About Malo

900 Mulberry St.
Des Moines, IA 50309
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MALO is Des Moines’ destination for Latin cuisine. From classic Havana cocktails to inventive Mexican dishes, MALO celebrates all the flavors of Latin America.

Dining Style:
Casual Dining

Cuisines:
Latin American, Mexican / Southwestern

Hours of Operation:
Sunday: 10am - 9pm
Monday - Thursday: 11am - 11pm
Friday & Saturday: 11am - Midnight

Cross Street:
9th St.

Dress Code:
Business Casual

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(515) 244-5000

Website:
http://www.malodesmoines.com/

Parking Details:
There is ample street parking near our restaurant.

Executive Chef:
Matt Howard

Additional:
Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu

Malo Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.4

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.4

service

4.1

ambience

4.2

value

4.0

noise

Moderate

91% would recommend it to a friend

Loved For

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Iowa
Most Booked
Iowa
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Des Moines
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Great for Outdoor Dining (69)
Fit for Foodies (62)
Good for Groups (60)
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Hot Spot (51)
Special Occasion (45)
Great for Lunch (41)
Vibrant Bar Scene (26)
Neighborhood Gem (24)
Great for Brunch (19)
Kid-friendly (18)
Romantic (15)
Fun (12)
Modern Decor (11)
Good for a Date (10)
Late-night Find (10)
Creative Cuisine (9)
Casual (9)
Good for Birthdays (8)
Authentic (6)
Good for Anniversaries (6)
Happy Hour (6)
Spicy (6)
Handcrafted Cocktails (5)
Pre/post Theatre (5)
Comfort Food (4)
People Watching (4)
Bar Seating (4)
Outstanding Value (4)
Scenic View (4)
Good Vegetarian Options (3)
Business Meals (3)
Worth the Drive (3)
Notable Wine List (3)
Great Beer (3)
Healthy (3)
Gluten Free Options (2)
Historic (2)
Tasting Menu (2)
Family Style (1)
Molecular Gastronomy (1)
Live Sports (1)
Local Ingredients (1)
Sunday Lunch (1)
Live Music (1)
Quick Bite (1)
Tapas (1)
Vegan (1)
Paleo Friendly (1)
Private Room (1)
Afternoon Tea (1)
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457 reviews
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Food was ok. We've had better experience ...

 
 (Des Moines)
·Dined 4 days ago

Food was ok. We've had better experiences at Malo. It was VERY noisy. Uncomfortably so actually. We could barely have a conversation across the table. Wait staff was very polite and responsive. Over all, an OK experience.

Tags: Vibrant Bar Scene, Modern Decor, Creative Cuisine
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food3
ambience2
service5
value4

I brought my daughter, wife and mother-i ...

 
 (Des Moines)
·Dined 4 days ago

I brought my daughter, wife and mother-in-law here for their first time, and the food was good; service was exceptional! We will be back.

Tags: Comfort Food, Spicy, Happy Hour, Good for Anniversaries, Fit for Foodies, Afternoon Tea, Special Occasion, Bar Seating, Worth the Drive
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

Overall a nice dining experience. I took ...

vip
 (Detroit)
·Dined on September 21, 2016

Overall a nice dining experience. I took Chilean sea bass there, it was cooked to the perfection. Plating could have been better for the price of the food.

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food5
ambience5
service4
value4

I was on a road trip, Malo was recommend ...

 
 (Des Moines)
·Dined on September 19, 2016

I was on a road trip, Malo was recommended by the hotel front desk clerks. It was easy to find from my hotel, on street parking was convenient. I was quickly welcomed and given seating options. I selected the sidewalk patio which turned out not to be optimal, there is building construction across the seat and even though it was 7:00 p.m. the crews were working so lots of construction noise. I ordered the grilled mahi-mahi salad and grilled asparagus. Sadly the mahi-mahi was overcooked - too dry, and way to salty for my taste. The asparagus was also too salty and over-grilled. Frankly I should have returned both but was tired from travels so just ate the parts that were OK.

