Thursday, September 8, 2011

Co Co Sala: Summer Restaurant Week 2011

Last week L, L2 and I went to Co Co Sala for Restaurant Week. L and I actually went for my first restaurant week experience ever last winter here.

L2 was driving down from MD, so she met me at my apartment and we drove in to meet L at the restaurant. We got stuck in traffic because with my luck there would be a Nationals game the night I decide to go into DC. The past couple of times I go into DC I always manage to get decent parking, and luckily this was one of those times.

Parking in this part of DC involves paying at the meter and sticking the receipt on your dashboard which I had to do when C and I went to Zaytinya. My urge to get to the restaurant led me to forget this detail and I forgot to put it in my window. I remembered just as we were finishing dessert and I freaked out and ran to my car, tripping out the door and causing a great many laughs for everyone in the bar area (last time I ran into their door on the way out).

We were seated in a back room of the restaurant which had a very romantic vibe to it. Co Co's special restaurant week menu gave everyone a Frozen Hot Co Co sip  to start of the meal, then the pick of two "nibs" and then a choice of dessert.
The Frozen Hot Co Co sip was delicious! They do chocolate really well, just wish it was a tad bit bigger.
All 3 of us chose the Tomato and Burrata Salad, delicious as always but I was a little disappointing that I could not taste the truffle oil the description claimed it had.
For the first "nib" we all got the Crispy Creole Crab-cake (mango salsa, chipotle chocolate tomato glaze, avocado cilantro emulsion). Sadly this was not as good as I remembered. All of the sauces and salsa were an amazing addition, but the crab-cake had a bit of a kick to it that I did not remember, a little too "zesty" for L2's liking.
For my second I chose the Artichoke Tart (tomato confit, cream cheese crust, Parmesan and asaigo, truffle oil). I actually could taste the truffle oil in this, but overall I was disappointed in this dish, it just seemed blank.
L got the Beef Sliders which she enjoyed, and from the looks at what other people ordered seemed like a popular dish to get.
And L2 got the Portobella Flatbread (goat cheese, roasted peppers, olives, fig marmalade). This was huge (although you can't tell from the pic) and L2 liked it.
For dessert L & L2 stuck with the classic Chocolate Onyx, which was just as good as the last time except for the awkward chocolate sorbet. This dish is a bit of heaven with each bite.
I decided to try something new so I got the Peaches and Creme.Sounds great, but the effort it took to eat this unfortunately was not worth it. There were grilled peaches on a pastry and all they gave me to eat with this was a spoon. After finally being able to track down the server for a knife, it barely made the process any easier, having to saw through this pastry. I was not a fan of the Dulce De Leche ice cream, thought it had a weird taste to it. The best part of the dish was the Cream, smooth creamy and very tasteful with the addition of white chocolate.
  • We finished our meal in under an hour, I realize they need to be efficient because its restaurant week but they were just thrusting food in our faces, and there was not a full house.
  • To go along with the rushing, before L2 was not finished with her last "nib" they brought out our desserts. She literally had to jump from the Portobella flat-bread to the dessert to prevent her ice cream from melting, no time for a palate cleansing.
  • Sawing through my dessert was not appealing at all and I ended up not eating the majority of it bc the effort i took to eat this along with the taste was not worth it.
  • Felt the overall quality has gone down in the food
Positives (mostly):
  • I was waiting for L&L2 to go to the bathroom when the manager started to talking to me. He asked me how my experience was and I told him it was just ok. I listed my reasons on why it was not as enjoyable (pretty much the things I wrote above) and he responded pretty well to them, I thought his excuses were a little lame, they were trying to get a hang of restaurant week (which they have done before and they have a limited menu so they don't even have a full kitchen AND they are a popular restaurant in a very well traveled area), etc. but I appreciated the willingness to listen to me about the problems.
  • I was however very impressed that he offered to open the chocolate shop for me so I could purchase a white chocolate bar that is absolutely amazing, probably one of the only times you will here me rave about white chocolate.
  • The chocolate, as always, is good quality, creative and delicious. 

Ugh this review is getting long but I felt like I just had so much to say about this. Sadly Co Co Sala has fallen off my list of recommended eating restaurants. I don't know if it is because I had such high expectations or what but as far as the food goes, there are to many other options in DC.

I will however come back here if I am in the need for some good chocolate...the chocolate here is AMAZING. Perhaps even for a happy hour, or to come during the winter for some of their heavenly hot co co.

Co Co. Sala on Urbanspoon

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