Otafuku is just another one of the MANY Japanese restaurants populating the South Bay.  They call themselves a noodle house serving udon, soba, and the like but then they also have dons, skewers, sashimi.  It’s confusing.  We came for lunch and I would have been pleased had I followed the cardinal rules of restaurant dining set forth by Anthony Bourdain: NEVER order the “Monday lunch special.”

Pickled Cucumbers

Your standard accompaniments.

Pork Don

This was the lunch special.  It would have been tasty if the pork didn’t taste old.  I should have known better, but it was “the special” and isn’t “the special” supposed to be special?  I think they should rename it “the ESpecially old.”  The flavoring was nice, probably a combination of miring, soy sauce, sugar, ginger, sake.  Triple F especially liked the side of spaghetti.  That pile of green was just a pile of cabbage with no dressing.  I guess you can say I was slightly disappointed.


Of course the udon was really nice, chewy, soft, but with just enough bite back.  The broth was tasty, light, and clean.  The only misstep was that fried thing in the middle.  I guess we were imagining shrimp tempura cake, but it was more like a bunch of little shrimp pieces battered and fried into a large mass, and sadly, overcooked.


I forget what sort of special soba noodles these were, but they were similar in texture to soba because they were thin.  It was served in hot broth.   Triple T liked it.


Tasty and pretty standard.

Despite the not so special “lunch special” the place is pretty solid for their noodles.  The menu is pretty large and I’d definitely like to go back to try some of their rice bowls.  It’s a nice casual spot so check it out if you’re in the area.


16525 S Western Ave
GardenaCA 90247

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