South Bay Staples

Wanted to get your updates on non-splurge places for this frankly underrated area. My list so far:

Thai Bowl - excellent curries and reasonable portions
Kagura - medium-priced, maybe best tonkatsu I’ve had in LA
Ichimi Ann and Otafuku - 'nuff said
Kansha Creamery - delightful texture and mouthfeel though a little pricey and limited flavors
Habana Vieja - great mariquitas, bomb Cuban, a decent Sunday brunch buffet too
Hakata Ikkousha - frankly, their karaage is more impressive than their ramen, but that’s decent too
Hannosuke - great belly filler tempura, reasonable quality
Torihei - frankly pretty disappointing after all the hype from a few years ago - the meat was oversauced and had none of that binchotan goodness, and the non-yakitori dishes were also poorly prepared.
King’s Hawaiian - decent standard American breakfast, you know the rolls already
King Mediterrano - QPR QPR QPR.
Monkish Brewery - decent stout, the outdoor grill set-up leaves a little to be desired
Red Rock - tasty, but strange why the AC is always on full-blast

On List:
Painter’s Tape
Taishi Hainan Chicken
Yellow Fever



Hi @pocoloco,

To clarify, are you asking FTC for updated opinions on your list you posted? And it sounds like you already visited all of these places… recently(?) and posted your own thoughts already (or was that summarizing FTC threads / general impressions and wanted us to add / change that summary)? :slight_smile: Thanks.

Sorry I should be more clear - would be interested in hearing about more places to visit in the South Bay! Stuff that would be good for daily lunches/dinners/snacks/desserts. Reading through the topics in the past have shown the consistent winners, but since it’s been a few years, was wondering if there are newer establishments or not listed gems that FTC has found as well.

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Chicken Maison (Torrance) - Spicy lemon garlic chicken!!

Mashawi Grill (Torrance) - Good kebab plates. They also have the best garlic sauce out of all the South Bay Mediterranean places, imo.

La Zeez Pita Grill (Torrance) - They also have good plates, but I go there for the spicy potatoes side dish.

Curry House (Torrance and Gardena) - Some people talk shit about Curry House but it’ll always be my favorite. I like it better than CoCo Ichibanya.

Furaibo (Gardena) - My other favorite. Tebasaki chicken, Japanese sausage fried rice, age nasu, hanpen cheese, agedashi tofu…

Zam Zam Market (Hawthorne) - Lamb biriyani on Saturdays. Call ahead. Also very good seekh kebabs.

Kotosh (Lomita) - Very good Peruvian food. I particularly like the fried seafood dishes.

La Esperanza (Torrance) - Great Guatemalan and Salvadoran food. Also very good nachos.

Silog (Torrance) - Pretty good Filipino food. I like the longsilog plate.

Yuk Dae Jang (Gardena) - Nice hearty bowls of yuk gae jang.

O Young’s Rock Pot (Gardena) - Various types of spicy hotpot. I like it much better than Boiling Point.

Pho Hue Oi (Redondo Beach) - My new favorite South Bay pho place.

Wadatsumi (Torrance) - I’m addicted to the roast beef bowl and the tamago.

Ruiji Sichuan Cuisine (Lomita) - I’m so happy we have actual good Sichuan food here with a surprisingly great amount of Mala.

Honey Dress Fried Chicken (Torrance) - Korean fried chicken. I love the super spicy sauce, always crispy skin and juicy meat. Skip the sides, though.

TNT Aloha Cafe (Torrance) - My favorite Hawaiian restaurant in the South Bay. They used to own the Gardena Bowl cafe.

Cafe Cuba & Cakes (Hawthorne) - Really great Cuban pastries and sandwiches.

Inaba (Torrance) - Best tempura. Shiitakes are like crack.

JJ Bakery (Torrance) - Go in the morning for freshly baked chicken and beef curry hand pies. So good.

Phanny’s (Redondo Beach) - Good breakfast burritos.

Baja California Fish Tacos (Lawndale) - Very good fish tacos and spicy ceviche.

Nagomi Cake House (Gardena) - Excellent Japanese style cakes.

Patisserie Chantilly (Lomita) - Great desserts. Cream puffs in particular.

Continental Gourmet Market (Lomita) - Empanadas. The spicy beef ones are my favorite.

cafécafé (Wilmington) - Really good Mexican-style coffee drinks and snacks.

Little Shop of Mary (Torrance) - Love their grilled pork banh mi.

Shinsengumi Hakata Ramen (Gardena) - Forget the ramen, get the fried rice.

Hell yeah. I could live on that karaage alone.

I personally would skip these two. The chicken at Taishi was very rubbery the two times I tried it. I used to like Yellow Fever when they first opened, but I feel like their bowls got really bland after a while.


