The idea of Kokopelli started from a seafood taco truck in Tijuana. On Tuesday I was invited to the Chicago outpost in Wicker Park to preview the menu. Bright pink lights from the bar bounce off the brick and wood interior giving a nice glow to the green fabric booths. Chalkboard drawings of the menu and Kokopelli dancing against the Chicago skyline give the space a laid back and cozy feel.
The menu has tacos, ceviches, mini tortas, salsas, salads, bocadillos and a couple of kids options.
We tried four of the twelve tacos that are on the menu, chicharron guacamole, Kokopelli salad, a ceviche, sweet chimichanga and three cocktails. The drinks were excellent all are made with all fresh juices squeezed in-house.
Salsa – Castigo Azteca (charred chile de arbol and peanut salsa) wonderfully earthy with a hint of spice. You will want to use this salsa on everything from salads to tacos and meat. (Lagrimas de Lucifer – Roasted habanero and beet root emulsion is the prettiest but was too hot for consumption)
Tacos – Gringo en Vacaciones (adobo marinated shrimp) and
Italiano con Machete (portabello mushroom). Both are complex in taste and have that wonderful castigo azteca salsa.
Cocktail – Tequila sour. They grill the pineapple and then juice it for a smokey flavor and serve with a paprika and salted rim. With this much thought put into the cocktails I will be back to try the margarita.
Coffee – Café de olla a traditional cinnamon spiced coffee was perfectly sweet and a great end to the meal.
Espuma de mar – Mild spiced, pineapple with touch of habanero pepper
Robo de dante -Roasted pumpkin seed with serrano and bell peppers
Pico de gallo – Fresh diced tomatillo, chile morita, red onion and lime juice
Castigo Azteca – Charred chile de arbol and peanut salsa
Lagrimas de Lucifer – Roasted habanero and beet root emulsion
Chicharron guacamole – fresh avocados with crispy pork rinds, roasted habanero and pineapple, red onion, cilantro diced onion with fresh squeezed lime juice.
Black harder – Catch of the day (mahi-mahi), calamari ink, lemon juice, avocado, pickled onion, espuma de mar and castigo azteca salsas.
Gringo en Vacaciones – Sautéed adobo marinated shrimp, topped with grilled pineapple, pickled onions, castigo azteca salsa
Kraken – Grilled Spanish octopus marinated in a Mexican pesto topped with pickled onions and castigo azteca salsa
Italiano con Machete (Veggie) – Grilled portobello mushroom marinated in a Mexican pesto topped with pickled onions and castigo azteca salsa
Steak a las Brasas – Grilled skirt steak (we had rib eye on Tuesday) marinated in a cilantro chimichuri marinade, monterey jack cheese, fresh guacamole, caramelized onion and peppers, castigo azteca salsa
Kokopelli – 1324 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL