James Beard Award Semifinalist Tara Monsod To Lead Kitchen At Celebrity Chef Brian Malarkey's Incoming Le Coq French-Inspired Steakhouse In San Diego's La Jolla

February 20, 2024

James Beard Award Semifinalist Tara Monsod will lead the kitchen at celebrity chef Brian Malarkey's incoming Le Coq French-inspired steakhouse, opening this spring in San Diego's La Jolla.

Chef Tara Monsod has been leading the kitchen at Chef Brian Malarkey's downtown San Diego Asian steakhouse Animae for the past years. Prior to taking on her first Executive Chef role at Animae, Monsod had previously cooked in the kitchens at such San Diego restaurants as Herringbone, Tender Greens, and Juniper and Ivy. This past January, it was announced that Monsod was named as a semifinalist in the Best Chef, California category for the 32nd annual James Beard Foundation Awards.

In late 2022, Brian Malarkey and his business partner Christopher Puffer took back the 7,500 square-foot Herringbone restaurant in La Jolla. Malarkey opened the original Herringbone on Herschel Avenue in La Jolla in spring 2012 before selling his entire fabric-named brand of restaurants to Hakkasan LTD in 2014. It was announced that Malarkey would be rebranding Herringbone to become Le Coq, a French bistro & steakhouse concept.

It has now been revealed that Chef Monsod will do double duty and lead the kitchen at Le Coq when it this spring, in addition to managing her role as Executive Chef of Animae. For Le Coq, expect Chef Tara to explore classic and modern takes on French cuisine, while also adding her Filipino and California touch when possible. Returning to the La Jolla restaurant will be a full circle moment for Monsod, as she launched her culinary career at Herringbone over a decade ago. 

A project anticipated to cost approximately $3.5 million, Le Coq will boast a menu of globally-inspired fusion dishes and dry-aged meats. Expect items like escargot, chateaubriand, and European-inspired salads, as well as "caviar and truffles and lobster", as well as a full bar serving cocktails, beer and wine.

Le Coq is anticipated to open this April at 7837 Herschel Avenue in San Diego's La Jolla neighborhood. For more information, visit lecoq.com