and the wait was pretty long - 30 minutes! I wish they'd do it like in Japan, where they take your order while you're waiting so that your ramen is ready the moment you sit down.

Anyway, there was a sign out front saying they're opening a bigger place in Culver City in May. The address given is 11172 Washington, but it did not specify Boulevard or Place. But I guess it's likely to be the former.

Let's hope expansion doesn't come at the price of quality.

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  1. I'm guessing you're right about it being Washington Blvd. I did a search on that address and that would be the building where Markie D's used to be - it was Hoagies and Wings the last time I noticed. What Markie D's was to hoagies in the Westside, Hoagies and Wings was the antithesis. I'm guessing they're folding up shop and making room for something that is far more promising. Thanks for the info.

    2 Replies
    1. re: bulavinaka

      Already folded. Was going to try it for a last minute super bowl wings run and seemed like it was long gone.

      1. re: Discokill

        Interesting The location is still on their website, or has the whole chain folded?

    2. YAY! Thanks for the heads up! :) This is excellent news!

      --Dommy!

      1. has this opened yet?

        1 Reply
        1. re: jadekarrde

          Not yet, but it's getting there!

          This was taken a couple of weeks ago and the inside was stripped... but they where actively working with the kitchen...

          http://yfrog.com/h0p10oyj

          --Dommy!

        2. Nice!

          1. Does anyone know if the CC location is open yet?

            7 Replies
            1. re: pamm5959

              As of Sunday, signage is up but the interior still needs work.

              1. re: New Trial

                Yeah... they are completely re-doing the inside... should be very nice when it all gets done! :)

                --Dommy!

                1. re: New Trial

                  To stir the pot a bit--I drove by this morning on my way to Downtown and there on the windows was written "Open in 10 Days."

                  1. re: New Trial

                    I can't wait.

                    We can walk there. I pass it every day on my way home from work and check the progress. Driving by it looks like they still have work to be done, but really it's tough to tell speeding by.

                    If anyone cares, the Greek place on the same street is really cheap and really good. If you're in front of the Ramen place, just walk east past the sports bar and it's right there. One caution: It's really hot and stuffy inside. Eat on the patio or take out, it's actually borderline unpleasant in the restaurant proper.

                    LOL -- I can't remember the name.

                    1. re: New Trial

                      17 days later, and the sign says "Open in 5 Days." 3 more weeks perhaps?

                      1. re: mrhooks

                        LOL!! Thanks for the update... last week it said 7 days... Maybe Japanese Days are a different length... :)

                        --Dommy!

                        1. re: Dommy

                          Eater LA says August 27th

                2. Opened on saturday and I was there. I tried the ramen with added pork back fat. really delicious, loved all the toppings that came with it. I ordered it as a set with curry rice and chicken karage, both were good, the curry rice was better.

                  But oh my god, the broth the broth the broth. So incredible, best ramen broth I've ever had. The noodles were pretty good, and the chasu was pretty good, but wow that broth makes this my favorite ramen bowl. Santouka will always have my favorite meat, with their special pork, but goddamn, the broth here just kicks all sorts of ass.

                  -----
                  Santouka
                  3760 S Centinela Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90066

                  10 Replies
                  1. re: jadekarrde

                    I was walking by today around 7 pm. They were packed, people were standing around outside waiting for a table.

                    Just glanced at the menu, they had no take out menus printed yet.

                    The menu I saw said "soft opening through Sept 1."

                    Just reporting on the crowd -- will try later on.

                    1. re: PaulF

                      Made it in today right at the 5 pm opening.

                      The place filled up quickly.

                      A extremely rich broth with noodles that had a nice bite to them and the pork slices held there own with the rest of the components.

                      Yes the chicken Karage is done better then most and the curry hit the spot as well.

                      We had no issues with the timing / service and as we departed a line was forming at around 6.

                      A good alternative to Santouka.

                      -----
                      Santouka
                      3760 S Centinela Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90066

                      1. re: burntwater

                        if this new location is more consistent than the one in torrance, i'm going to be very jealous.

                        1. re: aizan

                          I've had close to a dozen bowls of ramen at tr Torrence location and it's pretty darned consistent. The egg is the only variable and sometimes not as runny as I would like. The broth is consistently deep and flavorful and noodles are never overbooked. The chasu is more flavorful than the chasu at Santouka and I even prefer it to the special pork because it has more flavor. The extra pieces of kakuni just puts it over the top. Had a Yamadaya all stars extra portion just 3 days ago before going to LAX.

