Lawrence & Aya Elliot
The New ‘MOnarch Theater Brings Pan Asian Cuisine.
A new restaurant has emerged in the former home of an avant garde theater in Williamsburg. Monarch Theater Restaurant, located at 146 Metropolitan Avenue, offers a unique and inspired collection of small- and large-plate Asian dishes, influenced by the cuisine of China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand.
“We wanted to offer food to our Williamsburg neighbors that we wanted for ourselves,” said owners Lawrence and Ayako Elliot. The Elliots are pioneering restauranteurs in Williamsburg with their other restaurant, Rabbithole, still a popular fixture on Bedford Avenue. The Elliots’ vision for Monarch Theater Restaurant was inspired by their favorite dishes from across East Asia, as well as the unique, theatrical history of the building. The new restaurant’s aesthetic blends their love of vintage black & white Asian cinema, a sense of theatricality, and the narrative storylines suggested by the memories of their favorite dishes.
Noted Australian chef, Richard Kuo, was brought on to innovate and interpret the menu to showcase the stylistic diversity and complexity of Asian cuisine in a progressive, yet affordable setting—reimagining classics such as Sweet & Sour Pork with Hijiki & Green Chili in a Hibiscus Sauce; Pan Fried Ginger Chicken Dumplings; and Spicy Minced Pork Noodles with Cilantro, Scallions, & Walnut. Kuo, a veteran of WD-50, Corton, Pearl & Ash, among others, said: “The menu emerged from conversations with Lawrence and Ayako’s about their memories of favorite & treasured East Asian dishes and the emotions that they evoked. So, in effect, each dish we serve tells a unique story.”
The cocktail menu and beverage program were equally considered. Bar manager and mixologist, Jason Mezydlo, designed bespoke cocktails using fresh, organic ingredients that complement the depth and flavor profiles of the cuisine. The bar menu is rounded out with a unique selection of organic and bio-dynamic wines, as well as sake and Japanese whiskies.
The Monarch Theater Restaurant is open Tuesday through Saturday, 5:00 PM to 11:00 PM. Reservations not needed except for parties of 5 or more.