Hometown Favorite: Mon Jin Lau

Guess who’s back, back again…Shady’s back Jess is back, tell a friend!

Sorry for being MIA the last month!!  I’ve been trying to eat healthier and get back in shape….so much for that.  My life is a constant struggle between wanting to look good and wanting to eat good. #thestruggleisreal


Being a self proclaimed foodie + being Asian, people always ask me where to get sushi in the area.  I have a few favorites: Noble Fish, Sushi Do (I think they changed their name again), WOW Sushi, Ajishin…..but one place I ALWAYS recommend is Mon Jin Lau.

Immediately upon uttering the three syllable name, people give me a weird look. Isn’t that the expensive Chinese place that tries to do Asian fusion and hosts the douchey bar night with the obnoxious assholes and forces you to valet your car?

So…..maybe some of those remarks have a little truth to them, but I’ve been eating (and partying) there for the past 7 or 8 years and I want to clear the air for anyone that has this misconception.

I freakin love this place.  The food is always, ALWAYS, consistent. Their Sea Bass, Korean short ribs, the sushi, the ambiance, the drinks, the friendly service….so many things I love, and yet somehow I have waited this long to actually blog about them.

Looking for a place to party on a Wednesday night? This is it.  You’re not going to find any other place that is more hype than this, and chances are, you will probably see me there.  The line is always out the door, the bar is packed, and every seat in the restaurant is filled.  I’ll tell you, the wait is totally worth it.  Their drinks are strong and you’re bound to run into some athletes there!  I’ve seen Detroit Tigers players, Red Wings, Pistons, Etc.
The parties they throw for holidays and special occasions are RIDICULOUS.  Acrobatics, outdoor tents, multiple DJ’s, I have never left there unhappy.

I’ve celebrated birthdays, holidays, and even my college graduation there; my guests and I have never been disappointed.
As for the food, I typically don’t like Pan-Asian/Asian-fusion restaurants, but what they do, they do well.

Let me warn you in advance about the following pictures…there is ONE thing I order every time I dine there, the Salmon On The Beach roll. I don’t even like salmon!!! But this…this is the bomb-dot-com. The salmon sits on top of a roll consisting of Krab, avocado, and cream cheese (I always get mine without cheese), and is smothered in a spicy honey glaze that is caramelized from the heat of a blow torch.  That alone easily makes this the best sushi roll I have ever devoured.  Ever.  So if you notice that something looks familiar in multiple pictures, it’s probably that.

If you’re still weary about the food, get your butt over for their happy hour or their end of the night version called “happy endings” (so clever).  They offer their popular appetizers, drinks, and select sushi rolls for an incredible value!  I’m talking 30%-50% off regular pricing!

Bulgogi sliders.  Freaking phenomenal.  Savory Korean BBQ beef with spicy pickled veggies, fresh crisp lettuce, and a soft bun that soaks up all the flavors…a perfect combination of East meets West.

Crispy fried squid, and two orders of the Salmon on the Beach.  Can you tell I’m obsessed?  The calamari here isn’t exactly my cup of tea, as I prefer the salty spicy squid I so often get during Dim Sum, but not a bad option if you’re craving something deep fried!

Yellow Tail Carpaccio and some miscellaneous sushi rolls behind.  The Carpaccio is one of my favorites.  The freshness of the cilantro mixed with a spicy slice of jalapeno and tangy savory Yuzu vinaigrette really brightens and highlights the fresh raw fish.

Bali Maki.  Basically, this is a marinated stick of meat served to you on a personal grill. Brilliant.  The beef is always so juicy and tender, with an amazing burst of flavor.  Reminds me of Asian street food, but on a classier level.

Yellowtail Coconut crudo and another order of Salmon on the Beach. Seriously, that roll is like crack.

Steamed mussels in garlic black bean sauce.  This reminds me of home.  The flavors are very developed and are very reminiscent of the fresh seafood I’m used to in Asia.

I wish I had more photos of the food, but I guess you’ll have to visit and taste the deliciousness for yourself!

Mon Jin Lau has been around for decades, developing an amazing menu and an awesome reputation.  I can’t speak highly enough of this restaurant.  They have really honed their craft and you can taste the love in everything they make.

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