                          -----
                          Santouka
                          3760 S Centinela Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90066

                          1. re: Porthos

                            I have to disagree a bit about the noodles. I've been there at least 25 times, and ordering katamen results in actual katamen only sometimes - usually it's somewhere in-between katamen and normal (this is compared to what I've gotten when Tatsuno-ya and Hakata Ippudo were visiting at Mitsuwa, not to mention Asa Ramen or even SSG (their noodles are kinda tasteless in comparison, but they're properly katamen)). They seem to be getting better about it though. Also, the kakuni sometimes can be a little dry, because they don't make a fresh batch every day. And I agree about the egg - Asa does a better job here as well.

                            Still, it's my favorite place for ramen in Southern California.

                            1. re: mrhooks

                              Agree to disagree. Stopped going to Asa after bowl #5 since the eggs varied from soft to medium well. The broth was outrageously salty three times out of five. You can nit pick about the kakuni but who else gives you kakuni that good in a bowl of ramen here in the LA area.

                              1. re: Porthos

                                it's been all over the map for me. texture and flavor of the meat, doneness and marination of the egg, fishiness, porkiness, and temperature of the soup, doneness of the noodles. despite these shortcomings, it's still my favorite ramen-ya. i prefer it over the local competition for the food, atmosphere, and location, but it's not at the top of my list for best ramen, per se.

                                maybe i sound too critical, but that's because i really, really want it to be better.

                                1. re: Porthos

                                  Yeah, I stopped going to Asa as well because of ther heavy hand with salt....

                                  --Dommy!

                                  1. re: Porthos

                                    Who else gives kakuni, period? Your question is tantamount to saying it's okay to serve occasionally dry kakuni because they're the only ones who serve it at all. Sure, I suppose when you're the only game in town, you can do whatever you want. I'm saying they can do better. They most likely won't, and I'll continue to go either way (at least until a better place pops up - I would kill for an Ippudo here), but that doesn't mean there isn't room for improvement. At the very least, I wish I knew which days they make their kakuni (if it's set - probably not), so I can just go on those days.

                                    However...not "in a bowl of ramen" per se, but you can order a side of grilled chashu at Horon that's better than Yamadaya's kakuni on its best day. It's a shame their ramen is so light on toppings, because that and the ridiculous amount of peppercorns in the broth are all that's keeping it a step below Yamadaya.

                                    I agree about Asa's broth (somewhat; it's never been that consistently salty for me, but it's just not that rich or flavorful in comparison), but I've had fewer issues with their egg than I've had with Yamadaya's.

                                    My original comment was mainly about the noodles anyway. But then I'm probably more serious about katamen than most.

                                    1. re: mrhooks

                                      Are you sure it's dry or lean kakuni that we're talking about here. I get an occasional piece of kakuni here and there that is lean and not as fatty and thereful less tender. But I enjoy it nevertheless because it's leaner and I feel less guilty about eating all the extra pork.

                                      I don't think anyone is disagreeing here. Could it be more consistent and is there room for improvement? Yes. Is it better than what you can get in Japan? No. But then again, what is? But despite the minor quibles here and there, even you and aizan find it the best ramen in town. That much we all agree on.

                      2. Went in there this past Fri, 9/2 at about 6 p.m. The menu being handed out still stated the soft opening ending on 9/1. Place was full but some tables had just turned and being cleaned, within 10 minutes all five parties of two waiting, including us had been seated. Another wave hit 20 minutes later.

                        Service seemed fine, took our order quick enough, not overly long wait for food and checked on us a couple of times during dining. We made one of our ramen bowls a combo to check out the karage chicken and curry rice. Those were pretty good and fairly inexpensive for quality and quantity. $3.50 more if you want it with white rice, $4.00 for curry rice.

                        When we left, place was still full and there was about 5-6 parties of varying sizes waiting. But the tables seem to turn fast enough and there was some counter seating available.

                        Overall, we liked it a lot, in some ways we liked it better than Santouka, in others a little less. I'll leave it to the hardcore fanatics to debate the finer points on which place is better. But for us, we're thrilled to have this and Santouka within convenient distance. To have a choice between two such excellent places is a blessing when a lot of neighborhoods would be happy to have even one ramen place that came close to the quality of either one.

