Adding to the existing array of impressive dining options at the Diplomat Beach Resort, famed chef Michael Schulson brings his modern Japanese fare to Hollywood with the opening of Monkitail, his seventh restaurant. Schulson’s menu is a contemporary take on the classic izakaya, featuring sharable small plates and sushi as well as an array of specialty cocktails and sake. Tucked away beyond the main dining room is Nokku, a cocktail lounge offering private karaoke rooms, speciality crafted cocktails, and sake late into the night. We anticipated a good meal but boy were we in for a TREAT!
The Monkitail – Bourbon, Rye, Vermouth, Barrel Stave Smoke
Toro Caviar – Tuna, Wasabi, Toast
This is the duo for the gastronome with a sophisticated palate. The Monkitail is a smokey, sipping drink, so go with something else if you’re thirsty for something on the sweeter side. As for the Toro Caviar, it’s wonderfully delicate yet rich in flavor, a few bites will do the trick.
Tuna with Avocado, Chili Oil & Rice Pearl
From the “cold” section of the menu, this non-traditional roll makes for a nice transition into some of the heartier dishes.
Duck Scrapple Bao Bun – Maple Teriyaki, Cucumber, Chili
Tempura Shrimp Taco – Pickled Daikon, Radish, Cucumber
Buns, hun! So scrumptious. I have my eye on the Pastrami Bao Bun with Japanese mustard and Brussels slaw for next time. The Tempura Shrimp Tacos were a wonderful example of the fusion that takes place in a gastropub setting – so good!
Driving into a different part of the menu, the robatayaki or robata section features items cooked with a cooking method similar to barbecuing. The skirt steak is on the left and short rib on the right. Meat lovers, rejoice! These are the bomb.
For entrees, we went for the Aged NY Strip with hon shimeji mushrooms and ponzu sauce + Broiled Seabass. The fish was beautifully flaky and the beef was flavorful.
Have some fun with dessert with these ice cream sushi rolls! The texture differences of the rolled rice crispy + ice cream + heath bar crumbles = a party in your mouth.
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All images appearing in this post photographed by Holli Lapes, property of TheSoFlaSage.com
Disclosure: I received a complimentary tasting at Monkitail. All opinions are my own.