Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Posted at 2:34 PM ET, 05/13/2008

Chocoholics, Meet Your Match

By Julia Beizer

One of Co Co. Sala's chocolate confections. (Len De Pas)

Last night marked the first official night of dinner service at the much-anticipated Co Co. Sala, a romantic lounge-restaurant-chocolate factory hybrid that specializes in sweet.

The F Street lounge's marquee offerings are the four Monde du Chocolat menus: five courses of desserts inspired by the flavors of India, Italy, America and South America. In addition to these $30 prix-fixe selections, the restaurant also serves a la carte small plates (dubbed "Coco Bites") and inventive cocktails.

My date and I went looking for a balance of dinner and dessert, so our waitress recommended three to four Coco Bites per person. We then split the "Aztec Experience" Monde du Chocolat. Sharing makes sense if you order a Monde du Chocolat, but be sure to order enough of the small plates if you want a full meal -- the portions really are single serving.

Planning a trip? Here are some not-to-be missed items we sampled last night.

* The Cocojito. Chocolate-infused vodka and chocolate shavings up the cacao quotient in this $13 cocktail. Lime and muddled mint give the drink its distinctive, refreshing flavor.

* Spicy Moroccan Swordfish Slider. The savory side of the menu includes $7 sliders, crabcakes, salads and mac and cheese dishes. With its flaky fish, cheesy bun and hazelnut sauce, the swordfish slider was the best small plate I tried. A spicy shrimp mac and cheese dish was a close second.

* Hot Chocolate Souffle. The Aztec Experience Monde du Chocolat starts with cinnamon-crusted churros and finishes with a salty-sweet Mexican wedding cookie, but somewhere in the middle, you get to taste the spicy molten liquid holed up in this souffle. You can order this dish a la carte for $12, but it's worth spending the additional $18 for the full five courses.

The restaurant will only serve dinner for the next four to six weeks, but it will eventually be open for breakfast and lunch.


By Julia Beizer  | May 13, 2008; 2:34 PM ET
Categories:  Restaurants  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Tonight's Agenda: Free Drinks
Next: Nightlife Agenda

Search Going Out Guide for More Events

By Keyword


When you get to Co Co Sala you'll think...Sex and the City. This restaurant just oozes sexiness. The food and drinks were fabulous and so is the decor. The owners walked around throughout the evening and stopped to everyones table to ensure that they were comfortable and satisfied. One of the owners stopped to the table where I sat with girlfriends and made a few menu suggestions. I was impressed. We tried the menu items that he pointed out and they were ALL superb! This is a great place to go on a date or with your girlfriends. Ive even told my co-workers about this venue. It is definitely a place everyone should check out.

Posted by: Jen | May 15, 2008 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Sex and the City? I was excited about this place, but I think I'll pass now.

Posted by: New Yorker | May 16, 2008 8:01 AM | Report abuse

The Coco. decor is absolutely stunning. I was so impressed by the meticulous attention to detail: from the sculpted design of the walls right down to the glittering tiling. Make sure you take a trip to the bathroom - the lighting is very unique and elegant. The desserts are best described as little masterpieces; you don't want destroy them. But when you get the courage to take a bite...heaven. The presentation of the sliders (coco bites) and uniqueness of the cocktails justify the high end prices. Who knew you could get away with chocolate shavings in a Mojito?
I was impressed by the knowledge of the wait staff considering the newness of the venue. They were very helpful in making recommendations and on my second visit to Coco, I already felt the staff was becoming more refined.
Suggestions: Make sure to try a few coco bites to start off. The beef slider and crabcakes are divine. Next, select a multiple coursed "experience." The American Experience is quite the nostalgic journey back through the wholesome enjoyments of childhood - gourmet mac n cheese is out of this world! Don't be surprised if one of the owners stops by to make sure all the tables are taken care of. They may even make a suggestion or two - all of which turned out to be truly delicious. I can't wait to go back for my third round - this is a great restaurant to visit when you need something eclectic yet completely chic!

