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

4.5

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.5

service

4.5

ambience

4.3

value

4.2

noise

Moderate

93% would recommend it to a friend

Casual (27)
Creative Cuisine (27)
Good for a Date (27)
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Special Occasion (22)
Happy Hour (22)
Fun (21)
Good for Groups (21)
Modern Decor (21)
Hot Spot (20)
Neighborhood Gem (19)
Spicy (18)
Pre/post Theatre (17)
Great for Outdoor Dining (17)
Fit for Foodies (17)
Good for Birthdays (17)
Good for Anniversaries (14)
Great for Brunch (14)
Worth the Drive (14)
Great for Lunch (13)
Good Vegetarian Options (12)
Authentic (12)
Kid-friendly (10)
Outstanding Value (9)
Bar Seating (9)
Late-night Find (8)
People Watching (8)
Cozy (8)
Vibrant Bar Scene (7)
Handcrafted Cocktails (7)
Healthy (7)
Business Meals (7)
Tapas (6)
Historic (6)
Great Beer (6)
Quick Bite (6)
Sunday Lunch (6)
Open Kitchen (6)
Romantic (5)
Comfort Food (5)
Family Style (5)
Gluten Free Options (5)
Tasting Menu (5)
Scenic View (4)
Seasonal (4)
Paleo Friendly (4)
Local Ingredients (4)
Notable Wine List (3)
Vegan (3)
Quiet Conversation (3)
Disabled Access (3)
Organic (2)
Afternoon Tea (1)
Molecular Gastronomy (1)
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510 reviews
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Great for a date! The queso with chorizo ...

 
 (Dallas)·Dined on January 14, 2017

Great for a date! The queso with chorizo is delicious! The ambiance is great!

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Bar Seating, Vibrant Bar Scene, Good for Groups
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

The seafood nachos were amazing!! Actual ...

 
 (Des Moines)·Dined on January 7, 2017

The seafood nachos were amazing!! Actually, the whole evening was amazing.

Tags: Comfort Food, Disabled Access, Bar Seating, Historic, Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies, Sunday Lunch, Tapas, Great for Brunch, Romantic, Business Meals, People Watching, Fun, Neighborhood Gem, Good Vegetarian Options, Great for Lunch, Happy Hour, Good for Birthdays, Handcrafted Cocktails, Good for a Date, Worth the Drive, Creative Cuisine, Casual, Modern Decor, Good for Anniversaries, Good for Groups
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

It was so cold in the restaurant.

 
 (Des Moines)·Dined on January 7, 2017

It was so cold in the restaurant.

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food4
ambience2
service5
value5

The food was very good and cooked perfec ...

 
 (Des Moines)·Dined on January 1, 2017

The food was very good and cooked perfectly! We went there on New Years Eve expecting it to be very busy but we got seated right away . I didn't know the difference before I went between Mexican and Latin food... but know I do. The sesoning was very good and not over-powering. I would deffinatly recommend this restaurant!

Tags: Special Occasion, Casual, Fun, Authentic, Neighborhood Gem, Worth the Drive
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Malo proved to be a great place to go fo ...

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on January 1, 2017

Malo proved to be a great place to go for NYE dinner. We tried the cheese dip appetizer and the carne asada. Both were flavorful and bold. Our server was attentive and friendly. Definitely coming back.

Tags: Fun, Modern Decor, Hot Spot, Worth the Drive, Great for Outdoor Dining, Good for Birthdays, Creative Cuisine
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

Malo was not a favorite and will not get ...

 
 (Dallas)·Dined on December 31, 2016

Malo was not a favorite and will not get a return visit, unfortunately. Water glass was dirty, food was over cooked and a bug crawled out of my salad. The server was polite without sincerity. The hostess was cordially and we were seated promptly, but I won't be going back. Too bad since I'd heard good things.

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food3
ambience2
service2
value1

Prompt service - great food, grilled bru ...

 
 (Des Moines)·Dined on December 31, 2016

Prompt service - great food, grilled brussel sprouts were super

Noise level less than usual but at 5 pm was not filled up yet

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food5
ambience4
service5

Overall, good experience. The wait staff ...

 
 (Kansas City)·Dined on December 29, 2016

Overall, good experience. The wait staff could have been more attentive. Great menu!

Tags: Comfort Food
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food5
ambience4
service3
value4

I love the Malo Salad with a shrimp add- ...

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 22, 2016

I love the Malo Salad with a shrimp add-in. Creature of habit!

