Wonderfully idiosyncratic chain restaurant The Cheesecake Factory is expanding its empire, opening up a new side hustle called Social Monk Asian Kitchen. Whereas the former is focused on providing an everything-under-the-sun dining experiences for cheap, Social Monk will stick to the flavors of Thailand, China, Vietnam, and India. The first location will open this fall near Thousand Oaks.
Social Monk Asian Kitchen is The Cheesecake Factory team’s first foray into the fast casual world, a market that has been booming of late thanks to high rent, increasing overhead costs, and rising minimum wage in states across the country. That means diners will order their food at a counter when first entering, then have servers bring dishes to their table directly.
As for the menu, reps for the company tell Eater to expect everything from sandwiches to salads to noodles to bowls, plus beer and wine and dessert. The flavor profiles will expand beyond what defunct players like Shophouse offered, with Thai, Malaysian, Indian, Chinese, and more on offer. Chef Mohan Ismail, the longtime lead of RockSugar Southeast Asian Kitchen (which is also owned by The Cheesecake Factory, and is celebrating its ten year anniversary this year), is overseeing the menu development.
The first-ever Social Monk Asian Kitchen is slated to open at the Promenade at Westlake near Thousand Oaks sometime in the fall. The Caruso property has been trying to upgrade its dining offerings recently, with plans to add a Shake Shack to the property this year.
The Promenade at Westlake, 100 Promenade Way, Westlake Village.