A new Mexican restaurant, KoKo by Bakan, has opened in Coconut Grove from Grupo Bakan, the same team behind Bakan in Wynwood and Madrid, Spain, and Talavera Cocina Mexicana in Coral Gables.
KoKo’s menu is centered around three elements that date back to pre-Hispanic Mexico: nixtamal, wood fire, and mezcal. Nixtamal is a term for the partially cooked corn used in KoKo’s tortillas, made daily using Criollo and ancestral corn imported from Oaxaca. The menu also features a variety of tacos, including carnitas prensadas (pressed pork tacos), tacos de short rib (short rib tacos), and langosta con chorizo (lobster and chorizo tacos). KoKo also takes its cues from traditional Mexican cooking with its wood-fired grill and rotisserie, which cook dishes like roasted organic chicken, whole local snapper, and meat dishes.
Mezcaleando at KoKo describes pairing food with mezcal. Guests are encouraged to choose from more than 400 mezcals and tequilas—by the sip or the shot—featured on KoKo’s display wall. Or, if straight tequila isn’t your thing, plenty of cocktails are available, including the Sera Sandia Sera Melon (tequila or mezcal with watermelon, triple sec, and lime juice); the Mango Petacon (tequila or mezcal with mango puree, mint triple sec, and lime juice); and the Mayahuel (tequila, mezcal, sotol, rhubarb liqueur, guajillo, cinnamon syrup, and lime).
The 6,000-square-foot indoor-outdoor space can seat up to 170 guests, including a 20-seat bar made from solid wood. The bar is decorated with Alebrijes, brightly colored Mexican folk-art sculptures. Inside, chairs and benches are inspired by typical Mexican furniture, made from local leather with traditional embroidery and braiding techniques. An open kitchen allows guests to dine while watching handcrafted tortilla making as the KoKo team grinds, rolls, and prepares tortillas from each day.
Murals are found throughout the space, including one by Caralarga, a group of artisans who use ancestral techniques to make their pieces from mainly raw cotton yarn and discarded textile waste. Another mural represents Otomi embroidery with its colorful shapes. Interior walls are plastered with diverse patterns in Chukum, a limestone-based stucco mixed with Yucatan Chukum trees’ resin. The venue’s light fixtures are composed mainly of natural fabrics sourced from different regions of Mexico, including Palma and Rattan.
KoKo by Bakan is located at 2856 Tigertail Ave and will be open Sunday to Wednesday from noon to 10:30 p.m. and Thursday to Saturday from noon to 11 p.m. For more information, visit here.