If you happen to be in the Torrance, California area, stop by Ramen Yamadaya for lunch or dinner. It’s a little ramen gem outside of Los Angeles and Culver City area. Located in a small corner plaza by the 405 freeway, the ramen shop can be easily spotted. Parking is limited but we got lucky and parked right in front of the restaurant. There were 4 other parties ahead of us. We had to put our name on the waiting list.
The restaurant has a nice little tea table set up outside so their waiting guests can have a drink of tea while they wait. 15-20 minutes later, they called our names and it was time to grub.
The inside of the ramen shop is pretty small but clean. We didn’t have to wait long before the server addressed us. The menu was easy to read and it covered all of your basic ramen needs: different styles of ramen, lots of available sides, combination meals, desserts, Japanese drinks, etc. There are lots of review and food pictures on Yelp to help us pick our dinner.
I ordered the Original Pork Broth Ramen – Yamayada style. Eddie ordered the Shuyo Ramen – Regular combo with Fried Rice and salad. Here’s what we think of the food from each of us.
Original Pork Broth Ramen – Yamayada Style: I really like the ramen I ordered. I thought the noodles were perfect. It was cooked thoroughly but it had the right amount of chewiness. The broth was a little salty but it gave the noodles lots of flavor. The other ingredients in the ramen were generously provided. It had plenty of bamboo shoots, a whole egg cut in half (I wish the yolk would have been more runny), green onions, garlic, sea weed, and pork. Oh yes, the pork. You can tell they’ve been cooking the meat for a long time. The meat is still solid so you can pick it up with your chopstick but when you bite into it, melts like butter. I prefer this place over my husband’s favorite ramen joint, Daikokuya. Everything tasted very fresh and on point. The whole restaurant experience is better for me (short wait time, they offer you tea while you wait, the food was good, etc).
The portion was good enough for me. I didn’t feel like I needed to order extra sides. Some places are not as generous with the amount of ingredients they put in the bowl of ramen but I feel like this shop really wanted their customers to be happy and satisfied with their dining experience. I was indeed a happy customer when I walked out of the restaurant. I would definitely go back!
Shuyo Ramen – Regular combo with Fried Rice and Salad: I think it’s a solid ramen dish and it comes with everything a decent bowl of ramen should come with, for instance, very good piece of Cha-Su, lots of bamboo shoots, green onions, egg, seaweed, tasty broth (maybe a little too thick), and noodle that was cooked right (I still prefer Daikokuya’s curly noodle though). It almost had everything done right. However, the main problem I had with their ramen is that it simply didn’t stand out to me. They were good but just didn’t leave a taste in my mouth so good that I will have to go back. I know I sounds like a hater here. I will still eat there if I happen to be in town and crave ramen. I just probably wouldn’t drive all the way from Orange County for their ramen like I would do for Daikokuya.
On the other hand, the fried rice from the combo I picked was top notch. It came in a very generous portion and it was really tasty. It came with a lot of meats. It can be a little salty to some people but the ginger that it came with helped balanced out the flavor. I definitely recommend getting the combo with the fried rice if you happen to eat at this place.
Salad was standard. A regular salad with the miso dressing.
Conclusion: At the end of the day, everyone have their own food (ramen) preference. However, we both agree that if you’re living around the Torrance area or if you’re driving by Crenshaw Blvd off the 405 Fwy. Ramen Yamadaya is a good place to stop for a nice, hot bowl of ramen. Easy and tasty – just how we like it.