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Torrance Area Restaurants

Hi, I am coming with my family for a week to Torrance on holiday from New Zealand and would like some recommendations for restaurants to eat at aaround Torrance or nearby.

Places for Breakfast- deli or diner style
Best Sushi places
Best burgers
Best BBQ
Best Mexican
Are there any good Yum Cha restaurants?

and any other good value for money restaurnats

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  1. Best Breakfast Original Pancake House on PCH in Redondo Beach. I love their thin and chewy 49'er flapjacks. Always a wait on weekends but worth it so go early.
    http://www.originalpancakehouse.com/

    1756 South Pacific Coast Hwy.
    Redondo Beach, California 90277

    10 Replies
    1. re: wienermobile

      Thanks for the great recommendations- can you recommend a place to go that is like the old American diners (50's style) with the big counter and booths? We will have a vehicle so getting to places wont be a problem.

      1. re: brucelee67

        You would love Pann's. Original and Right out of the 50's not a reproduction. 5 minutes from LAX. Great food too.
        http://www.panns.com/
        6710 LaTijera Blvd.
        Los Angeles, CA 90045

        1. re: brucelee67

          For an old diner style vibe and closer to Torrance is the Redondo Beach Cafe http://www.redondobeachcafe.com/ and up in Manhattan Beach you have a couple of great places, Uncle Bill's Pancake House http://www.unclebills.net/ and The Kettle http://www.thekettle.net/ (24/7) and in Hermosa Beach you have Martha's 22nd St. Grill http://dineries.com/ca/hermosabeach/m...

            1. re: mrshankly

              I've never had a bad breakfast at Eat at Joe's on PCH in Redondo -- and it's not just a 50s diner vibe, it is a 50s diner.

        2. re: wienermobile

          Recommendations on a good seafood place serving crab in the South Bay area?

          1. re: brucelee67

            Very very casual under the pier in Redondo Beach try Quality Seafood. Everything is very fresh.
            http://qualityseafood.net/cats.htm

            No crab but wonderful Mexican seafood at Coni's Seafood.
            Their pescado zarandeado is one of the best dishes in LA.
            3544 W Imperial Hwy
            Inglewood, CA 90303

            1. re: wienermobile

              +1 for Quality Seafood. When the weather is nice, it's great to pick out a nice dungeness crab, have them steam it, rent a mallet, buy some melted butter, and eat it on some foreign language newspaper.

          2. re: wienermobile

            Any recs on a good donut place in Torrance area?

            1. re: brucelee67

              i like donut den on pch and anza because it's close to home, always fresh, and never greasy.

          3. For great cheap Mexican food try El Burrito Jr. Very tasty bean and cheese burritos. Giant portions.
            21141 Hawthorne Blvd
            Torrance, CA 90503

            You can't go wrong for burgers at In n' Out Burger. Try a double double animal style.
            20150 Hawthorne Blvd.
            Torrance, Ca.

            El Pollo Inka in Lawndale for some Peruvian Cusine, (there is one closer in Torrance but they don't use wood to roast their chicken like the Lawndale location does).
            http://www.elpolloinka.com/
            15400 Hawthorne Blvd.
            Lawndale, CA 90260

            Very good Pakistani and Indian food at Al Noor also in next door Lawndale.
            http://www.alnoor-restaurant.net/
            15112 Inglewood Ave
            Lawndale Ca. 90260

            Good homemade Cuban cusine at Havana Mania in Redondo Beach.
            http://havanamania.com/
            3615 Inglewood Avenue.
            Redondo Beach, Ca. 90278

            Ok chain BBQ at Lucille's in Del Amo Mall.
            http://www.lucillesbbq.com/
            Del Amo Fashion Center
            21420 Hawthorne Blvd.
            Torrance, CA 90503

            1. In addition to Original Pancake House, there is also Uncle Bill's (similar concept); however, both can get quite busy so be prepared for lines. Near the airport, you might enjoy Pann's (as much for the 1950's Googie architecture as the food).

