Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Restaurant Review: Coco Sushi Lounge & Bar

Local hospitality veterans Tina Wang and Chef Jason Zheng continue their winning streak with their newest concept, Coco Sushi Lounge & Bar. The owners of Boca’s Yakitori Sake House, SaiKo-i Sushi Lounge & Hibachi and Koi Sushi Lounge took over the expansive space in Pineapple Grove, which once housed restaurants like Avant and SoLita. Sprinkling their culinary magic, they’ve transformed it into another sushi haven. Where others have failed, this husband-and-wife team is thriving.

The venue is spacious, with several dining rooms from the covered patio to the sushi counter, if you’re in the mood for a standout omakase experience. Its roomy bar borders the patio and serves refreshing signature cocktails, beer, wine and more than 20 sakes. For an off-menu treat, ask for the house sake ($10). It’s cloudy, semisweet, silky and chilled, offering a refreshing way to kick off an evening. The Kiss My Coco cocktail ($13) evokes a Caribbean vacation with every sip of the vanilla vodka, pineapple rum, coconut rum and coconut milk elixir that was topped with toasted coconut shavings. (Though this drink is not on it, Coco Sushi hosts two daily happy hours with plenty of discounted cocktails, beer, wine, sake and bar bites.)

coco sushi lounge and bar
Spicy tuna biscuit

Take your time exploring the menu. It’s extensive. Catering to any palate, dietary restriction or craving, the menu features both traditional dishes and creative ones within each category. Soups and salads lead into sushi selections and appetizers divided into cool and hot. If you like cooked or raw rolls, you have plenty to choose from, and if you want hot entrées there’s fried rice and noodles alongside land and sea options.

We started with the crispy baby bok choy ($12), flash-fried and melt-in-your-mouth airy bites that have a sweet undertone. The spicy tuna biscuit ($15) was a table favorite. Crispy rice is topped with a hearty portion of spicy tuna, paper-thin jalapeño, multicolored caviar for added texture and wasabi mayo for a hint of horseradish at the finish. The chu chu lobster ($20)—Maine lobster wrapped in seared tuna and topped with mango coconut sauce—was recommended, but the flavors didn’t come together.

coco sushi lounge and bar
Mongolian beef entree

Among the signature rolls, we chose the lobster sea bass roll ($31) and out of control roll ($16). The former is a seaweed roll topped with avocado and tender sea bass that balances out the crunch of the tempura lobster and crisp cucumber. The latter, wrapped in soy paper, was stuffed with three fish varieties, but the tuna did overpower the salmon and yellowtail. The pillowy roll was topped with avocado and a kaleidoscope of tobiko that gave it a lovely light crunch.

Tinted in a red glow, the main dining room’s contemporary design is peppered with stunning spiral chandeliers, hanging sculptures resembling wooden sushi boats, and luminescent orbs reflecting in mirrored ceilings. It all sets the scene for a modern and exciting take on Japanese fare.

IF YOU GO

25 N.E. Second Ave., Delray Beach; 561/908-2557; cocodelray.com

PARKING: Street and garage parking

HOURS: Sun.-Wed., 4 p.m.-midnight; Thurs.-Sat., 4 p.m.-1 a.m.; Weekend brunch, 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m.

PRICES: $5-$38

This story is from the July/August 2022 issue of Boca magazine. For more like this, click here to subscribe to the magazine.

Christie Galeano-DeMott
Christie is a food lover, travel fanatic, bookworm, Francophile, and she believes art in all its forms is good for the soul. When she’s not writing about the incredible dishes, people and places that capture South Florida's culture and vibe, Christie is irresistibly happy in the company of her husband and a glass of red wine.

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