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Malo - PK's Review

I've been here many-a-time, but finally, I wrote up a proper review for Malo.

Do you have any restaurants in your rolodex that always seem to let you down, and yet, you keep on returning? And forgive them for the many blunders?

That's my Malo. It's mediocre food, pretty atrocious service, but killer 'ritas and the best Mexican gothic vibe ever. This is one of those places that I always end up at, despite my criticisms, and I always have fun at, despite the downfalls. Go figure.

Last night's adventure was no different - slow-as-molasses service, so-so food stuffs, but an awesome energy, and yummy drinks. So there you have it.

4326 Sunset Blvd.
Silverlake, CA
8.9.06 - Wednesday, 7:30 PM


Ambiance - B+
Service - C-
Food (Taste) - C
Food (Presentation) - D
Wine/Drinks - B
Value - C
Vibe/Energy/Scene - A-
Overall Experience - C+

To read all the death-defying details, visit zee blog: http://omgfood.blogspot.com/2006/08/m...

Ciao, 'Hounds,

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  1. On that basis, I think there is still a chance for El Coyote, where I would not rate it any less in any category than your rating for Malo, and would probably rate it higher for service.
    And at least at El Coyote, the fare is less expensive!

    1. It would be easier to comment if you actually put your review in your post, but anyway.
      Just a couple of comments.
      -Everyone always says the service is bad here, but I've never had that problem. Just thought I'd point out that it's by no means a given.
      -Also, it's not that they charge for the salsa, they charge for the chips and salsa. I agree that it's worth it though.
      -Just because the hard shell tacos are fried, it doesn't make them taquitos, they're simply hard shell tacos. Taquitos are small rolled cylindrical things.
      -It's true that the salads are lackluster, but you should have learned your lesson by now. We always order the chips and either the carne asada soft tacos or the ground beef hard tacos. They're always good. So's the service. Drinks are better than good -- they even make me a no-sugar margarita.
      I give them an A-, or a B if you insist on roaming all over the menu.

      1. Teaser posts that seek to drive traffic to real reviews on food blogs have become common here. I think these posts should be deleted as a matter of policy as they will tend to destroy this board.

        As for Malo, I've loved it on my two visits. As noted, it's not cheap, and one needs to specify that one wants the chips crispy and salted. But they have terrific carnitas here, and I agree that the drinks are great.

        1. I kind of love Malo. Though I love beans and rice, I always regret eating a whole plate of Mexican food with rice and beans, because it's just too filling. I appreciate the a la carte menu, and everything I've ever ordered there has been good (I've never had a salad, but why get a salad at a Mexi joint?).

          Usually I split one order of chips and the habanero creme fraiche salsa, plus one order of the shrimp al mojo de ajo, and the BBQ carnitas with one other person. It's the perfect amount of food, and it's damn good. Their margs are exactly like the ones I make at home - tangy, citrus-y and fresh. And I LOVE the fact that their chips are fried on the premisis, and adore that there are some chewy bits with the crispy. I actually dream about those...sad, I realize.

          It is what it is: A great bar and decent cali-Mexi food. It ain't cheap, but the atmosphere is great and the jukebox has a great alt collection.

          There you have it...


          1. Wow, you folks are a tough audience. I get beef for posting my full reviews because they're too long, and then I get blasted for posting an abbreviated version with a link to the full list. Yikes! I don't give a hoot where people read the goods - I'm just trying to share. Let's not be nasty, eh? THAT'S what will ruin this board.

            And Chowpatty, the Eggplant and Potato tacos were cylndrical and fried. Taquito style. I realize the difference - was very surprised to have them served this way. No worries, they were still quite edible!

            Peace out everybody,

            1 Reply
            1. re: PoetKitty

              Thanks for the review! I'm with you...

              Just went to Malo for the first time last week...had the eggplant/potato tacos and when they were placed in front of me I actually said "I didn't know they'd be taquito style"

              Based on my one and only experience there, I'd have to agree with you on almost everything...although I ordered my margarita w/ cheaper tequila and, for the price, I prefer the house margarita at Mexico City. I didn't love anything I had, but I wouldn't fault anyone for frequenting the place.

            2. PK---I LOVE your reviews! and this one of Malo is spot on. I got all the time because I live nearby. I want to love it...I guess I do love it, but the service is so consistently spotty (ha) and one really has to be careful about what she orders. I love the flight of salsas and the shrimp diablo. Been bitten every time I've tried to stray and try something else. Love their margaritas, love the selection on the juke box and I also really like the cucumber water. Have a great time every time, but I have to stick with that order.

              2 Replies
              1. re: mollyomormon

                Yes! The Shrimp Diablo is the standout - and I always forget about that lil dish - thanks for the support AND the reminder :)


              2. Wow, good question, I don't believe I've ever had a meal with beans there - probably a sign they're not top tier, but I really don't know. :(

                1. Thanks PK for sharing your always welcome thoughts.

                  Personally, we have become accustomed to the service, not snotty, but always a little distant and cold - I always get the feeling that the servers don't like their job at all and are just miserable... We expect it and just try to be our friendly selves :)

                  We go to Malo for:

                  - that dreamy habanero salsa - scorching and yum

                  - the junky and fabulous beef tacos

                  - we also like it because there's rarely a wait, even if we're in a large group and it's super close.

                  1. Malo, it's not that the service is bad. It's just slow... And really it's hit and miss. So I can see why some people think the service is good. I went one time, and I guess they were "busy" (not really) and someone called in sick. Is this a valid excuse for slow service? No, not at all. The first time I went they were dead and the service was great. So as long as you go and the waiter doesn't have more than 2 tables you're good to go.

                    The food and margaritas are worth the wait though. Like I said, try and hit it up before it gets busy.

                    1. I just had to throw in (because no one has mentioned it yet) that my favorite dish there, the one that keeps me coming back, is the Coca-cola and OJ marinated carnitas. It tastes like neither ingredient, but has a rich, slightly sweet flavor and beautiful caramel color. It also goes very well with the burnt habenero/crema salsa (another thing I return there for).