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food2
ambience3
service3
value2

Get the tacos

 
 (Chicago)
·Dined on September 10, 2016

Get the tacos

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food3
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service4
value3

Food was great. Had the Barbacoa Hot Dis ...

 
 (Des Moines)
·Dined on September 9, 2016

Food was great. Had the Barbacoa Hot Dish, which was like a shepherd's pie. Chips and salsa and guacamole always tasty. Totchos are delicious. Server was great, except for forgetting to put in our appetizer order until our entrees had already arrived. Restaurant is always a little loud due to the concrete floors.

Tags: Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

Very disappointed with my dining experie ...

 
 (Des Moines)
·Dined on September 9, 2016

Very disappointed with my dining experience. I went with a group of girls for a Bachelorette Party on a Friday night; which I know Friday's can be very busy, but our server barely paid attention to our table. The Bride has some food allergies and when we would ask any type of question regarding the menu you could see our server become very annoyed. We could barely hear her over the noise levels in the room and saw her visibly interact a little nicer to the tables around us. It embarrassed the Bride and made me personally not want to visit this establishment again. Customer service is extremely important to me and it was very poor for our group. Food allergies are very common these days so asking questions shouldn't have been a big deal but expected.

Tags: Vegan, Paleo Friendly, Private Room, Great for Brunch
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food3
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service1
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The food was ready quickly and very good ...

 
 (Des Moines)
·Dined on September 9, 2016

The food was ready quickly and very good. Our server was also very friendly and helpful. We really enjoyed it.

Tags: Romantic, Handcrafted Cocktails, Special Occasion, Spicy, Fun, Pre/post Theatre
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

We had a Great Lunch and it was a Great ...

 
 (Des Moines)
·Dined on September 8, 2016

We had a Great Lunch and it was a Great Pleasure to have a Lunch at Malo. Thanks to Malo Team for their Great Service. - Thanks.

Tags: Casual, Family Style, Spicy, Great for Lunch, Business Meals
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food5
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service5
value5

Our waitress was fantastic and all the s ...

 
 (Des Moines)
·Dined on September 4, 2016

Our waitress was fantastic and all the staff was so friendly

Tags: Fun, Special Occasion, Great for Brunch, Kid-friendly, Healthy
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food5
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value3

Went for my first time to Malos brunch. ...

 
 (Des Moines)
·Dined on September 4, 2016

Went for my first time to Malos brunch. It was awesome!! The brunch buffet offered a variety of classic brunch items with a latino spin! I wish I would have save room to try more tacos, the two I tried were delicious! I will definitely be back!!!

Tags: Local Ingredients, Happy Hour, Worth the Drive, Good for Groups, Sunday Lunch, Authentic, Tasting Menu, Fit for Foodies, Kid-friendly, Special Occasion, Great for Lunch, Casual, Good for Birthdays, Outstanding Value, Live Music, Great for Brunch, Comfort Food, Fun, Handcrafted Cocktails, Modern Decor, Good Vegetarian Options
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food5
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service5
value5

I've been there 4 times and the food is ...

 
 (Des Moines)
·Dined on September 2, 2016

I've been there 4 times and the food is always good. I got the salmon salad this time. It was good, but at $15 a little high, given it was fixed greens. To make this a better value, I think additional veggies/ingriedients need to be added.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Kid-friendly, Romantic, Good for a Date, Good for Birthdays
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food3
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value4

We hadn't been to Malo in awhile and dec ...

 
 (San Francisco)
·Dined on September 2, 2016

We hadn't been to Malo in awhile and decided to go back for a birthday celebration. The margaritas were a great way to start things off. Love how they are served in shakers and very much appreciate the option for a fresh preparation with just lime juice. Most of us opted for the tacos, wanting something lighter, and appreciated the reasonable portion size which is difficult to find in DSM. This restaurant will be back on our regular rotation, especially when cocktails are in order!

