1724 W. Redondo Beach Blvd.
Gardena, CA 90274
New sign. New decor. New owner?? Thankfully not! Although I will forever miss the rusty old nostalgic sign, the newly remodeled taco-bellish building is a good sign for Umemura's future. I'd like to think I had a hand in it (see 2007 rankings), but Umemura has survived for years (long before my little blog) and it's no surprise that it still remains popular today.
As I begin to round out the year in preparation for another year-end ranking, why not start with Umemura to see if anything had changed (other than its remodel), I thought. I won't bore you on my history with this place (since we took care of that the last time), but I will say that last year's review has consistently been in my blog's top 5 most-visited-pages every month. Hopefully, you enjoyed it as much as I did.
Umani Ramen: The sole (or should I say soul) reason why Umemura was ranked so high last year. The Umani Ramen is definitely one of the best of its kind in all of LA and OC. Of course Umemura has seen better days, but this ramen has steadily improved over time and has remained delicious. But can it remain atop for another year? We'll see...
The thick gravy from the sauteed toppings gave the normally mellow shoyu base an injection of high octane flavor--a flavor that coated the "homemade" noodles for extra slurping power. There are too many toppings to name (pork, cabbage, mushrooms, carrots, etc...) so you'll just have to pick 'em out from the pics. I'm not sure how true their "homemade" claim is, but their crimped noodles tasted fresher than ever before and looked similar to homemade mass-produced chuuka soba that I've seen in Japan.
Half Chahan: Chahan at Umemura is a must order when visiting on an empty stomach. The fresh pork and bits of crab always impress. Today's half order of chahan was a little dry so what did I do...
...I dumped it into my remaining soup. Ahhh, now this is some good chahan! Don't be afraid to mix and match!
Lunch - 11:30 am ~ 3:00 pm
Dinner - 5:00 pm ~ 9:00 pm
Closed on Tuesdays