A chicken mole is so much better, boasting well-cooked meat and an earthy, rich sauce with hints of chocolate, dried chiles and other dark and sinister flavors. With a glass of tequila and a seat on the energetic patio, the noise of Cedar Springs Road fades away into your own personal Mexican daydream. (An almond mole the color of a carnation, served under duck with rubbery skin, will bring you right back to Texas.)

The dessert menu will make you wish fall would stay away just a little longer. The cuatro leches cake shows restraint in sweetness, but the ice creams, served on a fried disk of masa dusted with sugar and cinnamon, are a real pleasure.

During one visit I ordered both the sweet corn and caramel versions and was bummed when two brown softballs of frozen dairy arrived. I might have asked my waiter to correct the problem but the table had already pounced, devouring the cold ice cream with crunchy shards of sopapilla. I came back for the sweet corn ice cream, though, and was rewarded with soft and understated summery flavors.

Monica Greene may not love Tex-Mex, but she has perfected enchiladas with chile con carne.
Lori Bandi
Monica Greene may not love Tex-Mex, but she has perfected enchiladas with chile con carne.
Lori Bandi

Location Info


Monica's Nueva Cocina

4123 Cedar Springs Rd
Dallas, TX 75219

Category: Bars and Clubs

Region: Uptown & Oak Lawn


Monica's Nueva Cocina

4123 Cedar Springs Road, 214-219-1639, monicas.com. Lunch served 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Dinner served 5-10 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 5-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 5-9 p.m. Sunday. Closed Monday. $$$

Mustang Roll $12

Mexican Lasagna $12

Pollo en mole $19

Taco platter $12

Fried ice cream $6

When asked why she would change the name of Monica's Aca y Alla, which she still partially owns, and run the risk of confusing her Deep Ellum customers, Greene simply responds, "There can be only one Monica's." The restaurant was a concept that she intended to evolve, and after spending more than 20 years serving families and neighborhood locals her creative take on Mexican flavors, she was ready to make a new push to expand her culinary horizons in a new location.

While the menu has some quirks that need to be refined, the service is generally good at her new restaurant, which brings a style of dining desperately needed in the Oak Lawn neighborhood, and the locals look happy — even that couple sharing sushi rolls with chopsticks and lime-green margaritas.

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Think about rewording the headline of this article. Nobody wants to eat at a restaurant with "a few bugs."