YIWEN HU/THE HOYA Co Co Sala is a restaurant with something for everyone. Chocolate lovers will appreciate the establishment’s beautiful desserts like the onyx, a plate comprised of mousse, creme brulee, and a rich brownie.
YIWEN HU/THE HOYA
Co Co Sala is a restaurant with something for everyone. Chocolate lovers will appreciate the establishment’s beautiful desserts like the onyx, a plate comprised of mousse, creme brulee, and a rich brownie.

★★★★★

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While there is no shortage of bakeries advertising their expertise in chocolate products, few restaurants would do the same — after all, patrons walk into a dinner spot expecting, first and foremost, decent savory dishes. However, Co Co. Sala markets itself as a chocolate-themed dining destination, and it stands out for being bold enough to do so.

Co Co. Sala, a chocolate lounge, restaurant and boutique, is located on 929 F St. NW. Its exterior decoration is low key, but when patrons pass through the tiny glass door they are faced with extravagant interior design. The walls flow with patterns that emulate melted chocolate. The dim lighting creates an intimate setting in the seating area lining the walls, while the bar is bathed in the morning sunlight from the window.

At first glance, it might appear surprising that Co Co. Sala enjoys a great reputation and wide popularity beyond the niche of chocolate lovers. Nonetheless, with its indisputably high quality of both savory and sweet dishes, the restaurant has won over the vast majority of diners that enter its doors.

It is recommended, and even customary, to start brunch at Co Co. Sala with one of the restaurant’s signature chocolate beverages. The “Co Co. Collection” features a list of seven hot and frozen cocoa drinks ($6), including the traditional dark chocolate and the more innovative chipotle co co.

The salted caramel co co. seems to be a favorite among both patrons and the wait staff, who recommend it enthusiastically. The hot cocoa is served steaming in a tall, white mug with two marshmallows, each drizzled with caramel. For caramel lovers, I recommend starting with a bite of marshmallow and enjoying the explosion of a smooth and decadent flavor. Otherwise, let the marshmallows slowly melt into the hot liquid, whose milky chocolate flavor will then intertwine with the sumptuous swirls of caramel and produce a heavenly sensation at the tip of your tongue.

Brunch entrees are generally enough to satisfy on their own, but they still come with one or two sides. As a result, despite the rather reasonable pricing of the prix fixe menu ($34 for an “amuse” of the day, a main dish, and a dessert selection), it may be better to choose from the extensive a la carte list. Either way, you can’t go wrong.

The brunch classics are all present, but with creative twists — the hot cake obsession ($14) consists of three citrus ricotta pancakes, and the French toast s’mores ($14) are guaranteed to satiate a craving for sweetness. The Latino flare of Co Co. Sala also manifests itself in dishes such as the Azteccheese enchilada ($14). Even the Grown-up grilled cheese ($14) whets one’s appetite with its truffle-scented brioche.

One of the most ordered entrees is the breakfast flatbread ($16). Between two pieces of pesto flatbread is a decadent combination of cheddar hash browns, chicken sausage, scrambled eggs and crispy bacon. It is then topped with roasted tomatoes and covered in hollandaise sauce. Although the generous amount of bacon might render the dish too salty for those with lighter tastes, the dish is nevertheless of amazing quality. The cheesy cheddar, savory sausages and creamy eggs complement one another, while the roasted tomato adds a refreshing touch to the whole dish, lightening up the heavy savory combination. The entree also comes with a small bowl of fresh fruit and a side of blue cheese pear walnut salad, which had so many layers of flavor that it was as addicting as the entree itself.

To end the brunch with a pleasant final touch, patrons are encouraged to pick one of the restaurant’s lauded desserts, which all include some element of chocolate. The onyx ($7) is undoubtedly the house specialty that has garnered the most praise. In spite of its tiny size, it is exquisite and satisfying. Hidden underneath the dark chocolate mousse is vanilla creme brulee, salted caramel, crispy pearls and brownie. As a result, the onyx, rich in texture and taste, is heaven for chocolate lovers, but not so much for the less passionate, for whom the cheesecake ($7) and the some more creme brulee ($7) might be enticing alternatives.

The dinner menu offers a variety of dishes of equally reasonable, if not cheaper, prices. What’s more, the evening dessert menu is of such length that it only increases the temptation for repeated visits to the cute chocolate lounge.

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