Umami Mart Registry

We drove a long way from Los Angeles proper to try the soba at Otafuku in Torrance. The shop donned no sign, except a neon "Open" sign that flashed in the window. The place was packed with hungry folks for lunch, lone salarymen sitting at the bar, and housewives chatting amongst one another at the tables in Japanese. Many of the customers were obviously regulars, so the waitresses were all a bit brusk, and I rather liked that. Bottles of "bottle-keep" shochu lined the shelves.

The soba was good, although we probably prefer the soba at Ippuku. Yoko thinks it's because of the the inferior water of LA. Sad. However, the dish that sticks out in my mind was the tamagoyaki (fried egg omelette) at Otafuku. It was perfect. Sweet and savory, a bit crisped on the outside, softly cooked within.

Tamagoyaki is one of my favorite comfort foods, but it is really difficult to make -- there is a lot of flipping involved. I haven't even tried mastering it. Maybe I'll try in the new year!

16525 South Western Avenue
Gardena, CA 90247
T: 310.532.9348 


  • I plan to be here this weekend. I guess I’ll have to try this!

    Dennis on

  • Do you add sugar to tamagoyaki? Can you teach us how to make this or dashimaki sometime? I cannot flip for the life of me.

    Kayoko on

  • From the look of it, I believe it’s dashi maki, not tamago yaki. The difference is obviously you either add dashi or not, plus sweetness (dashi maki is a lot less sweet) Also dashi maki, you mix egg pretty lightly, so you see white spots inside, like the picture above. I love making something in between dashi maki and tamagoyaki, sweet, yet add dashi for lighter texture.

    Moto on

  • ChiXui makes a killer tamagoyaki – now fortified with shio koji! (We hand carried the pan all the way from Kappa-bashi.)
    Open invitation to you and Yoko.
    ♪(´ε` )

    Tracey on

  • Yes please!

    Kayoko on

  • Surely. I add sugar, dashi, and my secret is kewpie. That makes very fluffy tamagoyaki. I should video post this.

    Moto on

  • You should try Ichimi-An, if you haven’t yet. I like their soba a lot more than Otafuku. Although Otafuku has tempura eel which is quite tasty :)

    Tara on

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