This Japanese noodle house is as delicious as it is tiny. While Monta is small – just 26 seats – you will definitely notice its presence in the back of the strip mall as most nights you’ll see hoards of people happily waiting outside for a table. They do not take reservations and parking can be a nightmare… but while these things may dissuade you, trust me: it’s worth the wait!
If seated at the bar (my favorite spot), be prepared to get to know your neighbor as you will most definitely brush elbows with them at some point during your meal. But this is part of the cozy charm of this hidden gem. Embrace it.
While restaurants in America tend to lean heavily toward ‘more choice is better’, Monta gets that most people really do want just a few solid choices – and that’s all you’ll get. Four options for mains along with several topping extras, two beer choices, and only a few extra options round out the menu. But that’s all you need.
Now: the food!
Upon my first noisy slurp of the Shoyu (“soy sauce”) Ramen, I was instantly brought back to my days in Japan. The flavorful broth – tangy and light – is most certainly authentic. (I’ll note here that it’s actually a blessing that you’ll most likely wait beforehand because as soon as the food comes, expect the conversation to stop). Anyway, I have to say, the Pork Belly Bowl is true culinary artistry for the taste buds; you will not let a single grain of rice go uneaten. The pork falls apart the moment your chopsticks make contact. Mmmm… As for dessert, does it even exist here? I may never find out as the main meal is so good I’ve never gotten that far!
So go early and go hungry, and let me know if you ever discover if they have dessert!