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Restaurants & Bars 10

Hakata Ramen - Torrance

jaydee | Jul 20, 200507:00 PM

Continued my tour of Japanese spots in Torrance/Gardena and went to Hakata Ramen in Gardena. A part of the Shin Shen Gumi family of Japanese restaurants, I have heard that the ramen here is top notch. It did not disappoint.

The menu is conveniently laid out in “sets” so you can order by a specific set (e.g. the A Set) which is like a combination of ramen and a side (e.g. ½ order of fried rice or gyoza). The order process is facilitated through the use of an order form, akin to sushi sheets. You listed the set, any additional toppings, firmness of your noodles, oiliness of your broth, and richness of your broth. My friends chuckled as we discussed how firm we wanted our noodles (I know, I know, but seriously – we couldn’t resist). We also thought it was funny that there was a column for “undesireables” – hmph, there would be none of that today my friend – I wanted the full experience.

I opted for the A-Set, which included a full order of ramen and a half order of gyoza. I selected “normal” for my noodle style, broth and oil levels. The gyoza came out first and consisted of about 8 pieces of teeny tiny gyoza. They were pretty cool looking, being so small – browed to crispy goodness on the outside and the inside was pretty savory.

Out came the ramen, which I believe is Kyushu style – made from a broth of pork bones. “Milky” is the most appropriate term here – as the broth was completely opaque. Now, I swear by Daikokuya – but this bowl of ramen at Hakata was a bit smoother in finish. I notice that the broth at Daikokuya is so rich that sometimes it has a certain bite at the end. The broth at Hakata was smoother and finished with less of a bang – which was oddly appreciated during my lunch. Perhaps it is because I opted for “normal” broth, and the Daikokuya broth is super rich by default – in either case, I think the broth at Hakata was splendid.

Excellent, I would hesitate popping out here unless I was already in the area – but I really enjoyed it.

Shin Shen Gumi - Hakata Ramen
2015 W. Redondo Bch Blvd., #C, Gardena, CA
Tel: (310)329-1335

Inspired by a list created by Melanie Wong on the SF Board – here are my Ramen rankings:

1.Hakata Ramen (Shin Shen Gumi) – Gardena
2.Daikokua – Little Tokyo – an oh-so-close second
3.Orochon – Little Tokyo – the spice schtick is starting to wear on me, plus the cute waitress no longer works there.
4.Mr. Ramen – Little Tokyo - I liked their gyoza more than anything.

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