I used to like this place until I witnessed something that I can’t get out of my mind. One Saturday late afternoon, two employees were beginning to remove trays of mochi cream desserts to assumedly place these in back for storage. As they removed one of the trays, one employee full-on sneezed directly down on the nearly full tray of desserts. Standing directly across from this, I instinctively stood back to avoid the “spray zone.” The other employee proceeded to cover the tray with plastic wrap and it disappeared into the back. I’m sure a lot worse happens in the food industry, and I don’t consider myself as a germaphobe, but maybe I am?


Uugghh. That is disgusting and I don’t blame you.

(But I’m still probably gonna go there because chicken pies. :sweat_smile:)


Chubby Rice
Gardena Bowl Diner
Manhattan Beach Post

But really you should listen to @thechez5 she is a South Bay local


To add to this:

Pollo A La Brasa - chicken with French fries and rice, side tortillas and aji

Back Home in Lahaina - charsui plate, bacon fried rice, haupia cake, haupia cheesecake, loco moco w/ Portuguese sausage patty

Manpuku - beef tongue

Aloha Pizza and Shave Ice Co - Chinese chicken salad and garlic shrimp pizza

El Roccoto - jalea


Siam I am - good take out Thai at reasonable prices

Jus’poke- great poke selections like Hawaii. Not that make ur own poke bowl crap frozen fish

Poulet du jour. addictive poulet arie salad be sure to get a side of garlic sauce.

Baja tacos on artesia in Redondo Beach great fish and shrimp tacos.

Al hamra- good biryani and shawerma plates. Love their gyros too even tho they use kronos style meat.

El gaucho meat market. Empanadas and lomo milanesa/choripan sandwiches. They also have a good selection of meats including some goood ass morcillia sauasages.


Can’t believe I forgot these! :woman_facepalming:t5:


Agree with you on Torihei and Taishi. Meh x 2. Taishi people are very nice, really wanted to like their food.

Very impressed with Izakaya Hachi. Short distance from Torehei but far higher quality. The website shows it’s part of a chain (MANPUKU Group) but it’s a standalone restaurant. The menu isn’t long but whatever they do, they do well: Sashimi, Yakitori, Yakiniku, Nabe, Tempura, Vegetables. Thoughtful quality sake selection. It’s a popular spot. Call for a reservation or show up a little before opening for a seat. Don’t miss the beef tongue!

+1 @thechez5 recommendation of Pho Hue Oi. Offshoot of a popular spot in Little Saigon. Great Goi Cuon. Had a lime soda made with fresh juice.


You always rock with the South Bay suggestions. I started a new job in that area earlier this year and have been exploring more.

Have you tried Island Flavor Cafe? We absolutely love this place. Gardena Bowl was our fave for hawaiian comfort food, but Island Flavor Cafe is now the winner for us.


Ortega 120 - short rib enchiladas are delish.

Dominique’s Kitchen - solid French food

Handel’s Ice Cream - chocaholic chunk and the banana cream pie flavors are my favorites

Original Pancake House - fluffy omelette and just about every style of pancake you could desire (including Dutch babies).

Standing Room - quirky burger joint

Tasty Noodle House - shanghai style noodles


I have, and loved it! Yet another place I forgot to add to my list up there. Smh.

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Anyone been or heard anything about this place?

I’m kinda surprised it’s in PV, but it’ll be nice having a good fish market so close to home.

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Kang ho dang for Korean bbq, @Chowseeker1999 reviewed a different location a long while back but on my visit the meat was of good quality and tender. Doubt it’s the best in LA or maybe even this area but it was solid (no wait on Saturday at 5:30pm). Tried to go to Shin Sen Gumi first but was a 2.5 hour wait.

Driving around the area there are so many amazing looking restaurants that I’ve seen recommended by @thechez5 and others and tons I’ve never heard of. Great area to explore!!

I am doing my best so far in hitting up the South Bay…

(So far I been to 2 Guns Espresso, Ercoles, Ichimiann, Chantilly, Wadatsumi, Jus Poke, Fukuno, Nagomi)

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Sakae Sushi

This is a family owned place that makes homestyle sushi. Something mama makes for her kids lunch or a quick lunch for an office worker.

Just park across in the Tokyo Central lot. I kinda wanna try Spoon House next door.

Got the Nori Maki and Saba. I like the kanpyo in the maki. The Saba was good as well. Not bad for the price. I wouldn’t mind this for lunch or take a dozen pieces and hit up Redondo/Manhattan/PV and enjoy the view


Do it. It’s worth trying as long as you set expectation levels properly. It’s not high end pasta, but more homey with interesting sauces with the twist of the japanese flavors. Warm and friendly people too.

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Is spoon house the same owners as spoon house by h in weho?