The dazzling turquoise paint job is a faint clue to the out-of-Nashville experience one encounters inside this Puerto Rican/Cuban restaurant and nightclub. The colors are tropical, and wall-to-wall mirrors reflect diners and dancers alike. (The latter take over the floors after 10 pm on Fridays and Saturdays.) The menu is lengthy—starting at No. 1 with ceviche de salmon y camarones and ending at No. 38 with biftec de Palomilla—and provides English translations. There are a few Mexican and South American specialties thrown in as well. Coco Loco greets diners as they’re seated with a basket of addictive deep-fried plantain strips, and the meal only gets more interesting from there, with mofongo, arroz con gandules and other standard Caribbean/Latin fare. Between the bartender’s sassy mojitos, the beguiling decor, the friendly staff, the rhythmic music and the vast, exotic repast, Coco Loco offers a dining experience as close to perfect as anyone could ask for.
This small stone house offers many of the dishes one might find in
Jamaica: curried chicken, curried goat, curried potatoes, jerk chicken,
beef patties, fried plantains, roti, oxtail and beans and rice. The
ripe plantains, sliced into inch-thick nuggets and sautéed with butter
and a bit of sugar and salt, come on the side of most plates or can be
ordered à la carte. The curries are spicy but not too hot, and the goat
in particular is very flavorful. The only disappointment is the
Jamaican beef patties, which come frozen from a box.