I tried Ramen Yamadaya once before at its Costa Mesa location and was sorely disappointed in the days-old tasting chashu. That part of the ramen was so offensive that it overshadowed anything else good about the bowl of noodles that night. Being the open minded food blogger that I am, I am usually willing to give places another try if given the opportunity. A late arrival into LAX from a weekend ski trip was the perfect opportunity to give Ramen Yamadaya another spin, but now at its Torrance location. The place is the size of a closet, so Panda Bear, Buff Bear, and Mani Bear and I were lucky to dine here close to closing time. Otherwise, I’m sure the wait would have been horrendous.
Spicy Garlic Edamame
Just as advertised.
Chashu bowls are so sinfully delicious when done well. The fattiness of the pork swathed every grain of pillowy rice in wonderful flavor that can only be had from meat. For some extra lusciousness, a light drizzle of Kewpie mayo topped the whole bowl. A generous spoonful of green onions added just the perfect amount of bite. Easily the calorie equivalent of a Big Mac or two. YUMS!
Tonkotsu Ramen with Yamadaya Topping 2 kinds of pork, marinated egg, bamboo shoots, seaweed
The broth was just as good as my favorite, Santouka. It was rich, porky, and full of umami goodness. The addition of the Yamadaya topping really added some heartiness to the bowl. The seaweed was such a flavorful addition. Here, you have the option of adding freshly smashed garlic to your broth. I thought it was weird at first, but I highly recommend it. It really adds noticeable depth to the broth.
My only critique is really just a matter of preference. Curly noodles will always be my top pick and here they serve straight noodles.
Tonkotsu Ramen tokyo style soy sauce with kakuni topping
Panda Bear enjoyed this one.
Everything was almost spot on, but I will have to be honest and report that this visit to Ramen Yamadaya did serve some days old tasting chashu in my ramen. My first visit to this Torrance location was flawless. Perhaps the 2 locations are not that different from each other. Still, I am reconsidering my initial assessment of Ramen Yamadaya. Granted I am comparing the Costa Mesa location to the Torrance one, but I would be willing to swing by the OC location for another go at it. I think this might be my new post LAX eating pit stop if I’m craving noodles.
10 – You NEED to eat here
9 – Awesome
8 – Very good (minus points for serving old chashu on 1 of 2 visits)
7 – Good
6 – OK
5 – Average
4 – Not bad
3 – Not good
2 – Terrible
1 – Do NOT eat here