I went to Mas Malo for dinner recently in Downtown LA, which is the sequel to the well-known restaurant Malo in Silver Lake. Executive Chef Robert Luna decided to open this more sophisticated and upscale version of Malo with a slight menu variation. I got to personally meet Chef Robert Luna, and got the chance to watch him prepare and cook up his specialties in the Mas Malo kitchen. He cooked his famous Ensenada Bacon Wrapped Shrimp for me, and I then dined in the restaurant and tried all of the menu’s specialties. Mas Malo used to be a historic jewelry building in the 1920’s, and a lot of the decor has remained the same since then. The gothic dining hall with the high ceilings and crown moldings were really beautiful. The ambiance is sexy, but also pretty loud and busy with people. There is a mezzanine over looking the main dining hall, and also a private tequila tasting vault which I thought was pretty cool. See below what I tried at Mas Malo!
ENSENADA BACON WRAPPED SHRIMP
Black Tiger Prawns wrapped in Bacon sauteed with Garlic Cream Sauce & a hint of Chipotle
I got to see this made from start to finish. Executive Chef Robert Luna cooked this in the Mas Malo kitchen especially for me and let me tell you, it was out of this world. Anything wrapped in bacon adds so much extra flavor, but the garlic cream sauce was really special. It had a lemon/citrus taste to it as well as garlic obviously, but it had a spicy kick to it too. There were so many flavor elements in this dish and it all worked perfectly. This was my favorite dish of the night, and it was cool I got to see it prepared. Such a fun experience!
CUCUMBER SPICY MARGARITA, PINATA SMASH COCKTAIL, CHEWY CHIPS, REGULAR CHIPS, & A SALSA FLIGHT
Cucumber Spicy Margarita– Milagro Silver Tequila, Cucumber, Lime Juice, Agave Nectar, Ginger
Pinata Smash– El Jimador Reposado, Serrano Chile, Cilantro, Pineapple, Lime Juice, Agave Nectar
Salsa Flight- Burnt Habanero & Creme, Serrano Chile & Tomato, Chile Negro Y Chocolate, Tamatillo, Pico De Gallo
We were off to a good start. After trying the Ensenada Bacon Wrapped Shrimp in the kitchen, I was excited to see how the rest of the food would be. Mas Malo offers regular and chewy chips to start. The chewy chips tastes just how it sounds. Instead of eating a hard crispy chocolate chip cookie, it’s like eating those soft-baked chewy ones. They are thicker then the regular ones too. I thought it was cool and different they offered that. Both cocktails were yummy too. They both had a spicy kick to them and reminded me almost of mojitos but with tequila because of the fresh and crisp taste they had to them. The salsa flight was also a fun thing to try. My favorite was the Burnt Habanero Creme one- (the one that looks orange and creamy). It was spicy and so good! It’s hard to see but the Chile Negro Y Chocolate one was on the side of the plate to the right, that one is made with chile peppers and chocolate, which is the base of Mas Malo’s special Mole sauce that takes 24 hours to make. It was fun to try all the different salsas, some more mild than others so there’s an option for every taste!
Marinated pork with Coca-Cola & Orange Juice
These carnitas were amazing. The flavor was right on point, and the meat was just so juicy. It came with fresh tortillas, guacamole and sour cream. I couldn’t taste the Coca-Cola & orange juice flavors, but whatever I did taste was delicious. I absolutely loved and recommend this!
GROUND BEEF & PICKLE TACO
This is one of the most famous things on Mas Malo’s menu. Everything on the menu has a story behind it of one of Chef Robert Luna’s childhood memories. This ground beef & pickle taco is the chef’s version of a cheeseburger. When he was a child, his mom ran out of hamburger buns one time, and instead used tortillas, and he hasn’t had it any other way since. These tacos literally tasted like a cheeseburger taco. I loved loved loved this. The salsa ketchup added a nice kick to it too. It literally was just flavored ground beef, cheese and pickles. Simple but delicious. You gotta get this!
GOAT BARBACOA TORTA
Slow simmered with ancho chile & herbs
I have to admit, I am not the biggest fan of goat. It’s a very “gamey” meat. The flavor of goat reminds you that you are eating an animal lol. I think because there is not much fat in goat, they are mountain animals so they are mostly muscle therefore making the meat tougher and gamier. But I do have to say I really liked this torta. They bake the bread fresh so it was fluffy and amazing, and it was saucy with lots of avocado which I LOVE. It was a juicy sandwich. I really enjoyed it actually.
FLAN & CHOCOLATE CAKE
Layers of Mexican flan with rich chocolate souflee cake. I was so full at this point I could only take a couple bites but ya can’t go wrong with this lol. I LOVE flan and it broke up the richness of the chocolate which I liked.
I had such a great experience at Mas Malo. I got to try some of their most well-known dishes and everything tasted delicious. The ambiance is perfect for so many occasions, and it’s right in the heart of Downtown LA. Cocktails and food were definitely a hit. Check it out!
515 W. 7th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90014
DINNER AT MAS MALO!