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What to eat @ Malo in Silverlake

Going to Malo in Silverlake this weekend. I've never been...what do you recommend for dinner? Also can you recommend a good drink? Which of their salsas are good? Has anyone had their chile relleno? How are their desserts? Is it hard to get in on a Saturday? Would you recommend reservations for 6 people @ 7:30? Do you have to have all members of your party before they seat you? Many many questions for a beautiful Tuesday morning. need. more. coffee......

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  1. OK...

    Their margaritas are excellent, but so are their mojitos and caipirinhas.

    Get the salsa flight.

    I'm a vegetarian so I mainly get the cheese enchiladas or quesadillas, but my meat-eating friends love the tacos al pastor.

    Shouldn't be hard to get in at that time but I'd make a reservation just in case. (Around 9 PM is when they really get going.) And they will seat you without your full party present.

    1. The tres leches cake is pretty good, but I would skip desserts and save room for chips and drinks. You can't go wrong with either the ground beef/pickle tacos or the carne asada tacos. The pork chili dish (chile colorado?) is pretty good, but really, it's not an ambitious menu -- better to stick to tacos and chips. The salad is boring.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Chowpatty

        Do you know if their tortillias are homemade? I wonder how the Shrimp Diablo or Lobster Diablo is.

        1. re: missmodular818

          The shrimp diablo is my favorite dish there aside from the habanero creme salsa! I'm not sure how well lobster would stand up to the sauce, though. Be warned that they deliberately make their chips a little on the soggy side when they fry them. I like them that way but you should let them know if you want them more done.

        2. re: Chowpatty

          I concur down the line with Chowpatty. I love their ground beef and pickle tacos, and the chips, salsa and guacamole. As others have said, they fry their chips "al dente" -- I prefer them crispy, so be sure to ask for them crispy if that is your preference. The salsa flight is very good. The pork dish is a pork in green chile -- it's good over rice with a fried egg on top. All of the sides are ala carte -- of the sides, the corn is particularly good, as is the squash.

        3. They have some great specialty cocktails, and a ton of different tequillas and mezcals on the list, so it's hard to go wrong with the drinks.

          I love the burnt habenero salsa, it's very spicy and sweet, but your safest bet is to go with the salsa flight to suit all appetites.

          I would make a reservation if I were you. The do get pretty busy, and if you don't have a reservation, you tend to get stuck at crappy tables, also, the outside patio tends to fill up pretty quickly, if you prefer to sit there.

          Their chile relleno is not very remarkable and can be too cheesy. I always get the potato and eggplant tacos and fresh beans - everything comes a la carte, so you can easily share a bunch of sides. The fried bananas with creme fraiche and garlic are yummy too.

          4 Replies
          1. re: artichokey

            I wonder...do they allow smoking on the outside patio for all my smoking friends? Smoke while eating can be a bit unappetizing though.

            1. re: missmodular818

              Yes, you can smoke on the patio and many do -- smoking is legal on patios everywhere outside Beverly Hills and Calabasas I think.
              As far as the shrimp dishes and other stuff you mentioned, I recommend keeping it simple and you won't be disappointed. Tacos. Tequila. Chips.

              1. re: Chowpatty

                Thank you! Sounds like chip, tacos and salsa it is for me. Maybe I'll get a side of black beans. I know by BF will like the shrimp diablo so i will recommend that to him. I'm not much of a ground beef eater...how are the other tacos? Maybe I'll try the Al Pastor.

            2. re: artichokey

              i too LOVE the burnt habenero salsa, but it is quite spicy. I go back just for that. its truly delicious. And also the beef and pickle tacos and yummy too. Not so much a fan of the lobster tacos.. they don't cook the lobster right, ends up too rubbery.

            3. I was wondering about that Margarita. I tend to not like Margaritas made with sweet and sour mix. I like mine made with lots of fresh lime juice and simple syrup, maybe some triple sec but never overly sweet. I like them still a bit tart. Looks like this one is made with lime juice. Any other drink recs? Since I'm driving I'll probably only have 1 alcoholic bev (2 tops) wondering how their 'famous' horchata is....Has anyone tried the rajas salad w/roasted peppers, nopales, red leaf lettuce, sweet chile dressing? Sounds yummy!

              1. habanero creme salsa is delicious! i usually get the al pastor and want to lick the pan...and i love the shrimp and avocado salad, incredibly refreshing.

                1. Habanero and creme salsa can't be beat, I usually substitute it for the other salsa....fish tacos are always excellent....can't go wrong with most of the menu

                  1. linking

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                    Malo
                    4326 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90029

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: maxzook

                      Maxzook - been there? any thoughts?

                      Thanks everyone for your comments and recommendations. I really appreciate it!!

                      1. re: missmodular818

                        I live in the neighborhood and have never been there ... currently I'm supposed to be on a diet -- reading CH is less calories than living CH ;) -- but when Mexican is on my radar again I'll certainly be giving it a shot.

