I-naba

Critics' pick
1/4
Photograph: Victor Leung
Tempura set at I-naba
2/4
Photograph: Victor Leung
Tempura set at I-naba
3/4
Photograph: Victor Leung
I-naba
4/4
Photograph: Victor Leung
I-naba
Torrance

If ramen is the White-Hot Noodle of the Year, then soba is the lesser-known contender for Most Refined. Soba's beauty lies in the delicate, slightly nutty flavor of buckwheat and a skilled touch in hand making each thread. Any purist will tell you that the best way to enjoy these noodles is plain or zaru–served cold topped with nori shreds alongside an umami-rich dipping sauce. But at this South Bay noodle destination, we prefer tensoba ($13), an upgraded version with the addition of light, crispy tempura on the side. The best way to sample an authentic taste of Nippon is a set dinner: Inaba's Kaiseki Dinner ($55) includes sunomono (pickled vegetables), grilled fish, miso soup, a mixed plate of nigiri and maki sushi, that etheral tempura, chawanmushi (egg custard) and a small bowl of soba.

Venue name: I-naba
Contact:
Address: 20920 Hawthorne Blvd
Los Angeles

Opening hours: Mon-Fri 11am-2pm, 6-10:30pm; Sat 11:30am-2pm, 5:30-10pm; Sun 5:30-10pm
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