All-Star Dinner at J. Coco


J. Coco

“So, there’s this new restaurant in midtown that we have to try, called J. Coco. It’s located where the old Wohlner’s use to be. It’s started by the former chef of the Flatiron…” said fellow foodie friend, Richard. I was immediately intrigued! Flatiron Cafe has a reputation for fabulous, salivating food worth the fine-dining cost. I also read on Omaha.com that Jennifer Coco of J. Coco was a semifinalist of the prestigious, highly-acclaimed, James Beard Award. FoodMeOmaha has to try this place!
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On Wednesday, March 21st, Brian and I had a double date with Richard and his wife, Erin (fellow foodie friend too), plus their little ones, at J. Coco. It was a rainy day but that did not dampen our eager appetites.
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J. Coco has a polished, midtown vibe. The service was friendly but at times slow. I am optimistic that the new restaurant will improve its pace once they settle in.

We had a wide variety of awesome dishes that we shared among the group. Both Erin and I were thrilled that we shared both our passion for food and our dishes!

Richard stated that we had to try the Korean style short rib tacos.  Of course, the Korean (me) approved. We started out with the Korean style short rib tacos, crispy pork belly, and chili marinated calamari for appetizers.

Korean Style Short Rib Tacos
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  • Description: Korean style short rib tacos – kimchee, corn tortilla, sweet chile
  • Price: $11.00
  • FoodMe YUM Rating: 9 out of 10
  • FoodMe Value Rating: 8 out of 10
This was a tasty, fusion dish of savory, shredded meat, sweet Korean style gal-bi sauce, subtle-tangy kimchi and jalapenos, and corn tortilla. I wish there was more!  The sauce was the bomb!
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Crispy Pork Belly
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  • Description: Crispy pork belly with creamy grits and wild mushroom jus
  • Price: $8.00
  • FoodMe YUM Rating: 8.5 out of 10
  • FoodMe Value Rating: 8 out of 10

The pork belly wasn’t crispy as expected.  My first bite of pork belly with some mushroom sauce was good but not impressive.  My second bite was a different story.  I took a bite of the pork belly combined with sauce, mushroom, and the hidden creamy grits. Delicious. This was a flavorful combination that brought the dish to another level.  In order the maximize the taste, I recommend the “combination” bites.  I wish there were more of the creamy grits.  It does not taste like your traditional grits.  The creamy grits is closer in taste to whipped buttery mashed potatoes which complement the pork belly.

Chili Marinated Calamari
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  • Description: Chili marinated calamari with meyer lemon vinaigrette, tomato, jalapeno, cilantro, and avocado.
  • Price: $11.00
  • FoodMe YUM Rating: 8.5 out of 10
  • FoodMe Value Rating: 8 out of 10

Four-year-old Gracia loved the calamari. This was her first calmari and she kept asking for more. A foodie-to-be. J.Coco’s calamari is unique. It has added flavor with the vinaigrette, tomato, jalapeno, cilantro, and avocado. The calamari itself had a fresh, cooked-just-right texture and taste that I love. While the calamari wasn’t as crispy due to the other ingredients, the superb calamari itself and the combination of flavors was delicious.

Our first course of appetizers was a hit by the entire group. We looked forward to the main entrees!

For my main meal, I ordered two more appetizers, Prince Edward Island Mussels and Yellowfin Tuna. Slam dunk. I was very happy with my dishes and I would order both of them again.

Prince Edward Island Mussels
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  • Description: Prince Edward Island mussels with white wine butter, tomato confit, and pomme frites.
  • Price: $11.00
  • FoodMe YUM Rating: 9.25 out of 10
  • FoodMe Value Rating: 9 out of 10

I love mussels and these mussels had the fresh yummy, soft body, taste with a delicious broth. My biggest complaint which I kept repeating was I wanted more of the broth! Greedy me. The broth is hidden under the mussels and fries. I had to scrape/scoop the bottom of the bowl to get some broth with each bite of mussel. The fries alone were just okay. The fries added a starchy texture but for me it was all about the mussels and broth.