                        1. re: maxzook

                          Ha ha. I hear that. I've been on a Tom Yum Gai and a black coffee diet for 3 days. That and like 2 packs of cigarettes. I'm saving up for saturday.

                          1. re: missmodular818

                            The shrimp and avocado salad is totally diet-friendly. Sooo yummy- I am constantly craving it. (Maybe the big margarita I order to go with it and the chips and salsa I can't seem to resist are not so diet friendly- but it makes me feel better to order the salad!)

                            1. re: chowpug

                              ***Update*** I thought I would share my thoughts on Saturday night's dinner:

                              Decor/Ambiance: Very trendy, very LA. A little pretentious but not unapproachable. I felt the designer may have been trying to hard to make a statement with that horrible red wallpaper. Ditch the wallpaper and this place could be very chic.

                              Service: Valet was only $3, not bad. They were quick to help me out the door and were very friendly. The hostess was nice but didn't talk much. She basically showed us to the table and gave us our menus. Very little words exchanged. The busers were great and constantly filled our water glasses through out the night. Our waitress was great. I was expecting a lot worse considering the experiences other hounders had. She was very friendly and helpful. She was very attentive all night until bill time came. She did have a lot of tables to serve (I think 8 or 9) and that is more a reflection on management than her. All in all I thought the service was great.

                              Food: I would rate it a conservative 7 out of 10, here is why. First we ordered our margaritas. I got the organic margarita (light salt) and my BF ordered the house (w/salt). I can say they were strong and good but not the best margaritas I've ever had. His was a bit too salty (esp the last couple sips as the salt settled quite heavily at the bottom of his cup) mine was not too salty. According to the menu the organic margarita was made with organic lime juice and agave nectar. I am not a big fan of sweet and sour mix so I thought this would be a nice change from a regular margarita. To be honest..it still tasted like they used sweet and sour mix. The freshness of the limes didn't shine through. I was still good but for that price ($11) I was hoping for something better.

                              Chips & Salsas - We ordered the chips (as is) with the burnt habenero and creme salsa. We also ordered a full order of the guacamole. I got a few chewy chips and I kind of enjoyed their texture. The burnt habenero salsa was good, very spicy. Very different from any other salsa I've had before. It was a little to sweet for me to be able to form the addiction like other folks but if they did kick the sweet factor down a notch I could really love this stuff. The smokiness was really delightful but bordering overpowerment. The guacamole was just okay to me. It was screaming for acid. I had but maybe 2 bites. Next time I will order the salsa flight. After seeing the large size of the burnt habenero salsa I thought that the salsa flight would be too much salsa for our table of 8. The table next to us order the flight and the sizes were perfect to sample. I will definitely order this next time sans the guac.

                              Dinner: I ordered the oaxacan shrimp and a side of squash and by BF ordered the shrimp diablo with a side of rice. I was certain that his shrimp was going to be better than mine and I would be kicking myself in the butt for not ordering the tacos (but I was not in much of a taco mood). However....my shrimp was too die for!! The flavors are delicate but well balanced. My only fault was that the sauce (which was thin) needed a starch and I should of ordered the rice and not the squash (do not order the squash). I split my BF's rice. The rice wasn't special but it was good and is versatile to most any protein you order. I really feel that if Malo plated their entrees with the appropriate sides then their customers wouldn't order wrong and be left with incomplete meals. Sometimes I think the chef should choose for the customer. The shrimp diablo was nice but compared to mine my BF and myself weren't that impressed. He was licking my plate no his!First off the shrimp diablo is in a "garlic habenero creme" sauce per the menu. Well, we couldn't detect the garlic and there was very little spice (read: habenero) to the dish. We didn't even know if there was any creme used as well since the sauce was red (not pink). We also didn't know there would be so much use of tomatoes in the dish. It was very stew like and went well with the rice. I think that recipe needed some tweeking although I guess they have a new chef so I am not sure if that has something to do with it. On to the squash.... This dish I was very dissapointed with. For one I love squash, yellow ones, italian ones, big ones, little ones. I also love corn (which was in the dish) but one thing I do not like is the use of unseasoned tomato sauce and lots of it. If you like chef boyardee then you will love this dish otherwise pass - it - up (sorry). It was swimming in what seemed to be canned tomato sauce. Underseasoned. Very unimpressed.

                              Dessert: We tried the tres leche cake. This was actually pretty good. I am not a big fan of tres leche to begin with so my opinion here will be immature since I've only had tres leche two other times before. Very moist and not too sweet.

                              So this concludes my review of Malo. Sorry I did not agree with everyone elses views on this restaurant. I really do not know if it has to do with the new chef. I will say that I will return for a second visit and give them another chance.

                              Off topic: I thought it was really sad that the Elliott Smith tribute wall (the Solutions! speaker shop) next door was defaced with tagging. Is nothing sacred anymore?