Los Cocos Pupusería, Oakland CA
Since moving from Concord almost two weeks ago, and even though we didn’t go that often at all to our old local Salvadorean place, we’ve been missing pupusas. It’s not so easy to visit there anymore, though, so we had to find something closer. Hence, Los Cocos on Fruitvale in Oakland. For the price and very wide variety of fillings, these pupusas satisfied our craving, plus we found a couple of other treats.
Nearly everything is made fresh and by hand, and spices are imported directly from El Salvador in an effort to keep things as authentic as possible. The horchata wasn’t pretty enough to take a picture of, but it was definitely worth gushing about. It’s made in the traditional Salvadorean way with morro seeds, giving it more of a nutty taste and darker color than more common rice horchata.
We always have to try things we haven’t before, so we ordered the atol de elote. This corn chowder was not what we expected, given that the menu’s English subtitle for atol was “chowder” and we think of chowder as being chunky. Instead of chunky, this was almost like rich steamed milk, slightly sweetened with corn. August liked this appetizer a lot, imagining that it would be good to curl up with by the fire in the winter – easier to picture the way it was served.
Served with customary crudito (Salvadorean coleslaw), these pupusas were excellent. August ate all the loroco, her favorite; Zach munched on his preferred chicharrón; and we split something we hadn’t even thought was a possible pupusa filling, spinach! Chicken and squash were two other fillings not before on our radar, so we’d like to come back when the next craving hits and try some more. For those who don’t eat corn, rice flour pupusas are available, and it’s easy to mix around the filling combinations since each is made to order.
There is a lot more on the menu than pupusas, but we were impressed by these. And especially for the price ($2.75 for a single and a mini discount when you get at least two), these are super bueno.