An average Asian alternative

A Sweet and Spicy Cocowok chicken dish. Alex Broadwell//The Miami Hurricane
A Sweet and Spicy Cocowok chicken dish. Alex Broadwell//The Miami Hurricane

A swanky movie theater, frozen yogurt shops and trendy boutiques line the streets of Coconut Grove. It seems like the only thing missing is a place to get a far east fix. Fortunately, the owners of the new restaurant CocoWok caught on and are now satisfying sweet and sour cravings any time of day.

The affordable menu serves up traditional Chinese fare. From kung pao shrimp to Mongolian beef, most entrees are no more than $10 and come with your choice of white or brown rice. It is also vegetarian friendly, offering Sichuan tofu and an array of vegetables to round out lo mein and fried rice. If you are looking for a sweet ending, try the crispy fried banana spring rolls served alongside sweet Mandarin coconut sauce.

Tucked away on Virginia Street, the walk-up counter is a quick and easy way to grab a bite with friends. After ordering, you can opt to sit inside or out at one of their high-top tables. Or you can always choose to take away your food and enjoy it straight out of the carton.

Nothing wipes away people’s sorrows like indulging in copious amounts of food with a best friend. Seeking some culinary comfort, we called up CocoWok and our meal was ready for pick-up within 10 minutes. With a stack of Sex and the City re-runs in tow, we put on sweats and grabbed our chopsticks to dig in.

Starting off with the crab wontons, I enjoyed the seafood mix but was underwhelmed by its size. I looked to the beef and broccoli and sweet and sour chicken to raise my spirits. While the sauces were flavorful, the portions were small and I was missing out on the bigger pieces of meat and vegetables other restaurants provide. In short, I missed my old, albeit sketchier, Chinese delivery.

While this place certainly fills the Asian void in Coconut Grove, I am not sure I would go out of my way to eat there again. Until service and quality improves, I will stick to other places for Chinese fare…with better parking.