As much as I love ramen, it's definitely not the lightest dish, with its wonderful usually pork-based broth, made even heavier depending on what ingredients are added to it. Santouka Ramen and Mottainai Ramen definitely are on the rich (but so delicious) end of the ramen spectrum. You definitely feel lethargic and quite thirsty after a meal at those places. On the other end of the spectrum is Ramen California in Torrance. I really like the ramen here, particularly the abundance of fresh heirloom vegetables and lighter chicken based broths. They even put mixed salad greens in the ramen; you don't see that at other places! We ordered the California Ramen and Chicken Ramen for lunch today. I am a big fan of the California Ramen with the rainbow of fresh vegetables, which really add a lovely variety of flavor and texture to the ramen. I love the heirloom beets and cauliflower in particular. They must saute and season the vegetables first, as they have a ton of flavor; they aren't your usual boring blanched or steamed vegetables. The broth is also light and delicious; you don't feel greasy or weighed down after. The noodles aren't quite as springy as other places, but enjoyable for their different, softer texture, more like somen or misua. The chicken ramen was also very good; it was like the chicken had been lightly broiled or grilled first, so there was lots of flavor, plus some nice salad greens in the bowl as well. The decor is nice and clean with lots of dark woods and a big bar seating area. I've always enjoyed Ramen California and would certainly go more often, but unfortunately, I'm just not around the area very often. The only reason why I was near the area today is because I picked up my two transparent smoke grey Louis Ghost chairs (which, by the way, look really nice around the dining room table), from the Room & Board distribution center, also in Torrance. I'll have to come up with excuses to be in Torrance more often!
California Ramen: look at all those beautiful vegetables
Ramen California 24231 Crenshaw Blvd Torrance, CA 90505 (310) 530-2749