Mama Coco is Menlo Park family restaurant owned by a Menlo Park family

by Linda Hubbard on April 8, 2015

One day a year or so ago, husband and wife Omar Piña and Monica Pilotzi were having lunch at Cafe Borrone in Menlo Park and looked across the street at the largely take-out restaurant, Mex to Go. “We thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be great to have that space?’,” recalled Monica. “And today we do!”

The couple, who also live in Menlo Park with their two school age children, opened Mama Coco Cocina Mexicana in July, 2014, serving what they describe as very traditional Mexican cuisine. “Mama Coco is my grandma’s name,” said Monica. “She was from Mexico City and taught me how to cook.”

It’s the first restaurant that they’ve owned, although Omar is a familiar face to people who frequented Left Bank, just across the alley from them.

They’ve brightened the space with blue paint and created a casual dining experience instead of take out. “Our goal is to keep the food simple and traditional,” said Omar. “The Menlo Park community has been great. We see people I’ve known over the years and meet new people, too.

“Opening a new restaurant can be bumpy but we feel we’re on track now and can enjoy it.”

The couple have two children, one in high school and the other in grade school, and Monica, in particular, wanted to make customers with children very welcome. “It’s very important to us to have a place where kids can eat and play,” she said. “That’s why we have play equipment on our outdoor patio.”

Mama Coco Cocina is located at 1081 El Camino Real in Menlo Park.

One Comment

Jym Clendenin April 08, 2015 at 3:41 pm

I’ve eaten there several times and really like the food. My only complaint is the noise inside. Reducing the amount of hard surfaces–perhaps by putting some tapestries on the walls–might really help.

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