Having lived in Los Angeles the last 5 years including the South Bay/Gardena/Torrance areas, I’ve always sought after my personal BEST ramen place. The best ramen place to me must have a tasty well balanced broth and good tasting thick noodles.
Per recommendations, I checked out Ramen Hayatemaru in Torrance partly because they have half bowl sizes, so you can try more than 1 flavor.
I typically like my ramen noodles thicker because I like to slurp (excuse my manners) my noodles like Naruto. The noodles at this place are pretty good. They were cooked well where they weren’t chewy but were slightly more cooked than al dente.
Note for 2022 migration: this post is a merge of 2 old posts from my other defunct blog. They are for the same ramen chain but two different physical locations. I was a ramen fiend, so I was trying all types of styles to figure out what I prefer. Unfortunately, both locations have closed.
The above picture is the red miso flavored ramen. It had some black sesame seeds, fried tofu strips, miso, and garlic. Remember I said the noodles at this place are pretty good? Well the broth is too salty. It’s very flavorful though because they put wads of miso in the broth. I would have preferred they lighten up on the use of the miso.
After the over use of miso, I was hoping my tongue would be salvaged by the more bland broth presented by this Hokkaido shoyu ramen. It’s nice to know that the broth is pork based and there’s a layer of fat congealing at the top of the broth when I don’t move it around. Fatty pork broth for ramen is always very tasty, and so was this. However, they used too much soy sauce on this where it came out to be a little too salty for me. I know shoyu broth has soy sauce, but I definitely did not expect that much salt in it. Even after drinking water, my tongue was having troubles appreciating the broth.
The condiments served in both ramen bowls are not much to write about. I would say the one thing that this place focuses on is their broth, which is nice except that they’re both salty compared to other ramen places I’ve been to.
I also ordered a side of gyozas (dumplings) because they were cheap at $3. Surprisingly these gyozas are pretty big and not small like your fingernail like some other ramen places. The sauce on the right is miso base, and the sauce on the left is vinegar/soy sauce base. I took a bite of the gyoza without sauce, and I found it to be pretty salty. When I smothered it in the sauce(s), then it was fine. So that tells me they don’t really need to salt their meat that much unless people plan to eat the gyozas without sauces (which most people don’t).
The following is a merged review for their West Los Angeles location.
I was out shopping at the market, and across the street I see this ramen place. I thought to give it a try, but then after I saw the menu, I thought to myself, “Hey they have a Torrance location too!” I looked up my blog, and I realized I have been to this establishment in Torrance.
I realized my review for the Torrance location was rather abysmal, but I think this one will be a little bit better. Let’s make this quick.
I only ordered 2 half bowls, so I can try different flavors. The first is the white miso ramen. This consists of noodles, sprouts, green onions, pork, miso, boiled bamboo shoots, dried seaweed, and a lot of garlic. It actually wasn’t bad. It was flavorful, and the noodles are how I like it (thick, but not too thick). The waiter gave me some spice to put into the broth, but I opted to just eat it without the spice. The broth wasn’t that salty, but it was definitely garlicky.
The second bowl I ordered is the spicy miso. This is similar to the white miso except no bamboo shoots and yes red pepper. It actually wasn’t that spicy but this definitely had less garlicky flavors and more kick to the nose since it has more spice.
Comparatively, I think if you prefer flavor in terms of garlic and broth, then the white miso would fit the bill. If however you like more kick, then it’s pretty obvious the spicy miso will suit better. I still think this restaurant is just OK. It’s not my favorite, nor would I make a special trip to come back. I do think this location was slightly less salty than the Torrance location. Also for some reason, this location takes cash only whereas the Torrance one takes credit cards. It’s also located in a strip mall diagonally from Ralph’s market on the corner of Barrington and Olympic.
Price wise, this restaurant was rather cheap. My whole meal came out to be about $13 + tip. The noodles are good as the thickness is how I usually like them. However the broth is just way too salty for me personally and doesn’t really warrant another special trip for me in the near future.
My current choices for LA ramen in no particular order:
- Ramen Yamadaya (Torrance location)
- Robata JINYA (Los Angeles, W 3rd Street)
Other LA ramen places I’ve been to:
- Ajisen Ramen (Century City)
- Asa Ramen (Torrance)
- Daikokuya (Little Tokyo)
- Eboshi Noodle Bar (Lomita/Torrance)
- Happy Cup Ramen Truck (food truck)
- Mama Ramen (Torrance)
- Men Bei (Torrance)
- Ramen Hayatemaru (Torrance | West LA)
- Ramen Jinya (Mid-Wilshire)
- Ramen Yamadaya (Culver City)
- Santouka (Mitsuwa in West LA, Torrance, Orange County)
- Shinsengumi (Gardena)
- Nov 5, 2022 - Migrated 2 posts from old blog and merged here.
- Apr 8, 2013 - Posted about 2 more ramen flavors from the Sawtelle location.
- Aug 26, 2012 - Initial revision.