Photos by Kathy Tran
Photos by Kathy Tran

Coco’s Fire + Ice gives Bishop Arts a hidden spot.

Find it at the back of Mercado 369 on North Bishop, or enter through the patio facing the adjacent alley.

Inside the small restaurant, diners can see into the kitchen, and hospitality is a high priority.

“We look to give customers the best experience and to share our culture,” says general manager Luis Cáceres. “Because we are so small, we are able to touch every table and make a connection with people.”

Coco’s menu is simple, and everything is handmade. Huaraches, savory corncakes bigger than your hand, come topped with carne asada, lettuce and crema.

Enchiladas mineras, “mining” enchiladas from silver-rich Guanajuato, are filled with queso fresco and topped with slow-cooked guajillo sauce.

Order the guacamole appetizer with or without chapulines — that’s grasshoppers, which can also be ordered on tacos.

Other standout dishes include mole poblano and the Mexico City-style quesadilla stuffed with carne asada and Oaxaca cheese. There are also fish tacos, ceviche and a cinco leches cake.

“We have only grandmas cooking back there, so the food is really amazing,” Cáceres says. “It has that homemade touch.”

Coco’s closed for three months after the start of the pandemic and reopened at the end of June. But by then, about half of its employees had moved to Mexico. Head chef Gloria Morales is still in the kitchen, so the recipes are the same.

Besides its home-style Mexican food, Coco’s bar program is also something special.

The bar carries hard-to-find agave-based spirits as well as pulque, the Aztec fermented beverage that predates the Spanish Conquest.

Coco’s Fire + Ice originally opened in December 2018, and it’s a venture from Socorro Dismore, an entrepreneur who also owns Levine’s. She says she opened the restaurant because she wanted a place that would serve home cooking like her own mother’s.

“Coco’s is a very special place to me and my family, and I hope that those who visit us see that it can be their special place, too,” she says.

The restaurant offers limited reservations for dine-in service, and food and cocktails are available for takeout.

Coco’s Fire + Ice, 410 N. Bishop Ave.