Trader Joe's in Eagle Rock has a new neighbor. Cacao Mexicatessen opened last Friday, functioning as a taquería, marketplace, café, and catering shop all in one. By the entrance there's a nice selection of the namesake product, including imported Mexican chocolates and a few organic Taza Chocolate goods, and the deli case holds fresh salsas, queso fresco, homemade guacamole, etc.

Credit: Photo credit: Jessica Ritz

Credit: Photo credit: Jessica Ritz

The food menu includes tacos, tortas, and special dishes such as camarones enchipotlados (shrimp in chipotle citrus), carnitas de pato (duck confit carnitas), tocino enchocolatado (bacon with salsa de cacao and Mexican cream) and a BLT. Then there's the clasicos one might expect, like rellenos, enchiladas, nachos, taquitos … the list goes on. Plus a selection of aguas frescas and coffee drinks. The name isn't misleading, either.

We'll be back soon for the flor de calabaza tacos with queso fresco and poblano strips, and the incredibly friendly, attentive service that comes from Cacao being a family-run business. And those with children, take note: the tortilla-making is an excellent educational and entertaining spectacle to keep the kids engaged. Cacao is also convenient if you need a extra last minute gift, since the Lujan family also owns the Eufloria flower shop in the adjacent storefront.

Cacao Mexicatessen: 1576 Colorado Blvd., Eagle Rock; (323) 478-2791.

LA Weekly