              Not sure about sushi in that area but lots of other great Japanese, including Torihei (particularly notable for oden and robata items but also an izakaya), Musha (izakaya), Izakaya Bincho (recently restored its bincho cooking), Yamadaya (ramen), Mottainai (ramen).

              For yum cha, the only decent choice in that area is Sea Empress in Gardena--I would highly recommend traveling the extra half hour to the San Gabriel Valley for far better dim sum such as Elite, Sea Harbour, Lunasia or King Hua.

              In terms of bbq, Bludso's in Compton is not too far but, on Saturday's, the excellent Big Mista comes to the Torrance Farmer's Market from 8am - 1pm.

              If you like Mexican seafood, you should check out Coni's Seafood (fka Mariscos Chentes) in Inglewood.

              As to burgers, the Buffalo Fire Department in Torrance is good and there are branches of the well-regarded chains In-N-Out, the Counter and the Habit in Torrance as well.

              Just up the Coast in Manhattan Beach are the excellent Manhattan Beach Post (small plates of inventive food designed for sharing) and Petros (upscale Greek).

              2 Replies
              1. re: New Trial

                there were a number of families with children at Manhattan Beach Post's Sunday brunch yesterday and the food is so satisfying that I think that I consider it "a good value for money" restaurant...it is definitely a place that I would recommend to out of town visitors who were based in the South Bay

                1. re: foufou

                  just to put a dollar number on mb post:
                  for food ONLY before tax (over 9%) and tip (about 20%), we've never gotten out of MB Post for less than $45 u.s. dollars per person.
                  including tax and tip it runs us $60 per person drinking only water,
                  with beverages, it would cost more.

              2. The posters responding to your post imho have made some excellent recs. I don't know if Peruvian cuisine has any presence in NZ, but if not, give it a whirl. Two more recs for Peruvian cuisine would be El Rocoto on Artesia in Gardena, and Kotosh on Lomita in Lomita.

                http://www.elrocoto.com/

                http://www.kotoshrestaurant.com/

                Coni'seafood/Mariscos Chente is definitely not on the NZ food map and well worth the visit:

                http://www.laweekly.com/2011-12-15/ea...

                Burgers can go in a lot of directions. If you're sticking close to the South Bay, places, The Counter and Islands are common places to go for sit-down service along with beer/wine/drinks. Their menus are centered around burgers, but imho they're not the best. However, I think kids will find them fun. Poster wienermobile already mentioned In N Out - they're the best burger for your money - the fries (chips) are debatable. The Habit is in the same general price range and I find their fries to be more to my liking. Poster New Trial mentioned Buffalo Fire Dept for burgers. I haven't been but have heard very good things about them. My favorite burger in the South Bay area is at Second City Bistro in El Segundo. It's a 1/2-pound patty of fresh ground beef cooked to order. The portions in general here are generous, they have one of the better wine lists in the South Bay and does a nice rack of lamb as well if you're missing such things...

                http://secondcitybistro.com/

                1. All good recs by the posters. I personally like Islands for burgers cooked to order on PCH and Crenshaw. For Japanese, I like Azuma's on 162nd and Western, Korean, BCD Tofu on Sepulveda near Western Ave., Dim sum, Sea Empress on Redondo Beach Blvd in the Pacific Square, Italian, Lomeli's on Redondo Beach and Van Ness, Mexican, Burnt Tortilla on Redondo Beach and Western, Peruvian, El Pollo Inka on Hawthorne near Lomita Blvd., etc.

                  1. Nice neighborhood Pho and Vietnamese dishes at Saigon Dish. Most dishes under $10.
                    15725 Hawthorne Blvd
                    Ste 108
                    Lawndale, CA 90260

                    for burgers try Umani Burger in Hermosa Beach. A block from the beach.
                    http://www.umami.com/umami-burger/eat...
                    1040 Hermosa Ave
                    Hermosa Beach, CA 90254

                    And if your looking for ramen Santouka Ramen is great! Everything Under $10.
                    http://www.mitsuwa.com/tenpo/torr/ein...
                    21515 Westen Ave,Torrance,CA 90501,U.S.A.
                    in the MITSUWA MARKET PLACE TORRANCE STORE

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: wienermobile

                      Thanks to everyone that has so far posted recommendations. They all look great and will have difficult decison where to diine each day.
                      Any recommendations on a good supermarket in the Torrance area?

