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Sunday, August 25 2019 @ 11:05 pm EDT

XOKO Restaurant y Tapas Bar

Food & DrinkHaving been in Panama only 10 days, I cannot say that I am ANY kind of expert when it comes to restaurants here. I do know that I have been eating at least 2 meals out a day since arrival, and I`m pretty tired of arroz y pappas frittas. (Just so you know, my Español is muy poco) Iceberg seems to be king of salads and vegetables with meals are non existant. That being said, I found myself at XOKO (pronounced Cho-Ko, but Panamanians say it So-Ko) last night for an early dinner. The executive chef, Rolando Sanchez was born and raised here, but has spent the last 17 years in España. (His cooking reflects it) He has come home to Panama and said that he wants to change how his people eat. Rolando started with his extended family, and showing them that they didn´t HAVE to eat rice y beans at every meal.

Rolando was cleaning the black snapper I selected as I was coming in the door. It was served with roasted peppers, mushrooms, asparagus, and eggplant. The tortillas España on the tapas menu are a fabulous fritata style wedge of egg y potato. I gave my wine selection over to the chef for pairing with my food.

This meal was so good that I went back for a late lunch today and ordered the croquettes pollo. The table next to me had paella that looked fabulous. It would seem that most of the tapas menu is fairly stable, but the entree menu changes daily, depending on what is freshest. Prices on the tapas menu run $2.25 up with most under $3.50. The entrees weren`t CHEAP, but at $8.50 for my huge fish and veggies, I was more that happy.

Because this place opened only a few months ago, they are open 7 days a week. The bar is cozy and the dining room is large with what looks like could be a dance floor? I was told they do special events as well.

You can find Rolando Sanchez and his restaurant XOKO at 302-3230

Alberto Navarro No 4
El Cangrejo, Bella Vista

It`s just off Via España, a short walk from the hotels in the area (Milan, El Parador, Granada, Las Vegas Suites)
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XOKO Restaurant y Tapas Bar
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, June 19 2005 @ 01:04 am EDT

I will second this. WOW!! I've been here a year and tried many fine restaurant and this one ranks right up there. After moving here from NYC, I was a picky eater.

This was the most delicious red snapper (pargo) I've ever had in my life. Speaking with the chef, he explained to me why they didn't have langostinos the day I was there. Apparently, he drives up to Puerto Caimito, near Chorrera, on a daily basis because the fishermen go out and come back in every day, unlike the shrimp boats in the city which stay out for many days before returning. So in Puerto Caimito, the shrimp are caught the same day without ever being frozen. And if they don't have any, he doesn't serve shrimp that night.

Everything I tried was delicious. You can't go wrong going there.