Mas Malo – Still Hip Enough for Downtown L.A.

| March 12, 2013

After two years, and 638 Yelp reviews, Mas Malo is going strong and satisfying the palates of those in search omas malof fine Latin cuisine. Management is well aware that trends and tastes can change very quickly in this town, but Chef Robert Luna, who grew up with this cuisine, seems to always have his thumb on the pulse what locals are seeking and delivers satisfaction on a daily basis. Created in a fiercely guarded kitchen, his authentic cuisine makes it way to the dining room where his larger than life presence is alive and well.

Being located just below the ever-popular Seven Grand Bar is a big help and Mas Malo fit right in with the trendy crowd and very quickly became a hip place to dine with the trendy and be seen.

One of the highlights of the menu is the selection of ten different tacos which are each plated with rice or beans, and salad. The Pork Belly Tinga soft tacos ($12) were delicious, but the real star is the signature Beef and Pickle Tacos ($12), which boasts sales of 10,000 a month!

mas malo barWe enjoyed the Kale Salad ($10) with tomato, mixed seeds and a pistachio dressing. This was a nice and crunchy start to the meal, which also included Pumpkin Enchiladas ($16) which was served with a white chocolate mole and Monterey Jack cheese. I was the most impressed by the Chicken Mole ($18), which featured a thick rich chocolate and coffee dressing. All of the portions are significant and this dish was served with two chicken breasts—a nice dish to share or take away to enjoy for another day.

There are over 200 tequilas available at the bar, but curiously no menu that lists them. The cocktails are potent and I especially enjoyed the signature Spicy Cucumber Margarita ($12) and the Bloody Maria, which with the addition of celery, chile and green olives, packs a bit of a punch. All cocktails however are served with blanco, so if you prefer reposado the price is bumped up by three bucks. You can also enjoy these drinks on weekends in the more intimate bar downstairs.