Gardena Ramen serves the best–and most authentic–ramen in Southern California, declares rameniac, who’s been hunting the stuff forever.
“Sole chef and proprietor Isao Nakamura’s little ramen shop with the unlit sign is exactly like something you would find on a nondescript side street in Tokyo. His shoyu ramen is a deeply complex concoction derived from torigara (chicken bones), genkotsu (pork knuckle), and niboshi (dried sardines). It is slightly opaque and just a tad too salty, but flavorful in impossibly distinctive ways. It is sweet yet savory. Rich yet light. The product of trial and error, until Nakamura-san found the exacting flavor he was looking for.”
There’s no menu–the only choices that will face you are: Miso or shoyu? Gyoza or no? Ramen broth takes time, but Nakamura-san boils his not just for hours, but for two days. Shoyu ramen is what you want to get; the shiro miso in his miso ramen kind of overwhelms the delicate flavors of the broth.
The soup is definitely on the salty side, though. Joe Blowe disagrees with the rave, saying the noodles are also a bit underdone and the bamboo in the soup is woody. Pass on the gyoza–they may be the worst in the South Bay.
Gardena Ramen [South Bay]
1840 West 182nd St., Torrance