Tags: Hot Spot, Good for Groups, Authentic, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience5
service4
value5

Amazing food! Best meal I have had in a ...

 
 (Des Moines)
·Dined on August 28, 2016

Amazing food! Best meal I have had in a long time!

Tags: Good for a Date, Great for Lunch, Tasting Menu, Fun, Comfort Food, Great for Outdoor Dining, Fit for Foodies, Romantic, Good for Birthdays, Good for Anniversaries
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food5
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service5
value4

Malo is always a fun night out with frie ...

 
 (Des Moines)
·Dined on August 27, 2016

Malo is always a fun night out with friends. Great food and cocktails, vibrant atmosphere and the brussel sprouts are amazing!

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Bar Seating, Great Beer, Good for Birthdays, People Watching, Good for Anniversaries, Fit for Foodies, Worth the Drive, Handcrafted Cocktails, Pre/post Theatre, Fun, Spicy, Healthy, Good for a Date, Great for Lunch, Hot Spot, Good for Groups, Casual, Modern Decor
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

I have to say my family and friends were ...

 
 (Phoenix)
·Dined on August 21, 2016

I have to say my family and friends were sorely disappointed when we went Sunday Aug -21. Our server she seemed interested in anything BUT serving us. The Tacos were not their standard quality. Finally when I made the reservation I put down it was for a birthday. Yet no acknowledgement. When you pay over 120.00 for a meal you expect more. Been there 3 times had two great meals this one might be the last.

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food3
ambience5
service2
value2

I am celiac and have trouble finding pla ...

 
 (Phoenix)
·Dined on August 21, 2016

I am celiac and have trouble finding places that truly understand GF needs. They were great about educating me on my options (tons, by the way) and were very "clean" in terms of griddle space and shared fryer info. As an Iowa native just back for a visit, I was so pleased to have found a new favorite!

Tags: Authentic, Molecular Gastronomy, Great Beer, Notable Wine List, Good for a Date, Historic, Neighborhood Gem, Gluten Free Options
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food5
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service5
value5

This place has a very unique ambiance, g ...

 
 (Des Moines)
·Dined on August 20, 2016

This place has a very unique ambiance, great food and generous portions for the prices. I went with a group of friends and it was a great time. The only bad part would be the music was too loud to talk to the people at our table and it was only 8pm. I could see if it was 10pm or later when it's more of a bar scene.

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food5
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Malo my, and my husbands favorite restau ...

 
 (Des Moines)
·Dined on August 19, 2016

Malo my, and my husbands favorite restaurant for date night. The food, service, atmosphere, and everything has been top notch every time. We also love that you can bring your own wine for not corking fee! We will always be back!!

Tags: Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining, Hot Spot, Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
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service5
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we ate outside, will never do that again ...

vip
 (Des Moines)
·Dined on August 14, 2016

we ate outside, will never do that again ! cross traffic is very noisy . There $12 margaritas are only worth maybe 6 or at most $8 . could not taste any tequila , I told the manager they tasted like lime water. She was very nice about it ,and took off our bill. This is a very cool place. We want this place to live up to it potential . They have a great menu. It's a pretty hip place , and we will be back to see if maybe we just hit an off night.

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food3
ambience4
service4
value3

Malo has always been aloof in their serv ...

 
 (Des Moines)
·Dined on August 14, 2016

Malo has always been aloof in their service, but this time it was even more so. It took maybe 15 minutes for our waitress to come over to get our drink orders. Maybe another 20 minutes to get the drinks. We placed our dinner order at the same time our drinks came out. Our dinner was ready in a timely manner though we were just a few bites into our food when the check was brought out. I understand it's a busy Saturday night, but common the check coming out early tells me as a customer that we need to hurry and it's not okay to order another drink or even dessert. Both of which I know are big money makers in the restaurant industry. I have no complaints about the quality or taste of food. It's excellent! However something needs to be done about the serving staff's time management.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Fit for Foodies, Great for Lunch
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food4
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service2
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Chicken enchiladas melt in your mouth

 
 (Des Moines)
·Dined on August 13, 2016

Chicken enchiladas melt in your mouth

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food5
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service5

Malo is a fabulous Place to go if you lo ...