                        -----
                        Santouka
                        3760 S Centinela Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90066

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: Jase

                          I've eaten at RY three times this week.

                          My son loves it.

                          I do too, but the food is so rich it's almost too much. I have had the regular, the one with the extra chashu and the all star. I don't think I've been able to finish the whole bowl yet.

                          Agree with Jase -- good to have this place so close by ... even though I feel a little queasy on pork at the moment.

                          1. re: PaulF

                            I haven't been yet because they haven't set up their regular menu. Once they do, they'll have more wonderful 'liter' dishes like their salad (Which comes with their famous egg) and their Katsu Fish. One of my favorite fish dishes ever!

                            --Dommy!

                            1. re: Dommy

                              Sounds great ... I eat fish a lot. Looking forward to it.

                            2. re: PaulF

                              If you've gone three times this week, that means you should be building up a tolerance to the richness. You'll be able to eat more soon. LOL!

                              I generally find being quesy with pork kind of like a happy buzz.

                            3. re: Jase

                              I've gone back and forth between Yamadaya Torrance (haven't been to the CC location, excited to try it) and Santouka. What I've decided is, in the end, when I'm tired and cold and need uplifting, Santouka calls to me a little more, and when a want a little more perfect aesthetic sublimnity, Yamadaya appeals to me a little more. But it's a matter of inches. It's a lovely thing, to have such a choice...

                              -----
                              Santouka
                              3760 S Centinela Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90066

                            4. Just in From LA Eater Ramen Yamadaya is coming to Westwood this November. They have taken the JuJu Cereal Bar at 1248 Westwood Blvd.

                              -----
                              Ramen Yamadaya
                              3118 W 182nd St, Torrance, CA 90504

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: wienermobile

                                My wife mentioned this to me last week (how did she know?) and my first words were, "Oh no - parking?"

                                1. re: bulavinaka

                                  While it is tempting to suggest she simply read the soup leaves (nori), she may well have seen it on Yamadaya's website: http://www.ramen-yamadaya.com/locatio...
                                  Either way, you win.

                                  1. re: New Trial

                                    You're right - it was in plain sight on their www-dot per her. If R.Y. keeps expanding like this and keep their quality up, I think we all win!

                                    1. re: New Trial

                                      Yamadaya website with all current locations: http://www.ramen-yamadaya.com/ (adding this to the thread to guard against the coming purge of the Chowhound database/place links feature).

                                2. been twice more, about three days after open and about a week and a half after that. I've tried the main options, the shoyu was more of a minor variation on the main broth, and the Yamadaya seemed exactly like the Kotteri ramen I got on opening day.

                                  The second visit was a bit of a disaster. they must have been short-handed, took forever to be seated while there were open, cleared tables, took forever to deal with check, etc. was handed the wrong ramen (was given the table next to me who sat down about three or four minutes before me) and the center of the egg (which I ate almost immediately) was cold. But the broth was still terrific.

                                  The third visit was back up to the level of the first visit, they had double the serving staff (broke down and hired some gaijin in apparent utter desperation), and I had no complaints. I think I like the noodles about the same as Santouku, the broth is stunning, and the chashu is better than Santouka chashu, not quite as good as Santouka special pork, but the attention to the toppings is really outstanding. An outstanding place, best ramen location on the westside, and if they ever get some tile in for the floor it'll be the nicest interior ramen shop on the westside.

                                  -----
                                  Santouka
                                  3760 S Centinela Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90066

                                  1. Couple of notes --

                                    We went again last night. Great meal.

                                    I asked and they told me that yes, the are going to add some items to the menu, they won't be adding the entire menu that the Torrance menu had. I asked about the fish and the waitress said she didn't think the Culver City location is getting the fish dishes. Not 100% sure, but didn't think so.

                                    They told me that they are trying to add beer to the menu.

                                    Final note: They've added a large communal table to the back area. I don't know how many people it holds, but maybe 20? 15 at least.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: PaulF

                                      Oh no! I'm heartbroken about the fish! :( :( Ah well... at least now I can go sooner than later! :)

                                      --Dommy!

                                      1. re: Dommy

                                        Let's hope the waitress was wrong.

