Monzo takes over from the failed Fat Spoon in Little Tokyo, a place The Monster never understood. It looks exactly the same. Like slap a new sign up front and rock and roll. Here’s hoping the food is better.
Because you are not here for friendly, engaging service. Or atmosphere. It’s a small place. It’s a simple place. It plays some really tacky music. Did The Monster mention don’t come here for the service?
Some fried chicken to start. Some tempura baby eel. And then some duck nanban udon.
Things start off rocky. The appetizers are not so great. The scourge of subpar karaage. This version is pretty tasteless. Unless you like the taste of cheap chicken. In that case, it’s all yours.
But there is a man cutting fresh udon noodles in the open kitchen and that is why you are here. For udon. Fresh udon. There is a huge swath of the menu devoted to both hot and cold udon. So skip past everything else and train your eyes here.
You’ll forgive the misstep so long as your udon is rocking. And here it comes.
The broth is flavorful. Simple, delicious. The noodles might be some of the best The Monster has had in the city. The duck, it is pretty much grey and rubbery and nasty. Perhaps chicken (or not) or seafood would have been a better call. Duck, you fickle little bird.
But oh, those noodles.
In a city obsessed with ramen it’s nice to know there is a new spot to get your udon on.
Why go? Udon.
Monster rating: 3/5 Monsters
329 East 1st Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012