 
 (Des Moines)
·Dined on August 13, 2016

Malo is a fabulous Place to go if you looking to hang out with friends, go on a date, or even family dinner night with your kids. The food and service were excellent and have been excellent every time I've been there!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining, Special Occasion, Vibrant Bar Scene, Great for Lunch, Romantic, Kid-friendly, Hot Spot
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food5
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service3
value4

Incomparably good cooking for a U.S. Mex ...

vip
 (New York Area)
·Dined on August 12, 2016

Incomparably good cooking for a U.S. Mexican. Huge space yet always deservedly crowded. Having the best table helps. We always sample a broad selection and all exceed expectations, even exceed wildest hopes.

Tags: Hot Spot, Great for Lunch, Great for Outdoor Dining, Fit for Foodies
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food5
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service5
value5

Always love going here. The service was ...

 
 (Des Moines)
·Dined on August 7, 2016

Always love going here. The service was really slow but the server had a large section. Food was just ok. I tied something new so I put that on myself. I will stick to what I like next time.

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food3
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I like this restaurant, it's always been ...

 
 (Des Moines)
·Dined on August 6, 2016

I like this restaurant, it's always been good. Tonight was a little sub-par, our food took a long time for no busier thsn it was and our service was very slow. All other times that I've dined have been more enjoyable. I'd still recommend.

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food3
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We had a great meal. Food was tasty and ...

 
 (Des Moines)
·Dined on August 5, 2016

We had a great meal. Food was tasty and unique, service prompt and friendly. Cool vibe to the place, great color and artwork. Excellent beer list and coctails. Will go again.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Great for Outdoor Dining, Neighborhood Gem, Hot Spot
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food5
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value3

We had dinner with our family of six bef ...

 
 (Des Moines)
·Dined on July 31, 2016

We had dinner with our family of six before a show on Sunday evening. It was very crowed at the bar to get a drink at first. Dinner was excellent and our waitress was very accommodating. I would definitely return to Malo and recommend it to a friend.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining, Romantic, Late-night Find, Scenic View, Neighborhood Gem, Hot Spot, Vibrant Bar Scene
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food5
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We'll continue to come back. This time w ...

 
 (Des Moines)
·Dined on July 31, 2016

We'll continue to come back. This time we were surprised at how good the salads were. One taco and a salad were plenty to fill us up.

Tags: Great for Brunch, Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining, Romantic, Special Occasion, Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem, Hot Spot
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food5
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First time trying Malo - found our new S ...

 
 (Des Moines)
·Dined on July 31, 2016

First time trying Malo - found our new Sunday Brunch fav! Dined with my husband & two kids (6 yr old & 15 mo old). Our waiter was attentive to our needs, cleared plates quickly & we especially appreciated that he pointed out that all the taco's on the menu were included in the buffet. Couldn't pass that deal by. We tried 4 & loved the Cod taco & Chipotle shrimp taco! Buffet was $16.99 per adult (kids under 12 eat free), we also had a mimosa & a peach sangaria. Final amount spent was around $57 but felt we received a great value, good food & service. Great dining experience. We will be back.

Tags: Great for Brunch, Kid-friendly, Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining, Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem
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food4
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Great as always. There are tons of Mexi ...

 
 (Des Moines)
·Dined on July 30, 2016

Great as always. There are tons of Mexican restaurants in Des Moines. This is truly upscale and authentic. Great drinks, paella, tacos. Really, you will like everything. Just one thing, when asked what beer they had on tap, our waitress said "I don't know, I could go look" but of course she made no move to, because someone that would say something like that never does. But really I love the place, so worth a minor irritation.

Tags: Great for Brunch, Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining, Special Occasion, Hot Spot, Vibrant Bar Scene
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food5
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This was our second time at Malo and we ...