                                    2. Im a huge ramen fan and love the pork bone broth but my girlfriend does not eat pork (she eats chicken and seafood) and Im wondering if there would be anything for her to order at Yamada.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: carln

                                        They have several chicken dishes that my family really likes and IIRC there is a fish broth noodle dish as well, though I don't recall the details of that dish.

                                        But there is definitely a few chicken dishes, Katsu-ya and a few others.

                                        1. re: PaulF

                                          Thanks PaulF. I appreciate the info.

                                      2. while I love noodles, I love the broth more and there are usually more noodles than I want to eat or will eat. I've been wondering for a while, would it be unacceptably gauche/gaijin to ask for half noodles? Would a ramen ya even do that?

                                        Also, are there customizations that most ramen places do? I ask because there was some discussion of ordering katamen upthread and I have no idea what that means. Is this one of many options one can order that are not listed on the menu?

                                        12 Replies
                                        1. re: jadekarrde

                                          It's not impolite at all to ask for a half-portion of noodles. They'll still charge you full price, probably. Just make clear you don't want a kids' order which is a half-order of noodles in a smaller bowl with a half portion of soup.

                                          In the way of customization, you can ask for noodles cooked firmer or softer than usual. "Kata-men" means firm noodles, BTW. Yamadaya offers thick or thin noodles, but most shops don't.

                                          1. re: jadekarrde

                                            A couple of things:

                                            We went tonight to Yamadaya Ramen and they refused to do a "half" noodles in my ramen. They said the portions were pre-something -- predetermined, pre-prepared -- something. Anyway, they wouldn't put half the noodles in my bowl. I had to leave half the noodles over ... or better said, give half them to my son who had them with his chicken katsu.

                                            Also -- and more importantly -- they've changed the menu. There are a lot more items, including a spicy shrimp dish that we had as an appetizer. It wasn't hot or anything, just chili sauce, but the shrimp were large and tender. I didn't have a pen with me or anything, so I don't recall the additional items, but there were a few.

                                            No fish, in case you were wondering.

                                            Finally -- this is a minor complaint: They don't serve hot tea. Japanese food without hot tea is weird to my family. Considering all you need to do is boil water and hand out a tea bag, it seems like it would be pretty easy to offer it. Oh well ... I guess they don't wan to, no biggie.

                                            1. re: PaulF

                                              Hm. Weird about the refusal to do half noodles

                                              I don't think I've ever been had green tea at a pure ramen-only shop. I don't know any that actually have it because it doesn't cross my mind to ask for it. Just because it's Japanese food doesn't mean green tea is appropriate or even available.

                                              Hot ramen soup and hot green tea don't go together. Cold barley tea during the summer, yes. Beer yes. Water yes. Hot green tea? No. It's like going to a pizza by the slice shop and asking for hot coffee.

                                              1. re: Professor Salt

                                                I don't know if they go together or not.

                                                Not sure what a "pure ramen-only shop: is, but Yamadaya Ramen serves many items other than ramen soup. My wife and son both get the bento box and green tea is surely appropriate with the bento. They also serve cold noodles.

                                                Anyway, you're probably right, ramen shops don't serve hot tea. But it was cold last night and I would have liked a warm up before dinner. It's still a good restaurant.

                                                1. re: PaulF

                                                  I just glanced at the menus of a couple of ramen shops in LT and sure enough -- no green tea. And these places serve items other than ramen, too.

                                                  So -- I learned something today. Cool.

                                                  1. re: PaulF

                                                    Finding green tea available in a ramen shop in Japan would be really unusual.

                                                  2. re: PaulF

                                                    "Pure ramen-only" shop means a specialist ramen shop, where the primary thing sold is ramen. Any good ramen shop will also sell other stuff - gyoza, fried rice, and so on, so my calling it "pure ramen-only" is inaccurate. My apologies.

                                                    Compare and contrast to a Japanese restaurant with a much broader menu where ramen is offered, but not the main draw. An izakaya like Honda Ya is an example.

                                                    1. re: Professor Salt

                                                      You were right. You taught me something. I appreciate it. Thanks.

                                                      1. re: PaulF

                                                        Now Yamadaya serves hot tea. My wife had some tonight.

                                                        So, there you go.

                                                        Ramen + tea.