Posted by: Ashley | May 16, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Last evening I had the great pleasure of dinner and drinks at CocoSala with friends. We could not decide which of the sliders or crabcakes on the fabulous Coco bits menu were our favorite, the high quality and innovative use of the ingredients make these a great value! What a welcome addition to DC cuisine, the care with which the staff offers suggestions for cocktails and cuisine, is obviously a result of how involved the owners are in this new gem. We had the owner drop by several times to both offer ideas for yummy cocktails, check how we were doing and chat a bit. It is clear that the attention to detail that went into the design, decor and concept has easily transitioned into the service and running of CocoSala. The ambiance is unlike any other in DC with the amazing decor carrying thru to even the bathrooms! Which have good lighting, very important for girls! My friends and I look forward to many a fun evening at CocoSala, so much that we are going back tomorrow for a friends birthday!

Posted by: Tara | May 16, 2008 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Could the comments be any more obviously from people associated with the place?! Hilarious!

Posted by: cha | May 16, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Hahahaha! They left the exact same comments on the reviews of two other online sites!

Hey owners, next time don't make it so obvious you're the one's posting!

I was going to go, but I just can't seem to get over someone who unabashadly tries to pass off an entire paragraph of PR dribble as an actual customer review.

Posted by: SUSPICIOUS? | May 17, 2008 9:05 PM | Report abuse

I think it's funny that someone would think that only an owner can write positive things about a place. By the way, many blogs are related and that's why you may see the same comments on different blogs. DUH!

For the record, I have not personally been to Coco Sala but look forward to going. I know many people who have gone and ranted and raved about how awesome it is. (and *shocker* it wasn't the owners) To say that a place sucks without being there is just ignorant.

Posted by: Amused | May 18, 2008 8:31 PM | Report abuse

As is typical for new DC restaurants, this place needs some time to work out its kinks. I went last week: they lost our Opentable reservation, they were out of several drinks on the menu, the waitress messed up our order and also asked if we were "joking" when we asked her to split the bill between two credit cards. On the up-side, the owner was keeping an eye on things and everything was delicious (if overpriced). But with all of the other options in Penn Quarter, I won't be running back here anytime soon.

Posted by: Pass for now | May 19, 2008 9:12 AM | Report abuse

I went to Coco Sala the night after it opened. To the posters that doubted the veracity Tara, Ashley, and Jen, all I can say is try it yourself. Their opinions mirror my experience EXACTLY. The attention to detail-in both the decoration and food & drink menu is amazing (particularly the suggested drink pairings with the desserts and small plates). The biggest problem you will have is in deciding what to order. I suggest doing what I plan to do-go back often.

Posted by: Linda | May 19, 2008 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Amused? I don't think anyone is trying to make the case that only a owner can write positive things about a place. Where was that stated? Rather, that the content and timing of the postings were MORE than obviously placed!

"When you get to Co Co Sala you'll think...Sex and the City. This restaurant just oozes sexiness."

"The desserts are best described as little masterpieces; you don't want destroy them. But when you get the courage to take a bite...heaven."

"Last evening I had the great pleasure of dinner and drinks at CocoSala with friends."


This dreadful gushing syntax and prose of all 3 questionable reviews are identical and comes off as community college PR 101 hype. Not to mention the timing of the reviews.

What does it say about an owner who needs to plant reviews? Or, even worse, a PR person who thinks they can pull the wool over guests eyes with the most dreadful attempt at planted user reviews I've ever seen?

Lastly, re related blogs. Please enlighten us with respect to the association of the Washingtonian and WaPo blogs? Because maybe I've missed something. DUH!

Posted by: Linda, Ashely, Tara, Jen... | May 20, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

RE: Suspicious! You are definitely right - the postings are plants! Tara's posting here is the same post that was left on Washingtonian page under a different name and on the Chowhound Website under the name Engel (a new registered user as of the same day with ZERO other posts)!

C'mon Owners/PR Firm - how dumb do you think we are! At least don't use the exact same post on 3 diferent sites under 3 different names!

Posted by: RE: SUSPICIOUS! | May 21, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

A Sweet Escape? Co Co Sala Plants its Reviews?

Posted by: DCNightlifeRaw | May 21, 2008 7:57 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: CHOCOLATE LOVER!!! | May 25, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company