A new Mexican restaurant and bar that pays tribute to tradition is now open in Coconut Grove.
Located next to Sadelle’s Coconut Grove on Tigertail Avenue, KoKo is the latest creation from Grupo Bakan, the hospitality behind Bakan Mexican restaurant in Wynwood and Madrid, Spain, and Talavera Cocina Mexicana in Coral Gables.
The design of the restaurant is reminiscent of Bakan Wynwood, with indoor and outdoor dining and a look that makes use of desert browns and jungle greens. The artwork, textures and materials are designed as tributes to Mexican traditions, from the murals to the the light fixtures, which are made from fabrics found in different regions of Mexico, including Palma and Rattan.
“The group wants guests to have a night out that’s steeped in Mexican culture,” said Grupo Bakan partner Lalo Durazo. “We wanted to shake up the Grove’s culinary options with something completely different. We were inspired by traditional recipes as well as the hidden gems that can only be found in Mexican markets and pueblos, allowing us to venture into cultural flavors that have been passed down for generations.”
The menu focuses on several elements from pre-Hispanic Mexico: Nixtamal, the partially-cooked corn used in the tortillas of KoKo’s tacos; wood fire and mezcal. Made fresh daily, the torillas are made with criollo, ancestral organic corn imported from Oaxaca. Menu items include carnitas prensadas, short rib tacos and tacos with lobster, sausage and black beans.
The wood-fire grill plus rotisserie cooking means a whole or half organic chicken, local snapper and a variety of smoky meat dishes.
The bar offers more than 400 mezcals and tequilas to choose from as well as cocktails like the Sera Sandia Sera Melon (tequila or mezcal with watermelon, triple sec and lime) or the Mango Petacon (tequila or mezcal with mango puree, mint Triple Sec and lime juice). The Mayahuel involves tequila or mezcal and sotol, rhubarb liqueur, guajillo, cinnamon syrup and lime.