When traveling to Las Vegas, very few people venture off the strip to the suburbs, I did. Why you ask? Well for the love of Ramen of course! With the glowing recommendation of a trusted friend, I visited MONTA JAPANESE NOODLE HOUSE in the Chinatown area of Vegas (yes, Vegas has a thriving Chinatown) for some Ramen goodness. There was a line-up out front which is always a good sign, we waited for 25 minutes, then our name was called.
Once inside, the room is tiny, a handful of tables with a few seats at the bar in front of the open kitchen where the cooks are concocting away in a steam of broth. This place is known for it’s Tonkotsu (a thick hearty pork broth) so I went with it but made it spicy, I also had to have it with Nitamago (Seasoned Hard Boiled Egg). We waited 10 minutes and were served with a glorious bowl of Ramen.
I’ve had Tonkotsu before but this was the thickest I’ve had it and sweet fancy moses, it was tasty, add the kick of fresh chili spice and I was in heaven! Tonkotsu is traditionally made from boiling bones, fat and collagen for many hours and this broth did not disappoint, it was quite honestly, the best Ramen broth I’ve had the pleasure of tasting thus far. The egg is an important part of the Ramen to me and I was disappointed that it wasn’t included in the dish but it was available as an addition and I’m glad I got it, the seasoned hard boiled egg is a tricky one to master but Monta got it right. Hard exterior, runny interior with just a hint of herbs – perfect. While the veggie toppings were fresh, I was disappointed with the Chasu Pork which I found dry and fatty which would have elevated this to a perfect Ramen score, alas, not so much when the meat is a letdown.
This was a pleasant surprise for me, after many monstrous meals on the Strip, it was great to find “a local favorite” and have the best meal of my trip! I am pleased I braved the voyage to Monta Ramen and I highly recommend it to anyone who has a free hour or two in Vegas, the ramen is well worth it but be prepared to wait.
- Dish: Spicy Tonkotsu Ramen
- Price: $7.95
- Extras: Seasoned Egg: $1.50