Tuesday, January 25, 2011

First Post, CoCo Sala and Restaurant Week

This is my first post so please excuse the length, I am learning. This week was restaurant week so my friend Lauren and I decided to go to Co Co Sala.

We planned on getting to the restaurant a little early so we could get a drink before dinner, but they didn't open their restaurant until 5pm. Luckily, Co Co Sala also makes chocolates and had an attachment next door selling their creations. L and I probably spent a good 20 minutes looking at the products and taking more than our fair share of free samples. 

The first sample we tried was a Strawberry Jammin' bar. This is a white chocolate bar infused with pop rocks and dried strawberries...AMAZING
Photo from Co Co Sala's website
I have never been a fan of white chocolate, but the combination of high quality chocolate, pop rocks and dried strawberries made it delicious. I don't know if it's just because of a childhood memory, but the popping sensation is what propelled this bar from good to amazing. The bars are a little pricey, commanding $10 a piece. For my first go around I decided not to buy it because I was going to be spending quite a bit at dinner-this is something I will def come back to purchase though. The other sample they had was some sort of milk chocolate bar that was good, but compared to the white chocolate bar not very memorable.

They do have a "some more bar"  (smores) that has dark chocolate, homemade marshmallows and graham crackers that looked absolutely amazing-something else to come back and try.

In addition to chocolate bars, they also make chocolate pieces.

They sell these pieces for $2 each; and when it comes to gourmet chocolate, this is a pretty good deal. L and I each bought 2 pieces.

I bought the "fresh raspberry" and decided to go out of the norm and get "pear caramel"
The fresh raspberry (left) was decent, the quality of the chocolate was amazing, and the raspberry was ok-but I think I am not too fond of raspberry flavored things so this was not my favorite. The Pear Caramel was amazing! There was a hint of pear with the caramel and it was delicious. I would definitely purchase this one again.

L got the "black forest" (top) and "pistachio kulfi." She relayed to me that the black forest (cherry flavored) was delicious and that the pistachio one was disgusting.
A shout out to the lady behind the counter, she was extremely helpful and patient when we asked her to describe every chocolate piece and patient while we took forever deciding what we wanted.

Finally, we get to the restaurant. We were promptly seated, and the inside was intimate and modern. Some of the tables were a little close to each other, but I didn't feel like I had to overhear anyone else’s convo or keep my voice down-plus it gave us a good look at what everyone ordered.
the min after i took this, all the tables filled up
  As soon as we sat down we quickly ordered the drink special-"Fetish Cocktail" (fresh strawberries, chocolate-infused vodka, strawberry foam and a chocolate dipped berry) -$8 on special, $13 originally. I thought it was pretty tasty, the chocolate dipped berry on top was fresh and delicious. Strawberry foam on top was good, but it is a little weird drinking foam. The chocolate-infused vodka was surprisingly well mixed with the other components of the drink. Overall it was very sweet and hard to finish, probably would not order this again.
 
Our first course was hot chocolate- "dark hot cocoa sip". The presentation was adorable and it was the perfect amount of chocolate. It was rich and delicious.
Next there was a decision between a "tomato and burrata salad" or a "manchego and baby arugula" salad. We both ordered the "tomato and burrata salad" (creamy burrata cheese, basil & oregano, balsamic reduction). I am not a fan of big chunks of tomatoes, but the combination was delicious, and I thought the cheese was similar to mozzarella.
Next we each got to pick 2 co co bites. We both picked the "crispy creole crabcake" (mango salsa, chipotle chocolate tomato glaze, avocado cilantro emulsion). I have only ordered seafood once in my life, but based upon that description, I had to get it. We both agreed it was the best bite. The crab was cooked well, the avocado-cilantro emulsion was amazing, it was fresh, and a dish that I would def order again.
L got the Tandoori Chicken Patty Slide (cardamom carrots & greens / cucumber raita). She let me try it, and although I thought the flavors were good, the texture of the slider threw me off. I like ground chicken, but this just tasted different, and it ruined the slider for me. I thought that the cucumber raita on the side was delicious though. She was also not very fond of the slider's texture and ended up not eating the second one
For my second dish I got the  Bacon Mac & Cheese (orechiette pasta / four cheeses / crispy applewood smoked bacon). I had mixed feelings about this dish. The crumbly topping and bacon on top of this was amazing but once you got past that top layer, I thought the mac and cheese was sort of bland, L agreed. The cheese by itself did not have a lot of flavor. They also give you a piece of dark chocolate bacon on top of the macaroni which I was glad to try. It was def an original flavor and wasn't bad. I would eat it again, but I would not order it myself. I ended up leaving half behind.
Now onto the finale...DESSERT :) We both ordered the Chocolate Onyx (dark chocolate mousse, vanilla crème brulee, salted caramel, crispy chocolate pearls, brownie, chocolate sorbet, 72% cacao bon bon)
The thing on the left-what I assume to be the chocolate mousse, vanilla crème brulee, crispy chocolate pearls and a brownie? It was AMAZING. Melt-in-your-mouth good. The chocolate pearls were a wonderful, crunchy addition. The toffee sauce on top was a perfect cap.

Can't get the picture to work
The chocolate sorbet was interesting, I am not sure how I feel about it-we both didn't finish it. It was very visually appealing, but I think I will just stick with chocolate ice cream
The service was great, everything came out quickly, and our water glasses were kept full.

We both agreed that the crab cakes would draw us back again. I would like to try some of their other items, especially the different types of hot chocolates and mixed drinks. It is a little pricey, so I would probably wait for a special occasion or wait until they have a night with some sort of special.

*Note to the wise: they keep their glass doors Windex clean, watch out! I experience this cleanliness first hand by running into the doors and providing the staff and L some entertainment to end the night*

Grade: B

929 F STREET NW
WASHINGTON, DC
202.347.4265 
Metro Center

Co Co. Sala on Urbanspoon

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