Monkey House Café

Gourmet eats, premium drinks, uncommon gifts and special events worth sharing

MonkeyHouseGroupby Betsy Sanz • photography by Rick Poon

There is nothing more satisfying than stumbling upon a hidden gem, especially where food is involved. Big restaurants widely advertised are easy to find and sometimes worth a visit, but discovering that independent establishment or that mom and pop shop that surprises and delights you – now, that’s an experience worth sharing.

Consider this your “stumble” upon Monkey House Café, a hidden gem with a gourmet menu at casual prices, an adventurous atmosphere with a lucky theme, and a human story with layers of interest.

Angeli Poon spent her childhood in Thailand. Eventually she would move to California and become something of a renaissance woman. She raised her four children, managed a number of commercial properties and founded a web development firm, all the while harboring a personal dream of someday curating a specialty gift shop where she could import rare and beautiful items from her native Thailand and the world. When her daughter Rochelle completed a degree in culinary arts, Angeli conceived of a way to fulfill both of their dreams: They would open a gourmet sandwich, coffee and dessert café featuring a gift boutique.

In Rochelle’s mind, the mascot for their mother-daughter venture was obvious. In Thailand, the monkey is not only a common household pet, it is a symbol of prosperity and luck. Angeli and Rochelle found a space near Beach Boulevard and Ellis, Rochelle’s husband Dan came on board to run operations, and Monkey House Café was born.

At Monkey House Café you’ll find a delicious and healthy lineup of original gourmet sandwiches served on freshly baked bread. Try the Turkey Cranberry on ciabatta; the Veggie Delight with mozzarella, tomato, roasted bell pepper, artichoke, sun-dried tomato and basil pesto; the Monkey Cristo with turkey, ham, swiss, mayo, lettuce and tomato grilled on egg bread… whatever your sandwich choice, pair it with homemade soup, a fresh smoothie or out-of-this-world potato salad and you can’t go wrong.

Rochelle’s passion for pastries and coffee led them on a search for the very best offerings. Monkey House Café serves a full menu of coffee and espresso drinks using the connoisseur’s coffee of choice, illy®, best enjoyed with one of a dozen delicate desserts. Try the raspberry almond or lemon bar, the chocolate truffle cheesecake or one of many assorted scones – or all of the above! Visit on a Saturday and enjoy an unordinary breakfast of pancake sandwiches, Belgian waffles, grilled croissant sandwiches or pineapple coconut pancakes.

If the food is a perfect blend of affordability and excellence, the atmosphere at Monkey House Café is a good blend of casual and comfortable, great for anything from a business luncheon to a friendly get-together to a quick pick-up and go. The visual centerpiece of the dining room is an enormous tree, fabricated to look like it has been uprooted from the Amazon and planted in the midst of the café, creating a fun ambiance without overwhelming your senses.

The Monkey House Café gift shop is Angeli’s labor of love and a surprising treat for café guests, filled with an eclectic offering of fine hand-rendered art, collectibles, jewelry, stationary and small furniture. Angeli personally selects beautiful pieces from around the world. What could be easier than lunching at Monkey House on a weekday and picking up a distinctive gift for a friend or loved one while you’re there?

Monkey House Café also offers catering. Whether there are five or five hundred mouths to feed, Monkey House brings the flavor to the party.

See and taste all that Monkey House Café has to offer by visiting 18862 Beach Blvd. #101 in Huntington Beach or call an order in for pick-up or delivery: (714) 965-1135

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