                      1. re: brucelee67

                        Traditional SoCal supermarkets are dying a terrible death due to competition from specialty markets catering to various ethnicities, big box stores, etc. It might be a lot of fun to shop in these various stores if NZ lacks in any of these categories.

                        If you're looking for Japanese, Nijiya, Mitsuya and Marukai on Artesia (membership store that you can shop at but will be charged $1 extra at register). Chinese would be 99 Ranch in Gardena. Korean would be S Mart for Korean. Whole Foods for organic, gourmet, service counters. Bristol Farms is like Whole Foods in some ways but smaller, better service. Trader Joe's for interesting/quirky foods you won't find at the supers for the most part (nuts, dried fruits, dairy, unusual prepared/frozen foods, decent beer and wine prices). Shayan or Hawthorne Markets for Middle East/halal foods.

                        1. re: bulavinaka

                          whole foods has a focus on "natural" and organic food (much of it costly).

                          bristol farms' only focus is on costly food.

                          1. re: westsidegal

                            Mostly true but not always. Most of the stuff at Bristol is very expensive/overpriced. But the free range chicken is usually $2.99, sometimes on sale for less which is reasonable. They make for a great poulet roti. Also, Bristol Farms has epoisses, comte, and other raw milk cheeses that Whole Foods and other markets do not.

                            1. re: westsidegal

                              BF's cheese dept is excellent. Their liquor/wine/beer are well-curated and their meat counter is much better than just about any other chain. These are the areas I usually focus on when shopping here, and I really don't expect discounts on these particular items.

                      2. i'll second pretty much everything mentioned and add the following:

                        fukagawa - japanese breakfast
                        azuma - japanese greasy spoon
                        miura - sushi
                        jidaiya - ramen
                        jj bakery, patisserie chantilly, torrance bakery, mammoth, etc. - asian/french pastries for breakfast, lunch, or a treat.
                        flossie's - soul food
                        ichimiann - soba
                        afghani express
                        chez melange - brunch and the pancho burger
                        the standing room - asian fusion burgers and combo plates
                        north end caffe - anytime
                        umami burger
                        al watan - pakistani

                        11 Replies
                        1. re: raizans

                          I like your list. The bakery recs are great too (I tend to hit these places a lot). I might add Bonjour in Gardena. Chantilly probably has the best cream puffs around - any fillings are great, but if they have black sesame (kurogoma) filling, those take priority.

                          Ichimiann has excellent soba, but I-naba is part of the same restaurant group and offers Ichimiann's soba. One of the chefs at I-naba also works at the two Ichimiann locations. I personally prefer I-naba for this reason, as their menu is much more varied and larger, and they have a sushi bar w/ itamae, as well as a tempura counter with a tempura specialist. I don't know what the OP plans on spending for sushi, or what kind of sushi experience is being sought, but the sushi at I-naba is traditional Edo-style and good.

                          http://restaurantinaba.com/

                          1. re: bulavinaka

                            Just had an outstanding lunch at I-naba. I'm surprised it doesn't get more mention on these boards. The cold soba was so good I consumed 3 orders. The noodles are very thin and delicate but chewy with a great texture.

                            I sat at the tempura bar and for the first time, had tempura served to me like sushi. Each order was served on the plate in front of me the second it was ready. I placed my order directly through the chef. I tried the shrimp, shishito pepper, asparagus, yam, pumpkin, shiso leaf stuffed with shrimp, lotus root stuffed with shrimp, white fish, and the show stopper anago x 2. The anago was a thick piece, the flesh was delicate, white, and moist. The bones were fried until crunchy. Totally reasonable for $7. Outrageously good. There are small fine bones in this or those that are squeamish about that sort of thing. The other tempura items are all excellent.

                            It is definitely worth driving for.

                            1. re: Porthos

                              IMHO, one of the few culinary advantages of living in the SB....Always love the soba from the I-naba/Ichimiann group and haven't had in a while. Wish I could've chowed down with you, but had Danish and pizza from Olio today. Shucks.

