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Cheesecake Factory to debut fast-casual Social Monk Asian Kitchen

First location of pan-Asian concept to open this fall in Thousand Oaks, Calif.

Cheesecake Factory Inc. said Friday it will open the first location of Social Monk Asian Kitchen, a pan-Asian fast-casual concept, this fall, offering new details on a spinoff the company had discussed — but remained tight-lipped on — for over a year. 

The restaurant, which will open in Thousand Oaks, Calif., is the Calabasas Hills, Calif.-based company’s second foray into Asian cuisine. Its first, RockSugar Southeast Asian Kitchen, currently has two locations. 

Social Monk’s name, according to a spokeswoman for the brand, “is a playful but intentional juxtaposition of the concept’s social appeal and its warm, understated charm.”

Mohan Ismail, RockSugar’s Singapore-raised chef, created the Social Monk menu and will lead its culinary operations. But the new concept will “stand apart from any comparisons to its parent company,” the company said.

The menu “span across several Asian countries” with dishes like salads, sandwiches, rice and noodle bowls, and frozen custard.

The concept will embrace the “fast fine” model of service — guests will order at the counter and be served at their table.

“Social Monk is designed to appeal to busy, active guests seeking a unique and authentic restaurant experience in a fast-casual setting,” a company spokesman said in an e-mail.

The concept will open at the Promenade at Westlake in Thousand Oaks, Calif. this fall.

Contact Gloria Dawson at [email protected]

Follow her on Twitter: @gloriadawson

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