John Curtas is …

MONTA – Magnificent Ramen

If you’re a lover of great ramen noodles — and let’s face it who isn’t? — then you need to run (not walk) to Monta immediately.

ELV would like to take credit for discovering this little slice of Osaka on west Spring Mountain Road, but truth be told, Slapsie Maxie got there first.

He told us they were the best ramen noodles he had ever eaten in the states, and after one slurp we knew what he was talking about.

Our miso ramen was thick, nutty and slightly sweet, and topped with two pieces of melt-in-your-mouth roasted pork that had us dropping our chopsticks in appreciation.

A bit lighter was the tonkotsu (pork bone) ramen in a white broth of bracing intensity.

This is ramen like you’ve never had food fans. This is the real deal….like we can only imagine it tastes in Tokyo.

You know a place is doing something special when it has the confidence to put only three main items on its menu. You garnish those with everything from kim chee to shredded green onions, but the main events are treasures unto themselves.

If you crave something else, the gyoza are top drawer too, as is a little bowl of mini-“mentaiko” — warm rice topped with shredded dried kelp (kombu) and fish eggs.

Only a door down from Raku, we at ELV predict this little slice of a shitty shopping center will soon become a Japanese mecca. In a tiny way, one bowl at a time, it’s helping to continue what Mitsuo Endo started: turning Las Vegas from a overpriced restaurant town into a real food town.

It would help, of course, if they got their air conditioning working, but regardless, the broths and noodles and toppings are so pristine here (and so rich and sharply flavored), we have confidence our little food revolution is continuing.

As evidenced by a tiny noodle shop in a run down shopping center…

Go figure…and god bless the Japanese* for now bringing two slices of their culinary world into ours.

MONTA

5030 Spring Mountain Road

Las Vegas, NV 89146

(ELV can find no listing for this place. (How very Japanese of them!) Go to Raku, park, and look to your right.)

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* ELV cannot write such things without remembering his Dad — Anthony John (Cutsumpas) Curtas (1926-2006) — who might have taken issue with such words, mainly because he was on this ship, on January 21,1945, when ancestors of said tribe were trying to kill him.

6 Responses to MONTA – Magnificent Ramen

  • Thanks for writing about this place! It is rare to find really good ramen, and I really look forward to trying this place out. By the way, if you’re ever in Orange County, family-run Mentatsu Ramen in Costa Mesa is also legit, and rave review-worthy.

  • Just had lunch there and it was great. Amazing flavors. Sit at the counter and watch the attention to detail in the preparation.
    Thanks John

  • ate there… had the ramen with miso broth and tonkatsu… way too salty! the first gulp was amazing but towards the end it was very salty! the fried rice was good!

  • Managed three lunches at Monta last week in order to work through the menu. The Shoyu ramen with egg is my favorite, followed closely by the kimchi fried rice and pork belly bowl. This place is a great find and one I’ll certainly keep on my list of regulars.

  • Ok, tried it at my friend’s suggestion. Oh so bad, the noodles were not cooked!Threw the whole lunch away. Called to complain, and they did not care! Now I have to eat someplace else today.

  • Sorry, but I was not impressed with Monta. I grew up in Hawai, have travelled to Japan. I know what good ramen is. They do not make their own noodles, and the soup, (i ordered shoyu, miso and tonkatsu) are mediocre. It all starts with the dashi, which I think they make from powder, or at least it tastes that way. I frankly make better ramen at home with Sun products fresh ramen and soup base I get at Nakata of Japan or International Market.

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