                                                        They also serve cheese ramen. Not sure I want to try that.

                                                        1. re: PaulF

                                                          You are smart about that... I tried it and although it looks LOVELY (they have a special shaver that just mounds it all on top of the bowl like fluffy show, it was very one note and incredibly salty...

                                                          --Dommy!

                                                          1. re: Dommy

                                                            I kept picturing something like onion soup with the melted cheese.

                                                            Thanks for TOFTT

                                                            1. re: PaulF

                                                              Yeah, the thing about the cheese that is used for onion soup is that it melts wonderfully. Parm just kinda floats and becomes gritty... I can see how this is popular, it's a complete unami bomb, but not the reason why I got for ramen.

                                                              --Dommy!

                                            2. Yamada-ya now serves beer and wine and sake and sochu.

                                              I just had a Sapporo with my katusa curry rice.

                                              Just thought people might like to know.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: PaulF

                                                Excellent news! :DDD

                                                --Dommy!

                                              2. Drove by today on my way back to work from Fresh Corn Grill and noticed the Westwood Boulevard location has not opened yet. The sign in the window says "Open 12/ " with no specific date.

                                                I think it's going to do well, the location is perfect, right next to all the tall office buildings. I bet they do a better lunch business to start then even a dinner rush.

                                                Parking might be a hassle.

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: PaulF

                                                  Open now at their Westwood location.

                                                  1. re: thranduil

                                                    Tried it this week and I have to say it's pretty good despite being only open a short while.

                                                    I got the tonkotsu kotteri, spice level one (which is only one step above no spice) with the "Yamadaya topping" (comes with an egg that was slightly past a proper hanjuku, chasu and nori). I have to say this is definitely my new favorite ramen place serving tonkotsu-style broth. The broth was rich and deeply porky with firm and chewy noodles. The chasu was a little dry but good. Haven't been to the other locations so I'm not sure how it measures up on a relative scale, but on an absolute ramen scale, it's a great addition to Westwood.

                                                    1. re: thranduil

                                                      Stopped by the Westwood location today. You know you go too much when they recognize you from the Torrance branch...

                                                      Ramen was good. Wish I had this around when I lived in the area. But then again, maybe it's a good thing I didn't. Portions were a little smaller than the Torrance location I thought and I think I still prefer the Torrance one by a little bit. All in all, the delicious broth is the same. They only have thin noodles at this location which is what I usually get. Gyoza is just as good as the original.

                                                  2. Was there for dinner last night. Looks like an update menu. They have a chicken and fish broth available. The cheese which was previously a limited special is now on the menu. They've also expanded their rice bowl selections for the combo. Choices now include mentaiko, tuna and a couple of other ones. Prices seem to have creeped up about $.50 to $1.00 on some items.

                                                    5 Replies
                                                    1. re: Jase

                                                      I tried the chicken based ramen, the shoyu version. (In reading the menu, it was actually confusing as to which had a fish broth ... weird.)

                                                      I thought it was a very good bowl of noodles. I kept trying to compare it to a bowl of chicken noodle soup in a deli. It wasn't really the same.

                                                      Though I liked it, I'm not sure I liked it better than the pork based ramen (I also like the shoyu version of that.) The regular shoyu ramen is, to me, transcendent. On the other hand, I never feel well after eating it -- I feel woozy, light headed, almost drunk on pork richness. The chicken didn't knock me out for the evening.

                                                      I didn't think the spicy tuna rice bowl that came with the combo was all that great, wouldn't order it again.

                                                      1. re: PaulF

                                                        I've regularly driven by - seems the crazy lines are no more. Has that been your experience?

                                                        1. re: bulavinaka

                                                          Not crazy.

                                                          We went there Saturday night right when the Lakers were playing and there was a short wait -- maybe 10 minutes. We attributed it (the relatively short wait) to the fact that the Lakers game was on. (We recorded it and watched it when we got home.)

                                                          So, not so crazy, possibly due to a local favorite team being in the playoffs.

                                                          We've also been to the WW location on Saturday night -- there was no wait at all there.

                                                          So, less crazy, but far from empty.

                                                          1. re: bulavinaka

                                                            We go at least once every couple of weeks. The lines definitely aren't as crazy unless you go at height of dinner hour on Friday or Saturday. Last time we went, it was a Tuesday night at 7 p.m. and we walked right in. Only a few tables taken, over the next hour people filled in but it was never completely full.

