Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Mini Foodventure #67: Santouka (Torrance)

It's not very often that I explore the satellite Japantown of Torrance, considering that the original Little Tokyo and the Sawtelle Strip areas are closer to me. But since I had to pick up my race chip & shirt for the Nike+ Human Race 10K, I decided to make a day-trip out of the journey and check out some eats along the way (it's important load up on carbs before the run ;) ).

I felt in the mood for ramen that day and recalled some good buzz about Santouka, which has a branch in the Mitsuwa Torrance Food Court, so that's where my friend and I went.
For better or for worse, the line had only a few people. Good that we didn't have to wait long, but bad because their mix-and-match menu had approximately 100 items. What size should I get? What kind of broth? How about comboing it up with something else? Are those gyozas and other side dishes worth ordering as well? (Only when it's my turn to order did I notice the To Go Menu pamphlets next to the register . . . oh well, next time I'll study better.)
In the two minutes (and thirtysomething mental flip-flopping) I got, I settled upon a combo set with a small miso ramen and a mini bowl of chashu rice -- pretty good deal for about nine bucks.
The ramen itself was fairly delicious, with extra kudos to the firm-yet-tender and thicker-than-usual noodles and the rich, flavorful soup that I slurped almost to the last drop (second only to Daikokuya's kotteri style broth, and without the guilt of all the extra fat added!). Not so good was the chashu, which was WAY too fatty for my liking (and I don't say that often, but there is a point when it's just lard overkill).
Thankfully, the meat in the chashu rice bowl was less fatty, but they were really dry and I had to dunk them in the ramen broth to make them palatable. Otherwise, good meaty flavor and I appreciated all the negi that topped the dish.

Altogether, the ramen set was decent and satisfying (how can people order a combo set with a regular, let alone large, bowl??). Great soup and noodles, the chashu could use improvement so I may try to get it with some other meat or even vegetarian instead. But given my frequency of visiting Torrance, I probably won't planning for a trip just to come here, but may stop by if I feel ramen-y and in the vicinity, though that may be as soon as Mitsuwa's Hokkaido Fair 10 days away.

21515 S Western Ave
Torrance, CA 90501
(310) 212-1101
Santouka Ramen on Urbanspoon


Anonymous said...

Your lovely photos make it look absolutely great! I'd eat it in an instant! :)

Aaron said...

You can always hit up the Santouka in the Mitsuwa Market in Mar Vista if it's slightly closer to you. They serve the same things.


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