My husband and I have been dining regularly at Cafe Poca Cosa for at least 13 years. It is 99% wonderful! My one small disappointment is that their decaf coffee, which I always want with dessert, is too weak for my taste. My Dad, who likes his coffee weaker than I do, thinks it's great. I would urge readers to take the any negative reviews with a big grain of salt. Only once in 13 years of regular visits have we been slightly less happy with our experience, and it was so minor it didn't slow us down one bit. Poca Cosa is the number one place our out-of-town family wants to dine when they come to Tucson -- including the LA-area visitors, the Washington DC-area gourmets and the New York globe-hoppers. They all get excited about going to PC. I recently sent very-sophisticated clients from Chicago and they were very impressed.
We had dinner for six adults last night before heading to Arizona Theatre Co, an easy walk away. The place was packed and we were seated quickly even though we were a little late for our reservation (I called en route to tell them we were still coming). Our server Jill was great -- very professional -- and when told we had a curtain she worked extra-hard to ensure we got our food quickly and out the door expeditiously. We started with a pitcher of margaritas, house margs on the rocks, which were their usual yummy! It's hard not to gobble lots of chips and salsa, b/c the salsa's so good, but you have to save room for the meal. We ordered five Plato Poca Cosas -- which is what we order 99% of the time because we simply can't decide between all the incredible choices -- and one Pescado. Everyone raved over their food! On a Plato you get a chef's choice of three of their entree offerings -- usually two meat and one vegetarian tamale pie, along with a salad. The table gets corn tortillas, rice and beans, though few have room to enjoy them and they make great left-overs. If your plate is too crowded for comfort, a rather juvenile complaint I've actually read, you can move your salad over to one of the side plates.
If you can save room for dessert, I can't rave enough about the chocolate mousse. I think it involves Kahlua or coffee and maybe cinnamon, but whatever is in it, it's amazing! One is way too much (it's rich!) for me to eat by myself, but it's perfect to share. Another member of our party got the banana cheesecake last night, which was incredibly rich and worth the calories and reminded me of a dessert my Grandmother used to make.
A note to families: no, this is not a great place to bring kids. It's an urban, sophisticated, adult-oriented place. Some nights are for Sweet Tomatoes, some nights are for grown-up places, which is as it should be. We have a wonderful five-year-old, who has been to CPC over a year ago, and was welcomed there. But I don't think they have booster seats and they definitely do not have kids items on the menu. My daughter has a pretty wide and relatively-mature taste in food and she ate stuff from our plates, mostly the fruit and the mild tamale pie and the rice, beans and tortillas and was just fine. She loved helping with the dessert!
By the way, CPC is also great for lunch! They usually have some sort of wonderful fresh fruit beverage and the plates are less-expensive and yes, the lighting is brighter so it's easier to see your plate in the darker corners of the restaurant. So if it's too hip at dinner, try it out for lunch on a downtown outing. It was there at lunch that I tried and loved a glass of pineapple juice with basil -- Wow!
Pros: Amazing food, Hip atmosphere, Sophisticated
Cons: None -- just go!