Believe it or not, the beach cities have some pretty darn good cuisine. I have routinely written off places like Ebizos in manhattan beach, but I must say, it is suprisingly very good. They have awesome burgers cooked medium rare. The meat is very flavorful and fresh, and they have some very creative sauces. Some sauces work, some dont. I say start with the Kobe beef or Angus burger and see how you like it, then get more creative from there. On top of burgers that have excellent japanese beer like Sapporo Reserve and other hard to find japanese brews. The decor is nice, the layout is great, and its right near the beach. You cant beat that. It is a refreshingly creative burger without getting too creative and prices are reasonable. They also have hot pot, skewers and shabu shabu, however living so close to torrance, I am sure there is no way Ebizos can compete with south bay greats in that department!!!
Other southbay faves of mine are
musha, japonica. These places are the real deal.
oriental breeze at redondo beach pier, il chianti, santouka ramen are also worth a try.