Asian restaurant with ties to Dallas' Monkey King to open in Fort Worth
A rad new restaurant with Dallas ties is opening in Fort Worth. Called Eazy Monkey, it's an Asian-themed restaurant that will open in late summer at 401 W. Magnolia Ave., from chef Andrew Dilda, who has worked for more than a decade in some top restaurants in Dallas-Fort Worth including CBD Provisions, Barter, and Lonesome Dove.
For this new venture, he's partnered with Andrew Chen, who founded the Monkey King Noodle Company chain of local restaurants; and Sonali Kumar, also a partner in Monkey King.
Dilda, who was nominated for Rising Star Chef in CultureMap's Tastemaker Awards in 2014, is also Monkey King’s Director of Culinary Operations, but clarifies that Eazy Monkey is independent from the chain.
"It’s not a branch of Monkey King," he says. "It's a concept Monkey King is investing in."
Dilda describes the menu, which he's developing with an assist from Chen, as “Asian-inspired flavors with Texas roots." Dishes include:
- Crab rangoon nachos
- Smoked brisket bao buns
- Cheeseburger fried rice
- Dan Dan Sloppy Joes
- Beef cheek hash
- Orange chicken and bubble waffles
Drinks will include craft cocktails and canned beers.
Many of the recipes were inspired by Dilda's travels to Beijing, where he helped open a brewery and barbecue restaurant called Jing A Brewery; and Estonia, where he consulted on another barbecue concept.
"I wanted to come up with something fun and easy and approachable for everybody, but with little twists here and there," Dilda says. "I want to offer something for everyone. Bring your kids, they’ll find something cool. Adults will have plenty to choose from. I also want it to be a place where people in the service industry can come and hang out after they get off and have a cool meal and a beer."
A native of California, Dilda moved to Saginaw when he was a teen. As he had done in California, he immersed himself in Fort Worth’s skate/punk scene. While still in his teens, he began to run sound and lights for some of his friends' bands.
At Eazy Monkey, he'll weave in some of those very personal elements, including a '90s/skateboarding/pop-punk vibe; the restaurant will be located blocks away from a soon-to-open skateboard park called Fire Station Park.
"I want this place to remind people of KDGE/The Edge, back when The Edge was cool," Dilda says. "And when there were shows down the street at Mad Hatters."
But the restaurant will strike a balance between rock 'n roll and upscale.
"It’s not going to be a loud, noisy, music-blaring place," he says. "There may or may not be a skateboard wall, a '90s-theme mural, and other nods to the '90s. But it’ll all be done tastefully."