Saturday, January 15, 2011

Mottainai Ramen Review: Decadent Ramen in Gardena

After picking up the floor sample Louis Ghost chair from Room & Board's Torrance distribution center and before the TUF / Torrance Symphony Taiwan Night Concert, we went to Mottainai Ramen in the Marukai Pacific strip mall in Gardena.  I've heard a lot about Ramen Mottainai from various respected food blogs and have been eager to check it out.  I like the look and feel of the place; it's bright, cheery and fun. 
We ordered the salad, gyoza,  Tokyo Props Shoyu Ramen with the shiro white magic bomb, and the Sapporo Miso Ramen with the co
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rn butter magic bomb.  The salad was really good, huge with asparagus, romaine, corn, tomatoes, and a light ginger miso dressing.  It's also a nice since ramen shops are usually short on the greens.  The gyoza was also good, a little more porky rather than vegetable-y than most gyoza that I've tried at ramen shops.  The shoyu ramen was delicate and refined, made a little richer with the shiro white magic bomb, which is a little melon sized ball of pork fat and garlic.  I loved the Miso ramen.  It was different from any other miso ramen I've ever had, much more complex.  It had a wonderfully smoky flavor which gave the dish a lot of depth.  During the cooking process, I saw flames leaping out of a wok; I'm not sure exactly what was on fire, but I really enjoyed the smoky flavor it added to the broth.  The corn butter was the recommended magic bomb by the waiter, and I liked the extra texture and flavor from the corn.  It's a very rich and heavy dish; I was full and very thirsty for hours afterwards.  Prices were reasonable at around $7 for a ramen dish (then +$1.50 for the magic bombs).  Gyoza was less than $3 and the salad was about $5.  Unfortunately, only iphone pictures to share:
Sapporo Miso Ramen with Corn Butter bomb
Tokyo Props Shoyu Ramen
Shiro Magic Bomb with Pork Fat and Garlic

Mottainai Ramen
1630 West Redondo Beach Avenue, #9
Gardena, CA  90247 
(310) 538-3250

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