Yellowfin Tuna
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  • Description: Yellowfin tuna with green papaya slaw, ginger, soy, kaffir lime glaze, and papadaum.
  • Price: $11.00
  • FoodMe YUM Rating: 9.5 out of 10
  • FoodMe Value Rating: 9 out of 10
The yellowfin tuna was glorious. It just melted in your mouth. I love the fresh, smooth buttery taste of the yellowfish tuna with the soy and lime accent followed by the refreshing vegetable slaw. Beautful, delicious goodness. The papadaum, an Indian spiced cracker, became soggy so I did not finish this part of the dish. Everything else was consumed with yummy happiness.
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Wagyu Burger
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  • Description: Wagyu burger with pretzel or brioche bun, lettuce, tomato, onion and choice of frites or a house salad.
  • Price: $10.00
  • FoodMe YUM Rating: 9.5 out of 10
  • FoodMe Value Rating: 9.5 out of 10
Brian ordered the Wagyu burger. Wagyu literally means Japanese cow and is known for its marbling.  Kobe is one type of Wagyu.  On top of this good meat, you can have additional toppings for a $1 each. Add-ons include caramelized onion, applewood bacon, avocado, white cheddar, smoked gouda, cheddar, maytag blue. and fried egg. Brian ordered his burger with no tomatoes (he doesn’t like tomatoes), cheddar, and fried egg. Oh my yumminess. Brian said this is the best burger he has ever had. It was damn good. The soft bun, delicious meat, melted cheddar cheese, gooey fried egg, and the onion and lettuce crunch was fabulous. Highly recommended!
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Cubano
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  • Description: Cubano with roasted pork loin, pickled jalapenos, marinated onions, swiss, mustard, housemade pickles, and ciabatta and choice of frites or a house salad.
  • Price: $9.00
  • FoodMe YUM Rating: 8.5 out of 10
  • FoodMe Value Rating: 8.5 out of 10
Richard ordered the cubano with fries. I had a bite of the cubano and enjoyed it! Another yummy dish. The texture and combination of flavors is what you would expect with a good cubano. Richard commented that the housemade pickles were very good. It had a nice tang with a subtle sweetness.
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Housemade Papparadelle Pasta
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  • Description: Housemade Papparadelle Pasta with carbonara, pancetta, local eggs, and shaved parmesan
  • Price: $17.00
  • FoodMe YUM Rating: 9 out of 10
  • FoodMe Value Rating: 8.5 out of 10
Erin ordered the the housemade papparadelle pasta with cabonara. Oh my goodness. Creamy, fresh homemade pasta that was delectable in the mouth. I really enjoyed the smooth, creamy taste of this dish.
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 Kids’ Mac ‘N Cheese
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  • Description: Mac ‘N Cheese with four cheeses and crunchy potato chips and choice of frites or a house salad.
  • Price: $7.00
  • FoodMe YUM Rating: 7.5 out of 10
  • FoodMe Value Rating: 7.5 out of 10
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 J. Coco also has a kids menu. Gracia had the Mac N’ Cheese and ate a good portion of it so its kid approved! I had a bite and the addition of the crunchy potato chips made the mac n’ cheese extra good.
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We had an awesome all-star dinner at J. Cocos!  I had high exceptions and I wasn’t disappointed.  Every dish was a hit and we all enjoyed it.  I am looking forward to trying more of J. Coco’s dishes.
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J. Coco

  • FoodMe YUM Rating: 9 out of 10
  • FoodMe Service Rating: 8 out of 10
  • FoodMe Value Rating: 8.5 out of 10
  • FoodMe Atmosphere Rating: 8.5 out of 10
  • FoodMe Overall Rating: 8.75 out of 10
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J. Coco on Urbanspoon

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