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food5
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Every time I have eaten at Malo, it has ...

 
 (Des Moines)·Dined on December 22, 2016

Every time I have eaten at Malo, it has been a great experience. The food is terrific, the ambience is wonderful and the staff does a great job. It's a nice little gem on the southwest side of downtown!! :) I made the mistake of brining my 12 year old to Malo once, and now it's THE PLACE she wants to go whenever we're in the city looking for a restaurant. :)

Tags: Good for Groups, Quick Bite, Kid-friendly, Casual, Business Meals, Good for Birthdays
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Great place to eat....however, it's a l ...

 
 (Orlando)·Dined on December 22, 2016

Great place to eat....however, it's a little loud!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

First-class downtown neighborhood eatery ...

vip
 (Des Moines)·Dined on December 21, 2016

First-class downtown neighborhood eatery; excellent cuisine, service and attention to detail. One of my favorites, indeed.

Tags: Cozy, Healthy, Happy Hour, Great for Brunch, Outstanding Value, Worth the Drive, Good for Birthdays, Open Kitchen, Spicy, Great for Lunch
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Not so good. Little things like our can ...

 
 (Des Moines)·Dined on December 18, 2016

Not so good. Little things like our candle not lit on table, no ice in water, chips and salsa not served til asked to cold food and slow service. Our wine glass was dirty. Wasn't busy at all but had made reservation only to be sat at one of the worst tables in the whole place, by the kitchen. Very vegetarian unfriendly. Overall poor experience.

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining
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food2
ambience1
service2
value1

I chose MALO for a birthday dinner with ...

 
 (Des Moines)·Dined on December 10, 2016

I chose MALO for a birthday dinner with my family. Everyone loved the food, even my 8 year old niece! The portion sizes were reflective of the price, and even gave us leftovers! I would recommend MALO to any of my friends or family and I will be back myself!

Tags: Special Occasion, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

We were seated immediately, waiter was v ...

 
 (Des Moines)·Dined on December 10, 2016

We were seated immediately, waiter was very polite and offered great suggestions upon request. Food was delicious and a lot of it!

Tags: Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Our server was very polite and the food ...

 
 (Des Moines)·Dined on December 8, 2016

Our server was very polite and the food was freshly prepared.

The main issue I saw was that while my fajitas were well seasoned and I appreciated what looked to be house made tortillas, my shrimp was overcooked a bit and the steak strips, while medium rare, we're dry as if they hadn't been rested before cutting. In addition, I felt the portion sizes on the $26 fajitas left something to be desired. However, maybe I've been spoiled by local Mexican restaurants being able to provide twice as much meat for literally half the price.

An odd side note: the salt shaker at our table was not working (upon further inspection, the holes were clogged) and the server seemed unsurprised and happily provide a different salt shaker. But that one was clogged too... Maybe they should buy some different shakers or clean them more often? Idk..

It's unlikely we'll be going back for a main course. Probably just appetizers.. The chips and guacamole were good and the salsa is odd, but endearing.

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food3
ambience4
service5

It was our first trip to Malo and we wil ...

 
 (Des Moines)·Dined on December 4, 2016

It was our first trip to Malo and we will definitely go back. Our server was wonderful - it was just super busy and it took a while to order, making things a bit stressful to get to the concert that evening.

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food5
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service4

Have been here many times. Typically we ...

 
 (Des Moines)·Dined on December 4, 2016

Have been here many times. Typically we have great service. For some reason this visit the service was very poor. We had to ask for our drinks after we had eaten our meals because the server never checked back with us while we had our food.

Tags: Casual, Business Meals, Pre/post Theatre, Good for a Date, Tapas, Local Ingredients, Hot Spot, Kid-friendly, Seasonal, Great for Brunch, Good for Groups, Happy Hour, Fun
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food5
ambience5
service1
value5

Came in with a group of colleagues at 7: ...

 
 (Des Moines)·Dined on December 3, 2016

Came in with a group of colleagues at 7:10, was seated by 7:15 (as the appointment requested). Food was great. Server was lovely. Only criticism would be that the drinks took quite awhile to arrive the first time.

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food5
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The food was bad. The service was not go ...

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on December 3, 2016

The food was bad. The service was not good. The overall experience was not worth the money.

