Well as my outings usually involve food in some form, sharing tonight another meal. I've finally tried visiting Ramen Umenoya in Torrance and have to say I enjoyed their Shoyu Ramen quite a good bit ($7.95). They're located in a rather quirky smaller blue colored strip mall opposite of the mega modern parking lot shopping area that houses Ramen Toraya (formerly Ramen California).
The flavor of the broth is fairly straight forward classic Tokyo-shoyu but a lot more potent than most. Nothing overtly wa-fu like what Zetton is trying, I liked that it wasn't needlessly complicated but your honest-to-goodness Shoyu Ramen with a niboshi note just enough to give me a smile. Quite frankly what our Yakyudori's ought to be I felt.
The majority of what you see sprinkled on top are finely chopped onions, nice and sweet to offset while giving some additional texture, but other white flecks are in fact a controlled amount of back fat to add an appropriate richness.
The noodles ordered a katame firm was adequate but toppings were very cohesive. The marinated soft boiled eggs your above average for these parts (and was nice to be given two-halves as standard), the pork chashu also well-seasoned as to not get lost in the soup. Very tender, perhaps a little too much (if there is such a thing) as it was difficult for me to pick a slice up without it fragmenting into pieces. Still I'd happily take these in my just-under-eight-bucks ramen any day of the week.
The price of the Japanese Gyozas seemed to have gone up ($3.95) judging by the relabeling on the menu but were pretty decent with a pleasant nutty sesame oil finish. I wouldn't mind the side fried to be more crisp but as it was the first served the day it could've been the kitchen (both the cook and the griddle) not having completely warmed up.
I could hear some proficient wokking in the kitchen soon after ordering the fried rice Chahan (small order, $2.95) and when it arrived it didn't disappoint. Nice and flaky, with pleasant flavors of smoky shoyu dare, a tad greasy in a (very) good way with generous amount of the same tasty pork chashu found in the ramen. If anything it was maybe a little too aggressively seasoned (salty) but as it was one of the more satisfying chahan had as a set with ramen in a very long while, I was more than willing to ignore.
All the components impressively cohesive, Umenoya's holistic shoyu ramen experience the day really hit the spot for me and then some. While I'm a big gyokai flavor fan and Yamadaya Costa Mesa's Premium Shoyu is my go-to in that category, Umenoya's has easily become my favorite standard shoyu ramen.
Their menu also includes a tsukemen, but more rare an Abura Soba mazemen and even a scary gut-busting Jiro-kei ramen for those so inclined (which as far as I know is a first in So. Cal.). With a tonkotsu and miso also in the lineup you can say Umenoya is a one stop shop for your ramen needs. Still as I'm usually weary of places that try to do too many things it may be a while before I try any of them, but who knows.
Ramen Umenoya, 24222 Crenshaw Blvd, Torrance, CA 90505