Kahlua Dinner at Loteria Grill Hollywood

— by Caroline on Crack

Cheese on fire

Last week I was fortunate enough to be invited, along with “other tastemakers” like Natalie of the Liquid Muse, to partake of a dinner where Kahlua coffee liqueur was incorporated into all four courses at Hollywood’s Loteria Grill. This wasn’t a meal where cocktails were paired with dishes, which I also love by the way. Rather, there was Kahlua in the cheese app, salad, the mole sauce and in the dessert.

Before you get too excited, this menu was especially created by Loteria Grill chef Jimmy Shaw to showcase Kahlua’s different varieties — Kahlua Especial, Kahlua Hazelnut and Kahlua Coffee Cream — and won’t be available on the regular restaurant menu.


  • Cheese and smoky morita chile flamed with Kahlua Especial
  • Mixed greens with stuffed dates with Manzano chile and goat cheese with a Kahlua vinaigrette
  • Pork tenderloin in almond mole infused with Kahlua Hazelnut
  • Housemade churros with Kahlua Especial reduction and Kahlua Coffee Cream dipping cream paired with Kahlua Coffee Cream, tequila anejo, topped with milk foam and grated Mexican dark chocolate

I didn’t know what to expect, just that the coffee flavor would be an interesting mix with the spicy Mexican cuisine. However, there were some hits and misses for me here. Mostly misses unfortunately.

The cheese dish, although, pyrotechnically spectacular and fun was basically a lot of rubbery cheese crisped by the Kahlua-fueled flame. I did enjoy the caliente-ness of the chile, though.

Here’s Chef Jimmy Shaw explaining the dish including his choice of cheese.

The pork tenderloin was succulent and savory but its mole was not spicy. And dessert was sugar overload. If it were just the freshly made sugar-dusted churros alone and without that extra sweetness of the Kahlua Coffee Cream dipping cream AND that little insulin shot of a cocktail, it would have been fine. But as it was, even my inner Augustus Gloop couldn’t finish it.

I did, however, wish there was more salad; its sweet coffee flavor that complemented the scrumptious stuffed dates and chile. And I loved the cocktail they served at the start of the event: Kahlua Horchata with housemade horchata and French Vanilla Kahlua. Its sweetness made it more a dessert cocktail than an aperitif but I wasn’t complaining.

So what was this special dinner for? To celebrate the launch of Kahlua’s newest creation, the Kahlua Coffee Cream, a limited-edition liqueur that will be available from October through December for $17.99. Just in time for those apres holiday dinner cocktails.

We dinner guests were given a bottle to take home and I was looking forward to enjoying it with my morning cuppa at work til I realized it contained alcohol. Ah well. Fortunately, we were also given cocktail recipes created by New York mixologist Julio de los Santos. Word of warning: These are definitely not for weight-watching sipsters and those aversed to sweet drinks.

Cocktail recipes:

Kahlua Cognaccino

  • 1 part Kahlua Coffee Cream
  • 1/2 part Amaretto
  • 1 part Martell V.S. Cognac

Combine all ingredients into cocktail shaker. Shake and strain into a flute dusted with

Kahlua Mexicano

  • 1 part Kahlua Coffee Cream
  • 1 part Kahlua Coffee Liqueur
  • 1/2 part Sambuca

Combine all ingredients into cocktail shaker. Serve over ice in a coffee mug.
The Curious Russian**

  • 1 part Kahlua Coffee Cream
  • 1 part Kahlua Coffee Liqueur
  • 1 part Absolut Vanilla

Lightly shake and strain over ice in a rocks glass. Vanilla bean garnish.

More pics from Kahlua dinner.