                                                            1. re: bulavinaka

                                                              Thank you gents...

                                                        2. I thought this was worth a brief update:

                                                          Ramen Yamadaya has become the restaurant my family eats in most often. What's interesting is that we've moved away from ordering the ramen (and it's many variants) and just as often order "non-ramen" items.

                                                          We are all big, big fans of the bento box meals, particularly the karage chicken. It's a ridiculously big portion of fried chicken with rice, slaw, and so on. The chicken is also available as just an appetizer without the sides. The tonkatsu pork is really good as well. Last night I had the chicken katsu with curry.

                                                          My wife is a big fan of the spicy tuna bowl, my younger son likes the gyoza a lot.

                                                          Even when we do order the ramen, and we still do order the ramen, we always get combos so we can share the extra items that come with the combo.

                                                          On top of everything else: it's a really inexpensive restaurant. When most of your restaurant bills are for four adults (one son is in high school, one in college, both live at home) that matters. Yamadaya is one of the most reasonable restaurants in our neighborhood and we feel that it is much more than just a place for ramen. Their ramen is great, but there are plenty of worthwhile dishes on their menu even if you don't feel like eating hot soup during the current heatwave.

                                                          For the record: I did try the cold noodles that you dip into the hot broth the other day and thought it was a great thing. You get all the flavor in the dipping broth, without being overwhelmed. I noted once before that the ramens sometimes leave me feeling literally woozy they are so rich. The cold noodles to dip were a nice alternative.

                                                          27 Replies
                                                          1. re: PaulF

                                                            http://www.ramen-yamadaya.com/menu.html

                                                            1. re: Servorg

                                                              Thanks S.

                                                              People should know, though, that the menu is more diverse than what they have on their web site.

                                                              I actually considered postponing my post until I could get my hands on a menu, but just went ahead without it. And while we almost always go to the CC location, I recall that the menus differ ever so slightly.

                                                              Or maybe they just try things out at different locations at different times. For example, the fried octopus balls (you know what I mean) were in Westwood first, then later on we had them at CC.

                                                            2. re: PaulF

                                                              Paul,

                                                              Do they have the Fish Katsu Bento Box in Culver City Yet? Dommy had it at the Torrence location and thought it was wonderful. We haven't seen it on the Culver City Menu when we've gone.

                                                              1. re: Mattapoisett in LA

                                                                I have not seen the fish at the CC location yet. It could be a special? I don't always read the chalkboard.

                                                                1. re: PaulF

                                                                  It is on the regular menu in Torrance.

                                                                2. re: Mattapoisett in LA

                                                                  I want krispy fish!!!!

                                                                  Ah well... Great post Paul! I think it really captures why there is room for both Yamadaya and Santouka in Culver City... I've grown ever increasingly sensitive to salt and so I skip the ramen most of the time (Although their new fish/chicken broth was rather delicous. Like a wonderful mellow dashi) and order their salad (So I can get one of their wonderful eggs) and either the Agadashi Tofu or Curry bowl. Their curry bowl is EXCELLENT, better than Jinya by miles...

                                                                  --Dommy!

                                                                  1. re: Dommy

                                                                    And, with the addition of Hannosuke, I now find it increasingly difficult to tear myself away from Santouka since I can have my shrimp bowl and my ramen (and my stomach is so happy with that solution).

                                                                    1. re: Servorg

                                                                      LOL! Yeah, luckily I have a partner in crime when it comes to said meal... ;)

                                                                      Have you tried the all veggie bowl at Hannosuke? Honestly, I just wish they sold a bowl of rice with just the tempura egg (and some of those awesome tempura'd Shishito peppers!)

                                                                      --Dommy!

                                                                    2. re: Dommy

                                                                      I also love the tofu and the curry bowl.

                                                                      It's very easy to over order. You can get the ramen combo and that means you get the curry ... it's a lot of food.

                                                                  2. re: PaulF

                                                                    Is it still a long line?
                                                                    If so is that most of the time - or only at peak hours?

                                                                    1. re: Ciao Bob

                                                                      We walked in with no wait around 8PM on a friday night a couple of weeks ago. It was crowded but no line.

