5030 Spring Mountain Rd, Ste 6
Las Vegas, NV 89146
With ramen currently on my mind, I’m reminded of my visit last summer to Las Vegas, when I dined at Monta, widely considered to have the best ramen in town. It’s a good bowl, with a cloudy white tonkotsu broth full of porkiness and salty flavor, thin curly noodles, two perfectly cut slices of chashu that had a very dark exterior (cut thin to the point where it felt like the slices were dissolving), a well-cooked soft-boiled egg, scallions, menma, and kikurage. If this is the best Vegas has to offer with regards to ramen, then good for the locals – they have themselves a solid choice, located next to the Japanese mecca that is Raku in Chinatown.
Put Monta in Los Angeles, however, where ramen is aplenty in both quantity of choices (both restaurants and varieties) and quality, and all of a sudden it’s like a poor man’s version of what you’d find at Santouka, right down to those curly noodles. And this is no knock on Monta, because they do put out a good product – it’s just that what they bring to the table does nothing to differentiate themselves in a crowded market in this town, neither in doing something different, nor doing what is familiar to elevate itself to the top of the class. The noodles are decent, but nothing to write home about. The chashu is solid, but too thin to appreciate. And that broth, porky but could’ve been more, salty but could’ve been more – kinda of what I mentioned in a previous post about being in a tonkotsu ramen limbo of sorts.
But in Sin City, this is the belle of the ball. And in a city where luxury and overindulgence is aplenty, a very affordable bowl of ramen off The Strip is a very welcome sight.