It’s an unfortunate fact of life that sometimes hard times come our way. I am lucky enough to be in close proximity to Eboshi Noodle Bar in Lomita, so when everything gets to be too much, I can drown myself in a comforting bowl of ramen.
Mike Kusakabe has been serving ramen in Lomita for around 15 years and has developed a devoted following. Lunch on weekdays is packed, when they are only open until 2:15 before re-opening for dinner at 5pm. I like visiting on quieter days, when Mike will deliver your ramen himself. The friendly chats with Mike, along with little details like fresh flowers and simple syrup for your iced tea help to make you feel welcome.
The menu includes appetizers like edamame, an amazing shiu mai, and Donporo Pork Belly that is out of this world. Other selections are a la carte items like Ma Po Tofu and Broiled Mackerel, Rice Dishes, Noodles, and special Combinations. The Kanitama Rice, with a crab omelette and sweet and sour sauce over rice doesn’t sound like it should work, but it does.
But the big draw here is the ramen. Although the ramen isn’t made in-house, it’s as good as any I’ve tried, and you cannot beat Mike’s deep, complex broths. Shoyu ramen comes in a rich, soy-based slightly smoky broth. From there, you start adding ingredients. Just about any vegetable, seafood or meat is represented. Tanmen Ramen is a popular item, including pork and vegetables, and can be made to the desired heat. The pork belly whether on its own or in a ramen is enough to make you forget your troubles. Probably my favorite dish though, is the intense and intrinsically Japanese curry noodles.
You can also add additional toppings for practically nothing. Five sweet, fresh, cooked-just-until-done shrimp are only $2.10, as is four slices of char siu. Tofu is $1.70 and you can add most vegetables for $1.50. In fact, nothing in the entire restaurant is over ten dollars.
Hiyashi Chuka, cold noodles with assorted toppings, and Tukemen, cold noodles with a dipping sauce, are unparalleled. Perhaps it’s because Mike cuts the traditional fish broth for cooking the ramen with chicken broth, making it richer, more complex, and less fishy.
The Yakisoba is stir-fried and its sauce is a little thicker, smokier and sweeter. It’s not teriyaki, but it is reminiscent of that same sticky sweetness. So far I have never been disappointed by Mike, and anytime I feel the steam rising out of that bowl, my troubles melt away.
Eboshi is my happy place.
2383 Lomita (in a mini-mall off Pennsylvania) CA 90717 (310) 325-6674 M-F 11:30-2:15, 5pm-9:15, Sat & Sun 11:30-9:15, CLOSED WEDNESDAYS