                                                                      1. re: bulavinaka

                                                                        Thanks bulavinaka....good to know.

                                                                        1. re: Ciao Bob

                                                                          Our pick that night was by default. Hungry, tired and late start on a friday night was not ideal, so we figured that with all of the new ramen joints, we might have some luck. I think the excitement of Yamada-ya branching out from Torrance has passed as well.

                                                                          1. re: bulavinaka

                                                                            Yeah, there isn't huge lines... but when I visit, mostly lunch time, it does get full by 1p. So folks are still welcoming it (thank goodness!)

                                                                            --Dommy!

                                                                      2. re: Ciao Bob

                                                                        It depends when you go and how many folks in your party. Generally I get there early lunch and sit at the counter. At dinner time, it can get crowded, but the turn around is rather quick and they also have a communal table in the back...

                                                                        --Dommy!

                                                                        1. re: Dommy

                                                                          It will be dinner for me - probably 8:30ish. Looking forward to tryinjg it given the high praise it gets around here. I did Jidaya a few weeks ago...I liked it but not as much a Tsujita's Ikemen or Scallion Ramen.

                                                                          1. re: Ciao Bob

                                                                            I've yet to try either Jidaya or Tsujita, which is the one I really want to try, but given the lines, I'm passing for now. My son ordered the tsukemen at Yamada-ya. The broth was substantial in consistency but imho it didn't have as pronounced of a katsuoboshi/niboshi flavor that I developed as a baseline from a recent Japan trip. I think someone had also mentioned an issue relating to the noodle size at the CC Yamada-ya.

                                                                            1. re: Ciao Bob

                                                                              Both Tsujita's Tsukemen and Ramen are superior to Yamadaya. But that's because they both are distinct restuarants. Sadly Tsujita is not close enough for me for a quick lunch like Yamada-ya. But then Tsujita doesn't do ramen for dinner either...

                                                                              --Dommy!

                                                                              1. re: Dommy

                                                                                Agree. I'd give Tsukemen to Tsujita. And that killer egg.

                                                                                I don't like how soft the noodles in the hot ramen are at Tsujita though so for me, I give ramen to Yamadaya. Especially with the premium shio and shoyu broths these days.

                                                                                1. re: Porthos

                                                                                  Interesting...I did not find the Tsukemen noodles at Tsujita notably soft. They were firm and chewy on my one-and-only (so far) visit.

                                                                                  1. re: Ciao Bob

                                                                                    The Tsukemen was delicious, chewy, and thick. Great texture.

                                                                                    I'm referring to the thinner, slightly soft noodles in the tonkotsu broth. Good but a bit too soft for me. Broth is indeed very rich and the essence of pork.

                                                                                    1. re: Porthos

                                                                                      Gotcha...my bad - your post was clear, my reading, not so much!

                                                                                      1. re: Ciao Bob

                                                                                        Actually, went back to edit it to make it more clear. Thanks for pointing that out.

                                                                                  2. re: Porthos

                                                                                    I've started going to the Costa Mesa location more now, because when I tell them I want the noodles even harder than how they normally make katamen (which isn't really katamen at all IMHO), I get it. At the Torrance location, there's no difference. The broth isn't quite as good/rich at the CM location, but I suppose it helps with the guilt/heart attack factor a tiny bit.

                                                                                    Anyway, if Tsujita's noodles are even softer, I don't think I'd consider it edible.

                                                                                    1. re: mrhooks

                                                                                      I'm at the CM branch almost once a week but get the shio or shoyu broths or the Tsukemen these days. It's unfortunate the egg there creeps more and more towards cooked through.

                                                                                      Tsujita's Tsukemen is worth the drive. The noodles are thicker, chewier, and slightly better in texture than Yamadaya CM's Tsukemen. The flavor of the dipping broth is also better at Tsujita.

                                                                                    2. re: Porthos

                                                                                      3rd on tsukemen@ Tsujita>Yamadaya. The broth has more complexity. But I do love Yamadaya, being that it's so close to home. Their chicken karaage is phenomenal, burned mouth be damned!

                                                                              2. re: Ciao Bob

                                                                                You've already got your answer to this, but I'll just add that we go after work on weekdays (6, 630, 7) and rarely have to wait. Worst case, we sit at the counter.

                                                                                So, it's still busy -- just not line up and wait busy anymore.