Restaurant Review

Jidaiya Ramen, Yokohama Style in Gardena

The city of Compton might be good if you’re picking up parts from 4Wheel Parts Warehouse, but Gardena, the city next door is where you go for Yokohama style ramen.

Straight out of Yokohama is iekei style ramen, which you can find in LA’s other Japanese hood, Gardena and Torrance, the home of Jidaiya Ramen.

What City You claim? Yokohama Foo

Cross Kyushu style tonkotsu (pork bone) ramen and Tokyo’s shoyu (soy sauce) ramen, and you get iekei style from Yokohama although I don’t think Jidaiya is exactly iekei style (but they don’t claim to be). Although I attribute them to being iekei because of their use thick of noodles and chashu (I like them thick), and harenso (spinach).

Photo Description: the interior of Jidaiya ramen which has a nostalgic look to it like Daikokuya ramen or if you have been to Japan, it looks a little like the Yokohama ramen museum (well, a bit like it).
The interior is taking you way back to post war, Showa-era Japan.

Torihei and Jidaiya are Family Holmes

If you have ever been to Torihei in Torrance like I have (I have been a couple of times, but I never could get a table because I don’t have any clout), and you enjoyed the food, then you might like to know that Torihei and Jidaiya are both owned and managed by the same people.

Photo Description: another shot of the interior of Jidaiya ramen which consists of a number of tables, along with bar seating. Up against the wall is a yellow gashapon/gachapon vending machine.
The vintage posters are either influenced by the Shin-Yokohama Ramen museum or Daikokuya.

The same people who do not do any marketing cuz “Japanese” although if you keep your head down on what you are doing as they do at both Torihei and Jidaiya, marketing is not all that important when you have return customers and a word of mouth working for you.

Photo Description: the karaage at Jidaiya Ramen, along with their sliced cabbage and a side of fried rice.
I can get by with gyoza or chahan and ramen, but if I’m with others, they go H.A.M. with the appetizers.

They Know a Thing or Two About Chicken

I expect Jidaiya to be able to do chicken right, and they did this karaage right. Oh, if you like a leafy green salad, you won’t find that at most Japanese restaurants, and instead you’ll find a lot of shredded cabbage that has a perfect crunch to go along with fried chicken (now, I’m thinking of Honey’s Kettle which is light and crispy).

Photo Description: The interior of Jidaiya ramen with a number of signage posted on the walls which include their menu and specials.
This reminds me of Mottainai Ramen that opened in 2010 that had all sorts of “bombs,” but they weren’t da bomb, and they went out of business.

Da Bomb, Yo

I think Jidaiya’s bomb would consist mainly of gochujang and other spices, but like the now closed Mottainai, many use lard to help thicken and flavor ramen broths (fat is flavor).

I am Greg’s artery, and I get clogged by fat, I kill Greg.

I am a big ball of fat, and I am partially comprised of garlic. They call me the “magic bomb,” and my homies in the hood would refer to me as “da bomb.” I can kill my homies, but most likely their appetite for McDonald’s and Sizzler will get them first. Big ball of fat feels cheated by this fact.

Photo Description: the gyoza at Jidaiya ramen. The bottom of the gyoza is bottom side up, so that you can see the crispy brown layer of the gyoza all combined together.
Oh you crispy little potstickers taunting me with your crispy little bottoms that I love to munch on.

Legit and Done Right

I’m sure you can do that crispy layer on the bottom of the gyoza with frozen restaurant supply gyoza that so many “ramen ya’s” that are currently opening up, but having gyoza done right is what defines a true OG.

Photo Description: Japanese kana adorn the interior, along with vintage posters most likely from the 40's to the 60's are hung up around the interior.
I can make out the katakana, and that I need to smile that I’m on camera (a sign that Japanese didn’t know they had to do prior to coming to the U.S.).

Gardena is Where Ramen Restaurants Live and Die

The list of ramen ya’s that have come and gone in Gardena and Torrance is a long list because many of the owners speak very little English which is why you will also see very few articles or any other PR. So restaurants like Mottainai in 2010 opened without an press/media and also closed without anybody hearing it, like a tree in a forest falling.

Photo Description: finally a shot of Jidaiya ramen bowl. The thick bowl is meant to keep the heat in, so that your ramen doesn't get cold.
A close look at the bowl

A Solid Bowl of Tonkotsu

I’d say the broth a solidly decent one although I do not think it’s a standout when it comes to tonkotsu.

Photo Description: a shot of the tonkotsu ramen at Jidaiya ramen which consists of nori, hanjuku tamago, noodles, looks like three rather decently sized pieces of pork belly chashu, and the iconic spinach for iekei ramen.
An even closer look at the bowl

You’re not going to see any noodle pull here because I eat instead of taking pictures because you want to eat ramen when it’s HOT. It also one reason why Jidaiya and Santouka both thick walled bowls which help to keep the heat in.

Photo Description: a close up of the pork belly chashu at Jidaiya ramen.
An even closer look at that chashu and that egg peeping out.

Slabs of pork belly is a another indicator of iekei style, just like slabs and thickness is common in the U.S. too.

Photo Description: aaaaannnnnnd another shot of the interior of Jidaiya ramen.
And another look at that interior…. not any closer or further, just another shot.

Much Respect to Jidaiya

I wish I could do yakitori, so for chef and (co?)owner, Masakazu Sasaki (and Hirai?) to be able to do both ramen, oden, and yakitori, you gotta respect that which is why Jidaiya is has been embraced by the hood.

The Jidaiya Menu

Jidaiya offers Tokyo shoyu ramen, Sapporo spicy miso, and Yokohama tonkotsu ramen (the below listing is only a partial menu).

Yokohama Tonkotsu (Pork) Ramen
Jidaiya shoyu (soy sauce): chashu, egg, menma, nori, spinach.$10.95
Jidaiya shio (salt): chashu, egg, menma, green onions, nori, spinach, sesame seeds, bonito flakes.$10.95
Jidaiya miso: chashu, menma, green onion, corn, bean sprouts, snow pea, black sesame.$11.95
Jidaiya miso chashu: extra chashu.$13.95
Tokyo (Chicken) Shoyu Ramen
Tokyo-yatai: chashu, egg, menma, nori, onion, naruto $8.95
Sapporo Spicy Miso (Chicken and Pork)
Spicy miso: chashu, menma, onion, corn, bean sprouts, snow pea, and black sesame.$12.95
Spicy miso chashu$14.95

Jidaiya Ramen Dining

18537 S Western Ave
Gardena, CA 90248

(310) 532-0999
www.torihei-usa.com

Thursday – Wednesday
11:30AM – 10:30PM

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