Friday, November 6, 2009


Housed in the funky, kitschy boutique Hotel ZaZa in the Houston museum district, Monarch seemed liked a promising choice for some bachelorette/girls' night dining.

When the food was on, it was addictively fantastic. Let's go over the highlight reel:

Deconstructed ahi roll: A tower of Ahi tuna tartare, crab ceviche, avocado, sushi rice, and peppery dressing. What's not to love? Perfectly balanced proportions and flavors. Easily my favorite dish of the night.

Scallops with fancy garlic mashed potatoes, corn pudding, and red pepper beurre blanc. Would all my food taste this luscious and velvety if I cooked with pools of butter? You bet there was nothing left on the plate.
We also tried the salmon with honey chipotle polenta which was just oddly sweet like plums, and an awful creme brulee that was served cold and more akin to curdled cheesecake. HOWEVER, a complaint yielded possibly the best chocolate cake I've ever had.

Decadent chocolate cake tends to result in this super-rich indistinguishable chocolate-in-chocolate-on-chocolate-over chocolate monstrosity. But not this one - fudgy cake layered with smooth, creamy, oh so lickable dark chocolate fondant. And that's it. We found ourselves inadvertently grazing on fork after forkful even though we were delightfully stuffed.

Overall, what Monarch gets right, it really rocks. See and be seen with the ahi, scallops, and chocolate cake. The cocktails were nice, too.

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