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food1
ambience3
service1
value1

One of our DM favs. The food and staff a ...

vip
 (Des Moines)·Dined on November 27, 2016

One of our DM favs. The food and staff are always exceptional - we've never been disappointed! Try the Cuban sandwich - Kaboom! It's the bomb! And the house made sangria is the best! Great atmosphere too!

Tags: Quick Bite, Great for Outdoor Dining, Worth the Drive, Special Occasion, Bar Seating, Notable Wine List, Spicy, Fit for Foodies, Creative Cuisine, Vibrant Bar Scene
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food5
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service5
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I ordered the taco salad. The beef was o ...

 
 (Des Moines)·Dined on November 26, 2016

I ordered the taco salad. The beef was one step short of rancid and I couldn't eat it. Our server couldn't be bothered to pay the remotest of attention to our group of 8. I'd recommend the bar and it's tequila selection, and not much else.

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food1
ambience3
service1
value2

Good food, great service! Fun atmosphere ...

 
 (Des Moines)·Dined on November 25, 2016

Good food, great service! Fun atmosphere with lots of natural light.

Tags: Worth the Drive, Happy Hour, Casual, Good for Groups, Tapas, Modern Decor, Pre/post Theatre
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

We made a reservation for 2, got seated ...

 
 (Des Moines)·Dined on November 20, 2016

We made a reservation for 2, got seated at a table for 4 , then waited nearly 15 minutes for someone to greet us. We watched others get seated after us get better tables and drinks and chips right away. Server finally came by and said straight faced, "so do you want something to drink?" Awful. Luckily, soon after that we got greeted by a different server who said he'd be taking over. Great service after that, great food too. Bad start though left us with an ok overall experience.

Tags: Spicy, Authentic
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food4
ambience4
service3
value3

This place is awesome! Wonderful food, g ...

 
 (Des Moines)·Dined on November 19, 2016

This place is awesome! Wonderful food, great vibe. Awesome serivce!

Tags: Outstanding Value, Neighborhood Gem, Fun, Good for Anniversaries, Good for Birthdays, Hot Spot, Modern Decor, Tasting Menu
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

We had a group of nine people and they d ...

 
 (Des Moines)·Dined on November 17, 2016

We had a group of nine people and they did a great job of accommodating us and our waiter was great.

Tags: Family Style, Special Occasion
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food5
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service5
value5

Great Meal! Grew up in the area and was ...

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on November 12, 2016

Great Meal! Grew up in the area and was THRILLED to find such great food in my old stomping grounds!

The chips are fresh and warm and the salsa is amazing. The crab cakes are beautifully presented and delicious. I had a burrito bowl yum! Husband had the sesame fried chicken with hominy. He was pleased too.

One negative: The margaritas are too sweet and are low on tequila.

Tags: Good Vegetarian Options, Creative Cuisine, Pre/post Theatre, Great for Outdoor Dining
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food5
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value3

We are never disappointed when we eat at ...

 
 (Des Moines)·Dined on November 12, 2016

We are never disappointed when we eat at Malo. The food is very good, the service is good, and the chips and salsa are delicious. I usually order the chicken enchilada and it comes with rice and beans .The chicken tortilla soup is really good as well. My husband and I love to eat lunch there.

Tags: Romantic, Fun, Creative Cuisine, Great for Lunch, Good for Birthdays, Historic, Modern Decor, Good for a Date, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
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service5
value4

Really fast and great service- large por ...

 
 (Des Moines)·Dined on November 12, 2016

Really fast and great service- large portions in meals and awesome drinks! My only negative is very small- just slightly noises but still comfortable, contemporary, and. Ice menu- our server was really great at suggestions and I would definitely recommend and go back. Easy reservation system online and great follow up.

Tags: Spicy, Tasting Menu, Happy Hour
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food4
ambience4
service5
value5

We went there for Sunday brunch which wa ...

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on November 6, 2016

We went there for Sunday brunch which was somewhat famous we got there about 12:15 and waited 5 minutes for a table it took a while for waitress to get our drinks and everything and they were very nice and got a different waitress to get us started.

We had their Sunday brunch and it was a little disappointing in that it was probably 12:30 by the time we got to the buffet line and most everything was gone it was ravaged. The kitchen staff was in anxiety mode and worked really hard and filled everything up ASAP and did a great job that way. Seemed like there were one too many egg dishes not enough meat type main dishes the chicken strips which they use for chicken and waffles and they have french toast instead of waffles the chicken is very good and enjoyed it it was very fresh very crispy and I enjoyed it some of the other dishes were really cool and a little exotic and enjoyable to try different food na brunch buffet setting.

