Southern California Day Trips


Looking for some of the best craft breweries and Japanese food in all of Los Angeles? Then get ready to explore Torrance in the South Bay of LA. Set aside about 5-6 hours, designate a driver and load up the car for a day trip through a part of Los Angeles that most people never explore. Just be prepared mentally for spending time at small industrial parks and strip malls.

Getting There:

Torrance is not the easiest place to get to because it is a fairly large city end-to-end. The City sits off of the 405 Freeway between the 110 Freeway and the Artesia Blvd. exit. Unfortunately, there is no train option, as the nearest train line ends in North Redondo Beach (the Green Line and Marine Avenue Station), so this is a Car-Necessary Day Trip.

The Breweries:

There are 5 craft breweries in Torrance within a relatively short drive. Make sure to check each website for times that each taproom is open, though they are all generally open in the evenings and the weekends.

The 5 Breweries are:

1. Smog City Brewing Company at 1901 Del Amo Blvd #B, Torrance, CA 90501. It could be hard to find as it sits in the back left corner of a nondescript commercial lot. The taproom is small but comfortable with just enough seats and stools. All of the beers are unique and tasty, but a favorite is the Coffee Porter.

smog city2. The Strand Brewing Company at 23520 Telo Ave #1 Torrance, CA 90505. This also is in an industrial warehouse area and hard to find as the entrance is not clearly marked, but once located you will be happy. The Strand Brewing Company is well-known for its 24th Street Pale Ale, so make sure you have at least one.

3. The Dudes’ Brewing Company at 1840 W 208th St, Torrance, CA 90501. This place is dog-friendly and has videos of its beers.

4. Monkish Brewing Company at 20311 S Western Ave, Torrance, CA 90501. Monkish is located in a tiny business plaza. The beers are almost exclusively Belgian style, so be prepared for stronger ales.

5. Absolution Brewing Company at 2878 Columbia St, Torrance, CA 90503. Absolution is well-known for its Angel Demise, but it also has several non-alcoholic drinks like cream sodas and root beers that people enjoy.

Food and Other Options:

A great meal after a day of drinking craft beers is ramen, and one of the best ramen spots in Southern California is Santouka in the food court of the traditional Japanese market Mitsuwa Marketplace at 21515 S. Western Ave, Torrance, CA 90501. Do note that alcohol is not served at Santouka, so this is a great place to sober up and have some tea.

mitsuwa pic

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After eating you can spend some time walking and perusing around inside the market itself while digesting. Inside the market are several other kiosks and food stands with dessert and other items, including a Japanese video store. The market also functions as a full supermarket, but with Japanese items.

photo 5

Torrance is also well-known for its sushi restaurants, and an intimate one with some of the friendliest staff is Nozomi at 1757 W. Carson St, Torrance, CA 90501. In the same strip mall is a fun karaoke bar with a large, up-to-date song selection, Max Karaoke Studio.

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