Sometimes you grow up liking a particular food, and couldn't be happier with life as you know it. Then you go somewhere different, try that same dish you've always loved, and suddenly find yourself saying, “Oh. So that's what it's supposed to taste like.” Such is the case for most people who show up to their first meal at Ichimiann (sometimes called Bamboo Garden) in Torrance. The soba (Japanese buckwheat noodles) are handmade each day and offer a textural revelation, suddenly causing you to regret your consumption of its previous incarnations. The noodles have a bite to them you've never experienced, like tasting fresh, homemade pasta for the first time. Ichimiann is a small, sparse shop with just a few tables and barstools, and a criminally low price tag (bowls start around five bucks), considering how hard it is to find a better offering of the stuff anywhere in Southern California. You can order your soba thin or thick, hot or cold and with a wide array of flavor options, like mentaiko (spicy fish roe) or tororo (grated Japanese yam). The single best varietal may well be the thin noodles, cold, with their house-pickled Japanese plums (ume), slurped alongside their complimentary hot or cold barley tea.

—Noah Galuten

LA Weekly