The tacos which are ordered off the menu but unlimited and they have several different types and varieties were disappointing the shrimp one was good the carne Beef skirt steak was good the problem with all of them is the tortilla is way too greasy if it was just steamed or not so much oil in the tortilla it would be 10 times better.

The taco al pastor was not very good at all and I'd buy that at most Mexican restaurants wherever I see it and I've had some really good taco El pastor and this one wasn't that good so I was a little disappointed with that.

Overall it was a little pricey but worth the experience to try it and see what they got I would probably do it again just not too often once a month is too much to do that buffet brunch maybe 4 or 5 times a year anyway hope this was helpful and not too critical.

Tags: Fun, Good for Anniversaries, Hot Spot, Vibrant Bar Scene, Great for Lunch, Great for Brunch, Casual, Sunday Lunch, People Watching, Creative Cuisine, Tasting Menu, Spicy
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food4
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service4
value3

I felt that the food was very over price ...

 
 (Des Moines)·Dined on November 5, 2016

I felt that the food was very over priced for what it was. I got seafood enchiladas and there were probably 2 small shrimp and 2 chunks of crab in each one and it was $22. The rice and beans were very plain. Our waitress seemed to be rushing us for our order. It does have a neat atmosphere. Overall, though, I would rather got to my favorite "traditional" mexican restaurant and have better food for much less cost.

Tags: Casual
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food3
ambience3
service2
value1

Took a couple guys there for a work lunc ...

vip
 (Charlotte)·Dined on November 3, 2016

Took a couple guys there for a work lunch. The food was fantastic, especially for the price. Will definitely be going back.

Tags: Happy Hour, Authentic, Pre/post Theatre, Spicy, Outstanding Value
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food5
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service5
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I love Malo and go a lot. I'm vegan and ...

 
 (Des Moines)·Dined on November 2, 2016

I love Malo and go a lot. I'm vegan and I can always find some yummy options on the menu. It's a fun atmosphere that's great for different purposes and occasions.

Tags: Special Occasion, Happy Hour, Hot Spot, Good Vegetarian Options, Healthy, Vegan, Great for Outdoor Dining, Neighborhood Gem, Bar Seating, Great for Lunch, Modern Decor, Kid-friendly, Fit for Foodies, Fun
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food5
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value5

Food is fun, fabulous & different. Jenni ...

 
 (Des Moines)·Dined on October 30, 2016

Food is fun, fabulous & different. Jennifer is knowledgeable about the food & specialty drinks; She has personality plus!!!

Tags: Spicy, Modern Decor, Late-night Find, Neighborhood Gem, Great for Brunch
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

The food and service was amazing as alwa ...

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on October 29, 2016

The food and service was amazing as always!

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food5
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This was my second experience at Malo, m ...

 
 (Des Moines)·Dined on October 22, 2016

This was my second experience at Malo, my previous had been a business meeting/dinner. This time it was a casual night out with my wife. We got to the restaurant 20 minutes before our reservations and rather than waiting at the bar the staff got us seated right away. The wait staff was courteous and attentive without hovering. The food was excellent. We both commented on the size of the portions. We will definitely be returning and recommending the restaurant to our friends.

Tags: Spicy, Healthy, Pre/post Theatre, Hot Spot
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food5
ambience4
service4
value3

We had tortilla soup, cod and chicken ta ...

 
 (Hawaii)·Dined on October 21, 2016

We had tortilla soup, cod and chicken tacos. All were really good. Our server was attentive and friendly. A fun place to go with friends but is really loud. The music didn't need to be so loud because the acoustics are terrible.

Tags: Casual
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food5
ambience3
service5
value4

Brunch did not disappoint. Kid friendly ...

 
 (Des Moines)·Dined on October 16, 2016

Brunch did not disappoint. Kid friendly and great variety. Oh and they took a reservation for 10 on a Sunday!

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food4
ambience4
service4

Love the food! Never disappointed!!!

 
 (Des Moines)·Dined on October 15, 2016

Love the food! Never disappointed!!!

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food5
ambience4
service3
value5

The food was excellent. The service was ...

vip
 (Des Moines)·Dined on October 15, 2016

The food was excellent. The service was good. Really nice atmosphere. I would definitely recommend this restaurant.

Tags: Hot Spot, Notable Wine List, Scenic View, Spicy, Late-night Find, Great Beer
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food5
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