Monty’s Good Burger is a well known plant-based burger joint with three locations in Los Angeles and one in Riverside. When founder, Nic Adler and his partner, opened Monty’s in 2018 it wasn’t just about giving it to the vegan community, but they did it to give people, vegan or non-vegan, that one moment of change. Giving them that moment of these incredible burgers, shakes, tater tots, or fries while having a fun experience.
“It was really simple, it’s not like we sat around the table and wanted to change the world, but we wanted to bring good food in a fun atmosphere,” Adler said.
Before the idea of Monty’s was created, Adler and his partner tried the Impossible Burger very early on, before it was public and they were blown away — they both knew it was going to be a game-changer. After that tasting, they didn’t think much of it, but then Adler’s partner was reached out by a friend who was creating the Riverside Food Lab and asked if he would be interested in a spot.
“It was never thought to be more than a couple of friends getting together a hamburger stand in a food lab,” Adler said, “but we felt we had this opportunity with what Impossible [burger] brought to the market to give people a different way to look at what plant-based eating could be.”
As the Riverside Food Lab location was about to open and Monty’s crew was ready to go, there were some delays and the grand opening [of the food lab] had to put on hold. As they were waiting to go to work, Adler’s friend, who owned a restaurant spot in Koreatown, asked if he knew anyone that could take over the lease and they jumped on it.
Three weeks later after taking over the lease in Koreatown, Monty’s Good Burger first location was open, and then the Riverside Food Lab location followed just a week and a half later.
“We were all a little surprised with the initial excitement around Monty’s, we were just like ‘let’s get it open,’ [and then there] were a hundred people down the street— one of us was working the door, one was working the shake machine, another one was making sauce in the back and we looked up and it was three months later and we were still busy,” Adler said.
As both locations were highly successful, Adler and his partner started to realize the demand for vegan food was high in Los Angeles and started looking for their third location. Monty’s opened its third location in Echo Park last mid-August.
“[We focused more on Los Angeles because of ] the demand, I think we were just so busy at both locations, that it was just a natural demand for Monty’s out there, so we started looking and found our Echo Park location. We plan on keeping looking for more SoCal location because we think it’s a great market for Monty’s and people are starting to know what Monty’s is. The more places we can bring them the better.” Adler said.
When coming up with the Monty’s Good Burger brand, Adler and his partner didn’t want to be taken so seriously, they wanted something that could make them laugh and smile. They decided to name the restaurant after Adler’s partner’s dog, Monty — he’s the face of the company. Even when creating the menu, they didn’t want Monty’s best friend Max to be jealous and named some items after him, like the “maxed out fries or tots.”
“It made us laugh when people walk up to us, they don’t take us too seriously and we don’t take ourselves too seriously and that’s an important part of maybe having a restaurant that’s transitional for people, that we’re not pushing a message, but laughing — we have music, a dog riding a skateboard and we love dogs,” Alder said.
Before COVID, Monty’s would have adoption drives, however, with all locations being shut down due to the pandemic, they decided to work with North Central, South LA, and East Valley shelter and post animals that needed to be rescued or fostered on their Instagram.
“We wanted to make sure people weren’t going out and buying dogs, cats, or rabbits — there is a lot of them that need homes or need to be fostered,” Adler said.
Monty’s is also ‘pup-friendly,’ if you bring your best friend along with you, you can order them the pup shake, where they get a free 2 oz cup of ice cream with a sticker on the cup that says: pup shake.
Right before COVID happened, Monty’s was in the process of opening their fourth location, but it had to be put on hold until they felt like it was safe to proceed and even though it was delayed — the fourth location opened almost three weeks ago on Third Street.
“[We] tried to not make a big deal out of Third [Street], we didn’t want to do a grand opening, didn’t post too much on social media for a couple of days, we thought it could of been insensitive because we don’t know how we were at as city or a country and wanted to be mindful of other people. We just felt like this will all come, we’re not trying to be the best, but we want to be the best to our customers,” Adler said.
As I heard about the new location, I knew I had to go check it out for myself. Monty’s on Third stands out with the bright blue walls, tall windows, the red and white logo. Adler recommended whenever someone tries Monty’s for the first time they should get a classic meal: a double Impossible burger, tater tots, and a strawberry shake.
On my menu: Single Impossible burger, tater tots, and a strawberry shake. When the food gets “slid” to you, there are buckets of stickers with different Monty logos that are free to customers.
Single Impossible Burger
This is one of the best Impossible Burgers I’ve ever had. Each bite is fresh and gooey, the cheese is melted perfectly against the patty. I love the pickle and tomatoes juices mixed with it — not to mention the buns are so fluffy! The burger also has a freshness to it, you know it just came off the grill when it was given to you.
These tater tots are my absolute favorite, they are warm to perfection, have the best crunch on the outside, and amazingly fluffy on the inside. They are a great size to share, too!
This was the thickest milkshake I’ve ever had, in every sip I could taste the strawberry and not to mention it was a fun milkshake with all the colors and sprinkles on top. I highly recommend this to people who love milkshakes.
Like every fun restaurant, there are secret menus, however, Adler believes if you’re going to Monty’s for the first time to stay away from that part of the menu because it’ll give you a reason to come back and try more. Some of the items on the menu are:
Kale salad with an Impossible patty on top
Can’t decide between the fries or tots? You can 50/50 them!
Maxed out fries — fries with grilled onions, cheese, and house spread on top
Maxed out tots — tots with grilled onions, cheese, and house spread on top
Maxed out 50/50
The Dog Pile — fries or tots or both, patty, cheese, grilled onions, and all sauces
The Birthday Sundae
Inspired by the love of Disneyland, Adler and his partner wanted to make sure they could celebrate their customers’ birthdays by creating the birthday sundae, including a birthday pin that comes with it, to the menu.
“I’m someone and [along with] other people on the team, we love Disneyland. I have a three and a seven-year-old and when things are normal we go to Disneyland. We get a pin because it’s our 15th time there, it’s someone’s birthday and you wear it around and everyone says happy birthday — it’s something special they do and I thought we could bring that to Monty’s. It’s always a special celebration when going to Monty’s. We [also] know the birthday sundae is too big for one person, so you’ll have to bring a friend to share. Monty’s is better with friends,” Adler said.
Along with Monty’s Good Burger having a fun logo and bright colors — their merchandise fits the uniqueness. They have sweatshirts, matching sweatpants, baseball tees, long sleeves, t-shirts, hats, socks, face masks, and pins — some have Monty eating a delicious burger and some have him riding a skateboard, plus more.
If you want to keep up with Monty’s Good Burger follow them on Instagram or visit their website!
Monty’s Good Burger Website
Monty’s Good Burger Instagram