The mojarra frita at Cocos in Snohomish, is a whole-fried tilapia fish served with rice, salad and french fries. (Sharon Salyer / The Herald)

The mojarra frita at Cocos in Snohomish, is a whole-fried tilapia fish served with rice, salad and french fries. (Sharon Salyer / The Herald)

Snohomish’s Cocos Mariscos & Bar: Go for the food — and the fun

It’s a jumping place with a party atmosphere — and the seafood’s pretty good, too.

Cocos Mariscos & Bar is known for its seafood, so much so that the Spanish word for seafood is included in its name.

Going there for the first time on a Friday evening, I enjoyed the place’s flair, from the whole-fried tilapia to the shrimp fajitas. It’s a happy new seafood restaurant find.

The menu includes generous platter-sized dishes, including mojarra culichi, which is whole-fried tilapia with mixed seafood and served with rice and salad ($32.99). My brother and sister-in-law, who have traveled in Mexico, said it reminded them of Veracruz-style cooking.

So far, this has all been about the food, a topic I’ll return to in a minute. But I have to talk a bit about the overall experience there, which says as much about the place as the food.

Yes, before someone points it out, the word “bar” also is in the restaurant’s name and it’s evident in the atmosphere, food and drink.

For example, the menu includes “six on the beach:” six beers of your choice served with fruit and a mix of seafood in an extra-spicy sauce. It’s an unusual, fun way to serve up seafood ($45.99). Obviously, it’s intended to serve a party of four or more.

There’s literally a wall of beer, stacked boxes of the beverage, across part of the front of the restaurant.

The dining room is filled with big screens that sometimes play music videos, so on some evenings the music includes a big bump in the pump of the bass.

It was obvious that a lot of the crowd enjoyed the fun, “let’s celebrate the weekend” atmosphere. But I missed out on some great singing when the bass, booming out from big speakers mounted around the room, overwhelmed the music.

“Oh, I downloaded this song,” my sister-in-law said as the opening notes of one song began. Then we both smiled and laughed. “And I wish I could hear it,” I responded.

So went the set. Lots of joyous, bumping, swaying, sensuous bodies on the big screens. And lots and lots and lots of bass. But again, it’s personal taste.

There’s live music on some nights, including an appearance last weekend by a mariachi band.

But Cocos is a bar where the food isn’t just secondary to the music and libations — it’s a big draw.

The place is tucked into a corner of the Snohomish Station development. You may have to drive around a bit to find it the first time you go.

It opened in October and has developed a loyal following that often jams the restaurant.

For a weekend dinner, I’d advise going early. And go hungry. They haven’t joined the trend of doling out portions with a “food dropper.”

“Nice and crispy, flaky and good,” was how my brother described his whole-fried tilapia fish ($17.99) — and yes, that fish’s eye will continue to gaze at you as you eat it.

The sauteed shrimp fajitas ($15.99) was served with onions and peppers.

Cocos’ shrimp fajitas are served with rice and beans. (Sharon Salyer/The Herald)

Cocos’ shrimp fajitas are served with rice and beans. (Sharon Salyer/The Herald)

“Nice portion size,” my sister-in-law said, enough in fact that she shared some of the shrimp with me. The shrimp were fresh and nicely prepared.

I ordered the taco salad, in its sans-meat version, with tomatoes, lettuce, beans and cheese ($10.99). I would have loved to have had some fresh avocado added to it to round out the salad a bit.

For dessert, we shared a serving of churros ($6). The crispy crust of the churros is covered with cinnamon. It’s surrounded by whipped cream, served with vanilla ice cream and finished with chocolate syrup.

Of the variety of local churros I’ve tasted, I’d have to rate this as the best.

Overall, I went for the food and enjoyed it. You may go to for the bar, party atmosphere and food and enjoy that, too.

Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486 or salyer@heraldnet.com.

If you go

Cocos Mariscos & Bar, at 2707 Bickford Ave., Suite F, Snohomish, is open 11 a.m. to 10 pm. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday, and 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Call 360-863-3141 or go to www.facebook.com/CocosMariscosAndBar.

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