Peek Inside Kokopelli – Grand Opening Today in Wicker Park, Chicago


Kokopelli Chicago Gringo en Vacaciones
Kokopelli Chicago Gringo de Vacaciones

Come with me on my sneak peek of Kokopelli – check out my appisode.

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.

The Standouts:
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)
TacosGringo en Vacaciones (adobo marinated shrimp) and
Italiano con Machete (portabello mushroom). Both are complex in taste and have that wonderful castigo azteca salsa.
CocktailTequila 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.

The salsas:
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

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