Cafe Asa – Gardena, CA


18202 S. Western Ave.
Gardena, CA
(310) 769-1010

Rameniac wasn’t kidding!…not that he ever does. Cafe Asa is definitely “one of the top ramen shops in town.” Located in the same center as my favorite udon-ya, Sanuki No Sato, Asa explodes into the LA ramen scene with some of the best stuff on this side of the Pacific. Let’s just straight out say it now–this ramen-ya is a must GO! I’ve waited hours to eat ramen that’s far more inferior than this. I know some of you may be weary of letting the secret of Asa out, but I say we start rounding up everyone we know and start lining up at the joint! I would hate to see them disappear so soon. The only reason I say this is because the place was empty when I was there. Tell your friend’s and have them tell more friend’s and so on. Let’s keep them in business!


Kotteri-shoyu: Kotteri or Assari…that is the question. A great way to keep it simple! Kotteri is the thicker more rich (and probably more fattening) soup base. With plenty of flavor, one sip will send you drifting away into a heavenly dream. The noodles are thin and add a delightful crispness to the whole experience. The toppings (chashu, negi, and menma) are perfect and you even get an option to add others. Need I say more…


Assari-shoyu: After tasting the Kotteri, the Assari was extremely refreshing. But I would still prefer the more intense Kotteri any day. That’s not to say the Assari was bad. It still rocks and would bury most other ramen out there.


Kurobuta Wiener: If it weren’t for ramen, I might have a blog entitled “GO WIENER!” Thank god for ramen…hahaha. Japanese sausages are the best. I practically grew up on these too and remember having to smuggle these into the country whenever I visited Japan. Okay enough wiener talk, let’s move on.


Mochi-Cheese Takoyaki: The other Cafe Asa specialty is their takoyaki and this mochi-cheese takoyaki was surely something special. Give it a try!

4 Replies to “Cafe Asa – Gardena, CA”

  1. Hi Mike! Sorry to hear about your bad experience. I had the kotteri shoyu last month and it tasted pretty good, but I’ve also heard from people that they’ve been very inconsistent lately. I wonder why?As for the mochi cheese takoyaki, I honestly can’t remember if I noticed any takoyaki or not since I haven’t had it in so long. I wouldn’t be surprised if it contained octopus but so small it was barely noticeable. I’ll order it again the next time I go and pay more attention.And yes, you should give them another chance. According to what you wrote, I don’t think it can get any worse. Good luck! Let me know how it goes.

  2. I finally made my way out this this past weekend and had a decidedly different experience then you. Firstly I asked for the egg half boiled and the waitress said they are all half boiled, it’s how they come. I repeated myself and she assured me it would be half boiled. It came not half boiled.Then the soup. The Koteri ramen had delightful noodles and it did taste very good… for about a third of it. Then it was all salt, salt, and more salt. I even found the chasu rather tasteless as well. Finally the order of the mochi-cheese appetizer. I’ve never had this dish before so perhaps you can clear something up for me. Was I supposed to taste octopus? Should I have seen octopus? As far as I and my dining companions could tell there was only cheese. I was very confused.Perhaps I’m a glutton for punishment but I do want to go back and give them another go. I’ve read things elsewhere regarding there unevenness so maybe this was just a bad night? What do you think?…

  3. Hey rameniac. It feels different having you leave a comment on my blog now that you’re a rock star…hahaha. I feel honored…no joke! I think I have a lot of childhood memories with Umemura that kinda makes it stand out. But my all time fav ramen-ya in gardena though was a place called Kotan way back when. The owner of Kotan was part owner of Umemura and they somehow got in a disagreement that led him to leave and open Kotan. He has since passed away and left the best ramen-ya to be remembered only as a dream.

  4. nice going keizo! umemura for #1 eh? haha… that used to be my favorite ramen shop when i was at UCLA, then the sawtelle and the little tokyo locations closed down, and the spot in the gardena (in the renovated taco bell lol) didn’t really do it for me anymore after all these years. but i can see why you like it, guess i just don’t like it as much as i used to haha…

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