MALO is Des Moines’ destination for Latin cuisine. From classic Havana cocktails to inventive Mexican dishes, MALO celebrates all the flavors of Latin America.
Latin American, Mexican / Southwestern
Hours of Operation:
Sunday: 10am - 9pm
Monday - Thursday: 11am - 11pm
Friday & Saturday: 11am - Midnight
$30 and under
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
There is ample street parking near our restaurant.
Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu
Malo Ratings and Reviews
I have to say my family and friends were ...
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.
I am celiac and have trouble finding pla ...
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!
This place has a very unique ambiance, g ...
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.
Malo my, and my husbands favorite restau ...
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!!
we ate outside, will never do that again ...
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.
Malo has always been aloof in their serv ...
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.
Malo is a fabulous Place to go if you lo ...
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!
I like this restaurant, it's always been ...
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.
We had dinner with our family of six bef ...
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.
First time trying Malo - found our new S ...
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.
Great as always. There are tons of Mexi ...
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.
This was our second time at Malo and we ...
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.
I was with a group of friends for a semi ...
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.
I've heard nothing but good things about ...
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.
Always happy with the food at Malo. Try ...
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!
Went to Malo 7/9/16 with 6:15 reservatio ...
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.
This Gem was found when looking for a ne ...
This Gem was found when looking for a new place to dine with friends coming to town. Downtown Des Moines has so much to offer and this enhances the experience. The food is excellant, the wait staff is attentive. This is on the list for a return visit and explore the menu even more.
My tacos were fantastic but the service ...
My tacos were fantastic but the service was not great. We had to flag our waitress down to order our food after sitting for 15 minutes (the restaurant was not busy) and find her again for our check. Our lunch took an hour and 15 minutes. Not acceptable.
Eating alone on business trip. When I a ...
Eating alone on business trip. When I arrived restaurant was swamped by groups going to a concert so getting table was a little slow but hostess handled it perfectly. When I got a table (nice table on the patio) long wait for service. Waiter was fine when he showed up but that seldom happened. Ordered a local beer and a couple of tacos (choriso and carnitas) and both were great. Review would be glowing were it not for the largely absent waiter.
Business lunch at Malo. Ample parking on ...
Business lunch at Malo. Ample parking on-street and in nearby garage. Outdoor seating is available. We ate inside. Had to track-down wait staff to place order. Had the blackened salmon salad. Flavors should have worked better than they did so not sure what was off. Not bad, just not as good as I've had elsewhere with similar ingredients. Wouldn't be my first choice to return but I would go back.
The service was slow. The service was ru ...
The service was slow. The service was rude. The food was drenched in too much aioli and you're only provided the fabric napkin the silverware was initially wrapped in. When we asked to have a stack of napkins brought over because the food was so messy--the waitress brought over literally 4 small napkins for my guest and I to split. it took the hostess ten minutrs to find the reservation even though I provided her a printed copy of the Open Table confirmation screen.
Frequent customer, but I must say that t ...
Frequent customer, but I must say that the service was really slow on this particular Wednesday night (from the kitchen and bar - not our waiter - he was hustling). There's no reason it should have taken two hours from sitting down to paying the bill for the light meals and drinks we ordered. Still like this place, though.
Fun downtown place to gather with friends
My third time here in the last 6 months while visiting DSM. I recommend the tacos HIGHLY. That is what I ordered last time, along with the cinnamon gelato, and the food was amazing! This time I had the garden burger & it was pretty good but it fell apart so I ate it w/a fork. I did love the Caesar salad & my hubby thought the Cuban sandwich was delicious! We ate on the patio & it was busy but not overly noisy which is a big positive to me. The waiter was very nice but rather slow and we thought he had to be new b/c he was not totally familiar with the menu. Visiting from San Diego, we were thrilled to see Ballast Point beer on the menu! Would greatly appreciate more vegetarian options that include a protein source, for example, add a vegetarian protein to the meatless tacos. Overall a great place to get together w/friends & enjoy a fabulous meal!
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