“Chocatoo” might describe an avian from the peppermint forests of Candyland or perhaps Count Chocula’s new pet bird (made of marshmallow, of course). But in real life, the playful name is better understood as the name of a dessert shop that offers chocolate, but many other sweets, too.
This dessert stand at San Pedro Square Market in downtown San Jose packs its modest square footage with the offerings of a bakery, cafe and candy store.
As one might expect, chocolate is well represented at Chocatoo—and in both candy and baked good form—with chocolate bars and truffles, various flavors of fudge, and an array of chocolate baked goods, including different types of brownies and little cakes such as Death by Chocolate.
Chocatoo is not stingy with the chips (or more accurately, chocolate chunks) in their generously sized chocolate-chip cookies—they’re loaded with big, gooey pieces of chocolate.
The taste of sweet chocolate is prominent in the Mexican hot chocolate, but it’s complemented by a lingering, lightly spicy touch of cinnamon. Chocatoo’s drink menu even includes a “babyccino”—a cup of frothed milk for young children.
However, the “too” component of the place’s name gets attention nearly equal to the chocolate side of the menu.
The key lime tart, simply but beautifully decorated with a swirl of whipped cream, a sprinkling of finely chopped nuts and garnished with a citrus candy, lives up to its looks. Its buttery crust is light and flaky, and the sweet, creamy filling—like a lime curd—has both sweetness and a subtle sour edge, although the thick layer of whipped cream that tops the filling does somewhat dominate its delicate lime flavor.
A slice of berry cheesecake, studded with blackberries, looks petite in its neat rectangular form, but it’s satisfying: compact but certainly not dense—and not too sweet, with the rich tanginess of the cheese blending nicely with the tart blackberries.
Chocatoo also offers a selection of macarons—about half a dozen flavors. Some macarons are more for show—perfect, smooth exteriors, but with thin filling that doesn’t contain much flavor. However, Chocatoo’s macarons are layered with a more generous amount of filling that allows the flavor to shine. I especially liked the smooth nuttiness of the pistachio macaron and the slight savoriness of the black sesame macaron.
All desserts at Chocatoo are served to go, but there’s still a sense of hospitality at this little shop. For instance, if there’s not a batch of cookies available directly from the oven, servers will offer to heat up a cookie for you.