Winter 2020 felt darker and colder than usual, so I’m extra appreciative of places like Cocobreeze. The Trinidadian restaurant on High Street in Oakland run by Annabelle Goodridge and her daughter is a literal bright spot: The first time I rolled up to it one December evening, tinsel garlands and icicle lights decorated the boxy building, which was topped with huge blow-up Santas and cone Christmas trees. Warm, heart-tugging joy was also infused into every dish I ordered - pholourie (fried split pea dough and turmeric) with a side of chunky tamarind dip, a thick chicken roti stuffed with chickpeas and potatoes, and an herby, life-changing jerk chicken that slowly built heat on the tongue. You can bet you’ll find me here even after the holiday decorations come down.
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