Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Great Noodle bars of the West

by Ivy

Craving a taste of the East found in the West perfect for hot, Summer days?

Two mind-blowing discoveries as of late... and then some!

each link goes to their Yelp sites. Photos by Yelpers!

Oumi Sasaya / Japanese \ Torrance, CA
Easily the best Udon bar in the South Bay area with an all female staff. Perfect, chewy noodles with the right tensile strength with many variations on udon. I recommend the cold version of udon with Tempura Shrimp & Mochi. Mmmmmm! I also recently tried the very unique Shabu-Shabu like "Suki" Udon where you receive a portable stove along with vegetables/meat that you cook yourself at the table. Cool, sleek and modern decor and ambiance inside with a long bar that creates a focal point when you enter. I've read reviews that it feels very much like the noodle bars in Japan.

Yuchun / Korean \ Koreatown Los Angeles, CA
Easily the best Nengmyun house in Koreatown/Downtown LA area. They import the noodles all the way from Korea so you know you're dealing with authentic stuff! Highly recommend the combo of cold, summery noodles with Kalbi(Korean marinated short-ribs). Lines actually form at this place on weekends. You can have the noodles two ways: Arrowroot, the noodles look black but pretty much taste as the Clear ones with two styles: Mool, in "watery" broth, or Bibim, with a spicy sauce.

Tried and true...

Ma Dang Gook Soo / Korean \ Koreatown Los Angeles, CA
Jonathan Gold of LA Weekly and Pulitzer fame loves this place. Try their Kal-guk-soo, "Knife noodles". I think this place is pretty good. They have a variety of downhome, modest Korean noodles--and notably, awesome, friendly service.

Sanuki No Sato / Japanese \ Gardena, CA
Yes, an old favorite of mine and a favorite of many, including Japanese celebs and even baseballs players as noted by the photos near the entrance. They are known for their udon. Nice, perky noodles in a delicious, clear broth. Everything here is great. Try their Tempura and other a la carte items. Always a favorite.

Otafuku Noodle House / Japanese \ Gardena, CA
Handmade "Seiro" soba noodles and udon. This too was also beloved by Mr. Gold. The noodles here are served naked: Straightforward, noodles and accompanied tsuyu sauce and traditional grated radish and scallions. The taste is in the noodles. Make sure you're in a simple mood and not a sexy one--the ambiance is pretty straightforward with hardly a decoration on the wall.

Oumi Sasaya:
2383 Lomita Blvd. Unit 101., Lomita, CA 90717 (310) 530-4661

3470 W 6th. St. Ste 11.,
Los Angeles, CA 90020
(213) 389-1200

Ma Dang Gook Soo:

869 S. Western Ave., Ste 1
., Los Angeles, CA 90005
(213) 487-6008

Sanuki No Sato:

18206 S. Western Ave
., Gardena, CA 90248
(310) 324-9184

Otafuku Noodle House:

16525 S Western Ave
., Gardena, CA 90247
(310) 532-9348


  1. I think I and a few people from work are gonna try Sanuki No Sato.

    I love veggie tempura, but what kind of noodles would you recommend I get, keeping in mind I'm a white girl who doesn't like seafood and in general is afraid of anything that doesn't look like chicken or broccoli! :)~

  2. For noodle recs, try the Udon first at Sanuki no Sato. I think they have chicken udon and veggie tempura there. They have tons of options :)

    Personally my fave is the Sansai Udon--it's Japanese mountain vegetables on udon... and Vegetarian too!

  3. All the noodles look so appetizing. I want to try the tempura and mochi udon. I just bought kalguksoo before I read your site. Weird.

  4. LOL I used to drink with the owner's son (Ma Dang Gook Soo).

  5. Yeah, when you come down again. We'll have to hit up all the spots I write about. Including Kogi!

    Why am I not surprised you used to drink with the owner's son lol.

    I bet you dated a PK too.

    *(Jax, did you ever get to go?)