                              1. re: baloney

                                Feel free to shoot me an email anytime you want to glutton it up!

                              2. re: Porthos

                                >>Just had an outstanding lunch at I-naba. I'm surprised it doesn't get more mention on these boards.<<

                                I owe this rec to exilekiss. He posted about I-naba years ago while on a "tempura specialist" hunt. I am surprised as well that more don't go here, or at least post about it.

                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/554855

                                You know that Japanese cuisine is almost defined by specialists who offer a relatively narrow band of dishes. Finding such breadth and quality of Japanese cuisine under one roof isn't something one finds very often, particularly in an incognito strip mall off a very busy part of Hawthorne blvd.

                                We've been probably a half-dozen times and have always been pleased with food and service. Being one of the preeminent Hounds on this board, your post approving of I-naba might get it more play...

                                1. re: bulavinaka

                                  You are far too kind with your words!

                                  Luckiliy I-naba was packed for Saturday lunch and I think the locals and Japanese community are well aware of this place. I can't stop thinking about the soba and tempura anago.

                                  And count me as another +1 for missing e-kiss's reviews. The fact that he would review a place only after multiple visits always impressed me the most.

                                  1. re: Porthos

                                    Truth hurts - again, don't be so hard on yourself. :)

                                    I know many go to Ichimiann for soba - even exilekiss prefers them over I-naba's version. Technically, they should be the same in general since they fall under the same small umbrella - the soba at I-naba comes from Ichimiann - and at least some of the chefs interchange between the restaurants. While there's no doubt that Ichimiann has excellent soba - like you, I found I-naba's memorable. Is there such a word as excellenter?

                                    I think exilekiss is a treasure to Chowhound. I don't know why he suddenly stopped posting, but it kills me to think that he's out there slurping away on some good eats and not posting about it. Our loss...

                                2. re: Porthos

                                  Update on I-naba. Saturday lunch was my 3rd visit. Visit #2 was on a Thursday for dinner.

                                  Regarding the anago tempura. It was fresh with fried bones served on the side for both Saturday lunches. For my 1 Thursday dinner visit it was prepackaged anago. No fried eel bones.

                                  Don't know if they ran out that night or just tend to get the fresh stuff for the weekends, but it makes a huge difference.

                              3. re: raizans

                                I am also a big fan of North End Caffe. I love their Kahlua Pig Monte Cristo Egg Rolls and their burgers too.
                                http://www.northendcaffe.net/
                                3421 Highland Avenue Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

                                1. re: raizans

                                  How does Jidaiya compare with the area ramen mainstays Mottainai, Santouka, and Yamadaya? The fact that it is from the good folk from Torihei gives me reason to hope but I have not yet been.

                                  1. re: New Trial

                                    it's equally good and up for personal preference. i think they have the best chashu of the four, and, unlike yamadaya, it's consistently great. i tend to avoid santouka because the egg is cooked all the way through, and the soup is too salty for my taste. on the other hand, some people think the soup at jidaiya is too thin and underseasoned, but i think it's spot on. i like the noodles at tsujita much more, though. that's the biggest downer for me.

                                2. If you prefer to stay in the Torrance area, here are a few recs:

                                  Peter's Place might be the best dumpling place in the area. They also have Taiwanese desserts like boba, shave ice, ets.

                                  Eatalian in Gardena makes a great Neapolitan pizza as well as Italian pastries and gelato.

                                  Gonpachi in the MIyako Hybrid Hotel might be an interesting choice for both sushi and a pretty decent hamburger. The sushi chef used to be at the Gonpachi in Beverly Hills and the burger chef was at Father's Office. You should understand that Torrance is surprisingly weak when it comes to sushi.

                                  A good option for Mexican would be Teresa's Mosaic in El Segundo, just north of Torrance.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: Ogawak

                                    I did like Peter's Place for acceptable dumplings in the area. The nearby Sue's Kitchen is better, IMHO, with some szechuan cold appetizers, quality beef noodle soup, and good "chinese burritos" as they call it -- a beef roll

                                    1. re: echoparkdirt

                                      I may have to try Sue's Kitchen for the beef rolls, etc., but I love dumplings. thanks for the heads up.

