Thursday, December 4, 2008

I-naba -- A Noodling good time

20920 Hawthorne Blvd
Torrance, CA 90510
(310) 371-6675

It was on my birthday last year that a bunch of my friends brought me here for dinner. Hence, it was ironic that a year later, I had the pleasure of meeting a dear old friend, the Ubiquitous Grammar Cop ( when he was visiting, at I-naba, again, on my birthday. Thirteen years separated our last meeting to this one. We ordered quickly so we could catch up on the last decade between bites of tempura and soba.

Tempura Deluxe Set lunch was agreed upon and thus started the array of food which arrived. A green salad and miso soup arrived first, followed by hijiki (seaweed) salad which had bits of carrots and roasted chestnuts interspersed with the black tasty seaweed.

The set also included some sashimi, but honestly, I-naba is not known for its sashimi or sushi. I suggest you try to avoid this at all costs. Soba and tempura is what they are known for and it is here they excel. My cold soba was perfectly al dente and from the ooos and ahhhs the Grammar Cop was giving off, it'll be safe to say he was enjoying his hot soba as well. The accompanying tempura was perfectly fried -- light without the heaviness of copious batter.

Our meal ended with a scoop of ice cream, but, as the flavor and texture of the sashimi proved before, I-naba needs to have their refrigeration system thoroughly checked out. Ice cream was dotted with chunks of icicles causing extremely discomfort while eating. Mine was slightly better, I finished my sesame ice cream, but the Grammar Cop pushed his green tea version aside.

Noodles and tempura, plus the company of a good friend -- not much else one could ask for!

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