Heidi Knapp Rinella visited tiny Monta Ramen in the midst of a heat wave that made the room hot, hot, hot. But never fear: “?you can bet that when the weather turns nippy, I'll be a frequent slurper.”
The heat was the only markdown she gave the Japanese ramen restaurant in Chinatown.
Some of the ditties: “but this is a ramen house, so we decided on two types of ramen. But first we'd do the American thing and start with an appetizer, the gyoza, which our waitress warned us would take about seven minutes, and which she brought before the ramen.”
She called the gyoza “heaven on a plate.” The tonkatsu came out “as the menu promised, a creamy, buttery broth with the clear taste of pork, slightly smoky.” Well-traveled HKR says the miso was, “I'd venture to say, unlike any of those watered-down, barely discernible versions we've had in any teppanyaki spot anywhere in the country.”
She gives the food and service an A and the atmosphere an A- for an overall A.
It was a slow week for reviews in the weeklies. Neither Max Jacobson at Vegas Seven nor anyone on the Las Vegas Weekly staff reviewed a place, leaving the heavy lifting for Al Mancini at CityPaper. He checked out Cafe Mexico, a restaurant he says should tout its Salvadoran menu instead of the Mexican side. He outs his chef friend who accompanied him, “who was enjoying his day off with a steady diet of video poker, Jack Daniels and weed.” He sampled three types of pupusas, a chile rellenos stuffed with pork, a tamale and a Salvadoran churrasco platter of chorizo, steak, shrimp and vegetables in large part because “anyone who’s ever attempted to eat with a drunk and/or stoned chef should know, they tend to over-order, especially when the food is reasonably priced.” He proclaims the food good, but just don’t go to the bathroom. “If I had visited the men’s room before ordering my meal, the stench probably would have convinced me to abandon my quest for pupusas and other Salvadoran delicacies.” [CL]
Monta Ramen [Photo: Jane K./Yelp]