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Review of Koco Restaurant in San Juan

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating


Review of Koco Restaurant in San Juan
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The Bottom Line

Koco is a play on coconut, and coconut is king at this Caribbean cool restaurant at the swank El San Juan Hotel. Step into this beautiful tropical space and sample coconut-infused dishes that blend the flavors of the Caribbean with sophisticated flair. Koco is a welcome addition to the Isla Verde dining scene.


  • Love the South-Beach-styl, tropical cool decor.
  • The rich, tasty cuisine uses fresh ingredients and unique flavor combinations.
  • Benefits from a terrific location in one of Isla Verde's best hotels.


  • There's a heavy emphasis on coconut; if that's not your thing, you may not like it here.
  • On the pricey side.


  • Try to reserve one of their comfy, plush booths. They're the best seats in the house.
  • A large restaurant, Koco is a terrific choice for large groups, thanks to the long table in the center.
  • The rum bar has an impressive collection of rums from all over the world, including a few hard-to-find varieties.
  • The service is excellent, with a knowledgeable, friendly staff that add to the experience.

Guide Review - Review of Koco Restaurant in San Juan

Tucked into a recessed corner of the lobby of the El San Juan Hotel, the first impression you'll get from Koco is the über-chic decor. Cool green and white hues and dark wood accents, high ceilings and seductive lighting, the restaurant is airy, intimate and elegant, giving the illusion of sitting in a posh outdoor deck.

The second impression, of course, belongs to the food. The menu is what Chefs Sylvia Senat and Linton Romeros call Modern Caribbean food. In this case, that interprentation involves plenty of the signature ingredient: coconut. From the Koco mojito house cocktail to the choco koco house dessert, it's all over the menu, creatively incorporated into the dishes. The house specialty is the Koconut Shrimp, which are succulent jumbo shrimp tempura with coconut shavings. The pan-seared halibut, served on a bed of curried coconut risotto, is also an excellent choice. For starters, the West Indies crab fritters are delicious. The menu covers the Caribbean, using ingredients like molasses, conch, yuca (cassava), and tropical fruits. From Jamaica to the West Indies to Puerto Rico, the food takes you on a regional culinary tour. And Koco will ensure you don't leave hungry. Portions are big, and the choco Koco, an absolutely decadent brownie a la mode with coconut ice cream served in a chocoloate bowl, is made for sharing.

Finally, if you're looking for a great bar scene, the rum bar at Koco will happily oblige. The signature drink here is, of course, rum, and the bar features rums from all over the world, including quite a few that aren't found elsewhere on the island. The manager and bartender are rum encyclopedias, and it's a lot of fun conversing with them about their favorite spirit.

If you're looking for creative Caribbean cooking in a suave and sexy setting, Koco is a safe, sure, coconutty bet.

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