Updated: Jul 14, 2022
A standout in a sea of "Meh"ican
Depending on where you are, there could be a sea of Mexican, chicken, or American fare restaurants...quite frequently inhabiting the same city block. Usually these places barely get by, shoveling out the lowest quality food you can imagine for dirt cheap prices for their splintered customer base.
Los Cocos proves themselves above that level with their quaint establishment in Melrose Park. As I walk in I see that the place is pretty empty during lunch hour on a Saturday. Within a minute of me sitting down at a table a waitress promptly rushes over with a menu. I have a hunger for seafood so I pretty quickly settle for the $33 "Mariscada" platter which consists of crab legs, langostinos, tilapia, etc. Since I knew it might be awhile I also ordered a Burrito de Chile Relleno or stuffed pepper burrito.
"Much to my surprise the re-fried beans actually tasted like they were freshly made and didn't come from a can which was a nice cherry on top."
The staff was pretty friendly, as the lunch crowd came in they scurried about cleaning tables and trying to help patrons. My burrito was ready in about 5-10 minutes, after the waitress dropped it off she didn't really check on me anymore even though it was clear the lime Jarrito I started off with was done. Even after coming to pick up empty plate for the burrito, no attention was giving to drinks which was kind of odd.
The burrito itself was really tasty. This place sure knows how to make them. The flour tortilla was cooked perfectly as well as the rice and beans. The beans were actually a thin layer at the ends of the burrito while the burrito had seasoned rice as the filler. Much to my surprise the re-fried beans actually tasted like they were freshly made and didn't come from a can which was a nice cherry on top.
"The spicy shrimp and oysters were...oh my god levels spicy."
Now on to the deluxe supreme dream...the Mariscada. It actually took a shorter time than I thought it would, but it didn't disappoint! I think they realized that $33 was way too much for what was offered as well so they threw in an extra dish of spicy oysters & shrimp for free. The breaded shrimp and tilapia were fantastic. Everything was hell seasoned with the right amount of salt to bring out the flavor. My gripes would be the langostino actually tasted like vomit and the crab salad mixes were sub-par. I tried adding some lime, but it didn't help the flavor for those bad dishes. The salad you can tell was fresh.
The spicy shrimp and oysters were...oh my god levels spicy. They could've warned me it would be like that especially since it was on the house. It was good nonetheless though, with the shrimp and oysters perfectly cooked and balancing out the spicy sauce.
Overall I'd visit this place again to try out more dishes. The crab salad recipe needs some work, but the overall menu is tasty and the chef definitely tries to put effort into the cooking here.
4 out of 5 stars
2225 W N Ave Melrose Park, IL 60160