Finding the Best Spots for Solo Dining in Miami and Fort Lauderdale

2018 Dinner for One; Drinks for Two. Powered by Blogger.

Monkitail - Japanese - Hollywood

Forget everything you think you know about contemporary, upscale Japanese cuisine; Michael Schulman has raised the bar ....

Describe the restaurant in three words: 

Extraordinary, Transportive, Sexy 

Solo dining rating:


Monkitail is located in the lovely Diplomat Beach Resort in Hollywood. The hotel provides free valet parking with your validated ticket from Monkitail. Love that! 

Can you eat at the bar? 

Yes; the bar in the main dinging room that will serve all of the items on the menu. It's not very large, but the seats are comfortable and the space is inviting.

Nokku Bar

What to wear:
I was pleased to see diners looking their Florida Chic best. Lots of trendy summery dresses, heels, tailored slacks, or a light jacket and a pair of jeans. It is an upscale restaurant; even though it's located in a beachside hotel, you should dress accordingly.

People watching/entertainment/atmosphere rating:

Organic/Vegetarian/Vegan Friendly
My vegetarian friends will be excited to see the numerous delicious items on Monkitail's menu. Rolls, edemmame, and many different robotayaki choices such as Truffle Shiitake Mushrooms and Miso Eggplant are available, and range from $3 - $5. Some items can also be prepared gluten free.

What is good about it for the solo diner?
Main Dining Room
Monkitail is a great place for the solo diner to enjoy upscale Japanese cuisine in a warm and enveloping atmosphere. As usual, I arrived before the main influx of diners so I could get a feel for the restaurant and take some pictures. I was welcomed by a lovely hostess who escorted me to one of the best seats in the main dining area. I really felt as if I had left the calm south Florida shores and landed in an energized Asian metropolis.

My server, who is now at the top of my list of "Best Servers on the Planet", was Colin. He was extraordinarily charming and affable. He handed me the menu and could immediately see that I had no idea where to begin. We went through the drink list first, and I opted for a Monki's Fist ($12), an interesting mix of Sake, pineapple, and coconut. 

Monki's Fist
There is an extensive wine and sake menu. Prices range from $29 for a bottle of Listel Cotes de Provence Rose, to $312 for a bottle of Dom Perignon Champagne. Sake prices were between a $33 bottle of Kikisiu Shuzo "Perfect Snow", and $1k for a bottle of Nanbu Bijin "10 Year Old Koshu". 

Nokku Lounge
While I waited for my drink to arrive, Colin graciously gave me a tour of the late night cocktail lounge (21+) tucked away in the rear of the dining room. It's hidden, so you cannot even see it from the dining area. I was blown away! I felt like I had walked into the secret VIP room; big cozy sofas, dark wooden walls, and dim lighting hanging from above all made Nokku one of the coolest lounges I've ever entered. Add to that, four private karaoke rooms in which you and your squad can get loud and loose, and you've got the perfect recipe for an unrivaled entertaining night out. As a single diner, however, my karaoke skills would remain under wraps until I return with my uncontrollable squad. 

Monkitail's menu is quite extensive, and with so many items from which to choose, I decided to have a little of everything and go with the Chef's tasting menu. Ten courses, including dessert for $65 can't be beat. Colin had to guide me through the menu, and steered me clear of items for which I had allergies. It was so difficult to choose one or two items from each category... but here are my favorites:

Toro Caviar

  • Toro Caviar with Tuna, Wasabi, and two small slices of toast. 
  • Duck Scrapple Bao Bun with maple Teriyaki, Cucumber, and Chili

Duck Scrapple Bao Bun

Tempura Shrimp Taco

  • Tempura Shrimp Taco with pickled Diakon, Cucumber, and Radish. 
  • Kumamoto Oyster with Yuza Basil Seed and Komomo Puree

Kumamoto Oyster
Lamb Scallion

  • Lamb Scallion Robatayaki 
  • Aged NY Strip with Hon Shimeji, Ponzu, and Herbs

Aged NY Strip Hon Shimeji

Alas, with my stomach popping and my eyes rolling to the back of my head, Colin approached my table and announced he was giving me a few minutes to rest my taste buds before he brought out the desert. After a while, two miniature ice cream cones were delivered to my table. My favorite was the chocolate caramel truffle cone; a perfect end to a perfect meal. Thank you Chef Sung Kim.

What may not be good about it for the solo diner?
There is absolutely nothing here that should prevent a solo diner from having a fabulous meal alone. Don't get me wrong, Monkitail is a very romantic restaurant and there were lots of couples sharing food, wine, loving glances, and kisses. There were also however, many groups of four or more; clearly good friends and family enjoying a night out. I was the only solo diner in the room, but I felt neither alone nor lonely. Upbeat instrumental party music pulsated through the restaurant, and my attentive server Colin explained not only the methods of preparation, but also the origins of many of the ingredients and flavors of which I was unfamiliar. The watchful, yet unobtrusive wait staff ensured that my water glass was always full, and that I was given clean flatware after every course was cleared.  I was busy eating, drinking, and taking pictures and notes. I was living (eating) in the moment and loving every second if it. 

Would I return?
I know I say this often, but I have found yet another favorite restaurant. There is so much to love at Monkitail; the food is simply perfection, the wine and sake lists are extensive, the specialty drinks are creative, and the staff are on-point, professional, and unwavering in their desire to provide you with the best dining experience possible. I will definitely return ... to the karaoke room ... with my tribe ... and belt out in my most alarming singing voice ... "One Love", by Bob Marley!!♬♪♯ 
Don't say I didn't warn you! πŸ˜†

Tapped App Review of Colin

3555 South Ocean Drive 
Hollywood, FL 33019
(954) 602-8755


  1. OMG! This place looks amazing!!! I must give it a try. The karaoke room is so cool..definitely something to consider for a celebration!

  2. It really is amazing! DO try the tasting menu; it'll blow your mind! I've got some karaoke plans there myself :)