The Head Chef Of Cheesecake Factory's Asian Spin-Off Beat Bobby Flay

It's probably not hard to imagine how The Cheesecake Factory came up with its name. Though an abundant variety of cheesecake is on offer at these restaurants, there are so many other menu items to choose from it can be overwhelming. Luckily, for customers who are worried about menu anxiety, we've saved them some stress by ranking some of the chain's more popular dishes.

In addition to the Cheesecake Factory, the chain's parent company owns several other restaurant concepts, according to The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated's website. Other restaurants in the family include Grand Luxe Cafe serving up "globally-inspired" dishes and Social Monk Asian Kitchen, a fast-casual restaurant cooking up Asian cuisine. According to Social Monk's website, guests will find familiar fare like spring rolls, sweet and sour chicken, and pad thai on the menu. Though this counter-service restaurant launched in 2018 (via FSR Magazine), the culinary director behind the food here had already made some big waves in the restaurant industry by beating the famed Bobby Flay in a food duel.

Mohan Ismail gave Bobby Flay a run for his money

All the way back in 2004, New York Magazine was praising chef Mohan Ismail's work for his dishes at (since-closed) Kalustyan's Cafe, including the "chunks of veal ... braised in a tame tomato version of curry vindaloo." The chef's role, explained the outlet, came after Ismail had already worked at (also now-closed) the city's Spice Market and Tabla restaurants. Fast-forward to 2017, and Ismail was busy opening the second location of another one of Cheesecake Factory's concepts.

Chicago Tribune reported that year that the Chicago area was getting a RockSugar, a (former) Southeast Asian-themed restaurant. According to the outlet, at that time, Ismail may have been "best known" for winning the Food Network's "Beat Bobby Flay," which he did with a Hokkien noodle dish. Containing shrimp, egg, rice noodles, calamari, and bok choy, it clearly proved formidable enough to steal the show. Of course, landing a spot on the cooking competition show is impressive enough, but chefs who leave with a win score even more bragging rights!

Though RockSugar didn't last, Ismail's win against Flay didn't seem to hurt his resume. From the looks of social media, Social Monk is still going strong and getting good reviews, like one on Instagram from user @imwhatsfordinner, who shared some footage of the spot's scrumptious-looking food and advised, "DInner @socialmonk is always a good idea."