Social Monk is going to be the next big hit!
Social Monk is a single location that I sooo hope they start building more ASAP. Its located all the way in Westlake Village, which happens to be 70 miles away from me! It took me 2 hours on a Wednesday to get there. I wasn't looking forward to it. I wanted to cancel at least twice. I'm so glad I didn't. When you read the below descriptions, I say how flavorful the food is in almost every picture. But its so true. Its been such a long time since I've been to a tasting when every single dish was amazingly delicious!
Their parent company is the Cheesecake Factory. However, its so different from the chain restaurant. The menu was created by award-winning, Chef Mohan Ismail. They pride themselves on the freshest ingredients and bold flavors. Social Monk is filling in the gap in the fast casual restaurant category.
The concept is simple. You walk in, order from the cashier, get a number and choose where you want to sit. But somehow they are different. And it works! The restaurant space is gorgeous. The service is impeccable. In most places in the same category, the wait staff will drop off the food and you never see them again. Here, I saw the waiters continuously as the customers if they needed anything, were bringing extra napkins, removing plates...it was so refreshing.
Short Rib Rice Bowl Each rice bowl comes with a fried egg, broccoli, red onions, turmeric daikon and a choice of chicken meatballs, vegetables & tofu, grilled chicken shrimp or short rib. I went with the short rib and it was amazing. So much flavor and it was so tender, even after I reheated the left overs. The onions and the daikon were pickled, which was an awesome contrast to the sweetness in the short rib.
Thai Green Curry with Shrimp Each green curry includes coconut milk, onions, garlic, cilantro and a side of rice. The available proteins include vegetables and tofu, chicken and shrimp. One of my favorites of the day. The curry was slightly sweet and packed with flavor. The shrimp was so tender and the snap peas were perfectly cooked. Protip: order a side of green beans and an extra side of rice, there's more than enough for two good size meals with the added green beans! Also pictures is the blistered green beans. Garlic Chilies and a sesame glaze. AMAZING!
Fried Chicken Sandwich Served with house made pickles and a honey sriracha honey. This sandwich was super crispy and super tender and moist at the same time. The mayo had so much flavor. Its a super simple sammy, but was so satisfying. I could eat it at least twice a week. Protip: its pretty filling, but it doesn't come with a side. I definitely suggest getting some green beans or broccolini as a side.
Includes large flat noodles, ground chicken, onions, garlic, chilies and cilantro. This was definitely my favorite dish of the day. Be warned, it's got a spicy bite to it. But it only enhances the noodles. Again, it another majorly flavorful dish. Also, it reheats like a champ! I mixed the leftovers in with some of the extra rice I had and it was a full meal!
Vietnamese Coffee Frozen Custard It was topped with toffee'd nuts. So good. I could have eaten 2 of these! It may seem like this a puff piece, but I legit loved the food here. If it were closer I would be here weekly. No lie. Social Monk, please build one in Orange County!!!! Regardless, I loved it and I will be back!
4000 E Thousand Oaks Blvd, Westlake Village, CA 91362
The food at this restaurant was provided complimentary or at a discounted price, however all opinions are 100% mine. A free meal does not buy a good review.