DTLA: Mas Malo Now Open
Mas Malo in Downtown Los Angeles opened last Friday. Fans of the original Malo in Silver Lake will be happy to know that the ground beef and pickle taco made its way to DTLA. Located underneath Seven Grand, not only is Mas Malo a perfect place for lunch but their kitchen will be open until 2 a.m. making it a great stop for a mini-bar hop.
Mas Malo covers three floors which includes the main dining room, a mezzanine, the downstairs “cantina” and eventually, there’ll be a tequila tasting room built inside an old vault. The 1920s building has been renovated and the original murals, ceiling and some floor has been restored. The building was once the headquarters of a large jewelery store and then was a Clifton’s Silver Spoon Cafeteria.
I was invited to both a friends and family lunch as well as a media preview. On the same day. Woohoo, Mas (mas!) Malo! For lunch, I ordered a couple of tacos including a lobster taco and the barbacoa torta. As the Uncouth Gourmands said, this sandwich means business!
Chef Robert Luna designed the menu at the original Malo and kept other favorites besides the aforementioned ground beef and pickle taco for Mas Malo. He said he cooked the things that his family liked eating growing up. I loved that you can order the Chef’s Lunch which is a bean and cheese burrito and a diet Coke.
The downstairs catina is very cool and can be rented out for private parties. The copper top bar is beautiful. The waiting room is a tribute to the original Malo. Otherwise, the lounge is decorated with 1960s Brazil in mind. The chevron design is everywhere from mirrors to wood. I think the vintage design bridges the gap from the original gorgeous ceilings, murals and flooring to the more modern red, black and white theme of Malo.
I was eying the brownie sundae meant for los ninos but luckily I must look 5 because they gave it to me. We also had to try the flan and the sopapilla.
Mas Malo pays tribute to tequila with over 300 tequilas and 20 mezcals. My favorite was the Old Fashionista (Kracken black rum, Falernum, bitters). The Rooster is also very fun with mezcal, bourbon and lime juice. It’s like Seven Grand came downstairs to visit.
It’s really cool Mas Malo has vegetarian and vegan items on the menu. I’ll have to ask about the vegan menudo next time. I thought the eggplant and potato rolled taco was unique. But being the pork lover I am, I favored the carnitas (marinated in Coke and orange juice) more.
I gravitated towards the seafood immediately. I loved the Oaxacan shrimp, the red snapper (Huachinanago al mojo de ajo) and the super spicy Lobster Diablo.
As mentioned, the tequila tasting room isn’t finished yet. I’m so glad they were able to think of a use for the old vault.
For more pictures, check out my flickr sets.