                                      1. re: Ogawak

                                        I know this is an old post, but just have to jump in here and warn against the beef rolls at Sue's. If you're used the the SGV version, these will seem very sad to you. They do happen to be the only place in the SB that serves them, but it's not worth it. They're very dry, with barely any meat. Do note that Sue's changed ownership sometime last year, and it's gone downhill in a lot of ways. The cold dishes are still fine, and the beef noodle soup seems to have held up. However, most everything else is kind of mediocre. I only go there to get the mixed cold plate to go (spicy peanuts, pig ears, and beef tendon, yum).

                                        Also, for much better dumplings than Peter's Place, check out Moo's Restaurant on Torrance Blvd, just east of Anza. It's a Korean/Chinese place, but their dumplings are outstanding. Huge, meaty, pronounced chive flavor in their pork dumplings. They also carry fish dumplings that are delicious and a bit lighter-tasting than the pork. Unfortunately, they do not pan fry their dumplings. But they do deep fry them, and they're very good if you're partial to that. I have friends who just go and order 3 plates of those. :)

                                  2. it's on my to-do list, but what's the word on the mexican restaurants in wilmington?

                                    also, forgot to mention coco ichibanya for japanese curry. customizable like the counter.

                                    1. Any good Soul food places in South Bay area?

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: brucelee67

                                        Flossie's in Torrance is a soul food restaurant that many enjoy...

                                        1. re: brucelee67

                                          People like Flossies. I've tried going there twice, and they were closed for a special event.

                                        2. Just had a really nice Bun Tom Cha Gio Thit Nuong Noodle Salad (with grilled shrimp, grilled pork and egg rolls) at Saigon Dish in Lawndale.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: wienermobile

                                            it's a fine place, best viet i've found in the area

                                          2. Hi Brucelee. Welcome to Cali!

                                            I'm gonna copy and paste my reply to south bay food recommendations that I just posted elsewhere. The only difference is I'm also gonna recommend the Torrance Farmer's
                                            Market. I believe it's the biggest in LA county and quite good.

                                            "I was eating in the area for about a year. South Bay has some of the best Japanese food in Cali, and the US probably. It has the largest concentration of Japanese and Hawaiians. Bruddah's is a hole in the wall Hawaiian joint, and so is the restaurant at the bowling alley near Hustler Casino, Gardena Bowl?. King's Hawaiian has some great food and cakes (though my current favorite is ube/taro cake from Red Ribbon, a Philippino bakery). Musha is a cool izakaya - their cheese block risotto is famous. There are a few Shinsengumi Izakayas down there.

                                            Long Beach had a Roscoe Chicken and Waffles soul food joint.

                                            You are close to Ports o Call! Great culture and vibe there w seafood. Redondo has famous Korean restaurant w spicy seafood soups and crab!!

                                            But my favorite South Bay spots are down home Aerican joints for the most part. Jongewaard's Bake n Broil in Long Beach. It's like a homier, tastier Marie Callenders. Omelette and Waffle is a great breakfast only joint in San Pedro. Eat well!"

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: tenxtone76

                                              Bruddah's changed owners a while back and our last couple of visits it wasn't as good.

                                              Gardena Bowl is the place in the bowling alley. Bacon fried rice is popular for most people going there. There's also Bob's Hawaiian down the street from it. They have a live band playing island type tunes for a mellow background setting on the weekends.

                                              I haven't been to the Torrance Farmer's market in a while. Has it outgrown the Santa Monica one?

                                              1. re: Jase

                                                I'm a big fan of http://www.fishbonzgrill.com. The fish is so fresh and the prices are very reasonable. Love the grilled shrimp. Very pleasant outdoor seating areas.

                                            2. Best hole in the wall Mexican is Taco Sinaloa on Carson Street. They have the best carne asada and al pastor tacos. I also love their red and green hot sauces. If I do the tacos plate with rice and beans, I smother them with the red sauce. Love love love this place. Their cheese flan is awesome too. Cheap and cheerful, can't be beat.