 
 (Philadelphia)
·Dined on July 30, 2016

This was our second time at Malo and we were a bit disappointed. I am vegan and when I ordered the two tacos that can be prepared vegan (avocado and crispy onion as well as the portobello) my portobello taco had cheese on it. Our server had acknowledged that I was vegan and to leave the cheese off when I placed the order, but it still came out wrong. Our order of vegan black beans also had cheese all over them. After she brought us the corrected order, it seemed like she could not get us out of their fast enough. She started clearing our table and quickly brought us the check. Unfortunately we probably won't be returning to Malo. Never fun to dine somewhere that you feel like you can't sit and take your time.

Tags: Hot Spot
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food3
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service2
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I was with a group of friends for a semi ...

 
 (South Dakota)
·Dined on July 26, 2016

I was with a group of friends for a semi-nice night out for dinner. The food was awesome. We sat outside, which allowed the 2-year old in our group a little more space. I enjoyed the outside seating area, though it is right on the street so you can't really expect a garden view or anything. I've already recommended them to other friends. Pleasantly surprised when you want to pay a little more than Taco Johns and not quite as much as some other downtown locations.

Tags: Kid-friendly, Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining, Romantic, Special Occasion, Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
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service3
value3

Great seafood nachos! Our waiter was ver ...

 
 (Des Moines)
·Dined on July 23, 2016

Great seafood nachos! Our waiter was very attentive and friendly. Will definitely be back!

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food5
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took our California foodie son there bef ...

vip
 (Des Moines)
·Dined on July 17, 2016

took our California foodie son there before heading back to cal. He loves this place. We all did taco's , and they were all very good. Great job Malo

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Hot Spot
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food4
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service4
value3

I've heard nothing but good things about ...

vip
 (Des Moines)
·Dined on July 17, 2016

I've heard nothing but good things about the Malo brunch, but by noon (it runs 10 - 2), everything on the tables was quite stale. They clearly mass-produced the food (just way too much out there for the number of people there) when smaller batches and restocks would make far more sense. The waffles were hard and crunchy, the corned beef hash was a lukewarm mess, the bacon and sausage similarly lukewarm, and even the made to order tacos came out on stale corn shells with dried cheese and dried/overcooked meat. After being seated it took about 7 - 10 minutes for us to get water and then a vist from our server. For a place that has been consistently good at lunch, it was altogether miserable at brunch. Perhaps it wasn't their kitchen's or staff's best day, but I could never recommend brunch here after that experience.

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food2
ambience3
service2
value1

Was a little bit loud, but otherwise a g ...

 
 (Des Moines)
·Dined on July 16, 2016

Was a little bit loud, but otherwise a great meal.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Lunch, Hot Spot, Late-night Find, Romantic, Special Occasion
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food5
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service4
value3

Great environment, fantastic food and se ...

 
 (Des Moines)
·Dined on July 15, 2016

Great environment, fantastic food and service was unbeatable. Our waitress was fun and let us have time to catch-up with friends without rushing us.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Lunch, Great for Outdoor Dining
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food5
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Always happy with the food at Malo. Try ...

 
 (Des Moines)
·Dined on July 10, 2016

Always happy with the food at Malo. Try their brunch! Servers are very friendly, but the restaurant feels short staffed at times; there have been a couple visits where our server hasn't seen us and we have to flag someone down. Overall, we love coming here!

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food5
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Went to Malo 7/9/16 with 6:15 reservatio ...

 
 (Chicago)
·Dined on July 9, 2016

Went to Malo 7/9/16 with 6:15 reservation. Food was ok- looked dry and limp- like it had been under heat lamp. We were 4 adults- each had different mixed drinks that we thought were weak in both flavor and alcohol. When we told our server the Peron margaritas were weak- her reply was "you must of got a bad one." No offer to fix or replace with a different drink. Food quality is definitely not up to prove level. Our tab was roughly $150 with appetizers, drinks and entrees.

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food2
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