Su Beoreg Sini-Monta (Food of the Week)

Armenian Food Los Angeles

“In Armenia, this is every child’s favorite food.” Grant Yegiazaryan waxed poetic about monta, a specialty of his family at Su Beoreg & Monta Factory in the Armenian hotbed of north Pasadena. “When you say monta, they start to shake.” It’s not like I started having convulsions when my tray of Sini-Monta ($8) arrived hot and steaming. However, it’s accurate to say that these tiny beef dumplings caused me to enter a fit of joy.

Grant Yegiazaryan, wife Evelina and son Sarkis (aka “Jack”) have made su beoreg (cheese pies) and monta for the past decade, and the family added a grab-and-go option in the past year. The tiny space touts a red sign and houses a single half-moon-shaped table on the patio. The Yegiazaryans originally hail from Yerevan, Armenia’s capital. Monta is a popular comfort food in their homeland, but requires a lot of work. Grant Yegiazaryan said, “Mother never had time to make this, so grandma had to make it.”

Sini-Monta are tiny, open-topped, ship-shaped beef dumplings seasoned with sumac and red pepper that crisp at the edges during baking. When I ordered the dish, Evelina Yegiazaryan asked, “Would you like me to make it the way I like?” Of course. That meant slathering the interconnected dumpling network with spicy pepper paste and pungent garlic cream sauce folded with yogurt. Delicious! It’s hard to imagine ordering monta another way moving forward.


Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

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