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'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.
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!
Fantastic restaurant for those intereste ...
Fantastic restaurant for those interested in Latin cuisine with a twist. Phenomenal margaritas, guacamole, warm chips and outstanding carnitas. Ambiance is great though it can get loud at times. Highly recommended for groups or anyone who is interested in high quality Latin cuisine.
Tasty Latin-Mex food, Great Non-Standard Brunch
Food is tasty and makes this worth a visit. In each entree I have had nothing which has seemed out of place (taste or ingredient-wise) in any item I have ordered. While I have my favorites, I have not been sorry with anything I have ordered. They also have items that work for specialized diets (nods to low carb, also gluten and veg)
Good place to relax with friends. Tacos Ala-cart, many varieties (with option of flour, masa, or lettuce leaf based) Al-pastor was enjoyable. At time of writing orders of ala-cart tacos included with brunch at no extra cost. At time of writing kids brunch free with adult.
Several visits - all without complaint, enjoyable, and relaxing.
Wait staff - pleasant, friendly, helpful. They show up when needed and don't linger or hover. They also have been knowledgeable about the items on the menu and don't seem lost when asked questions.
Beer list unique with great options - many brews from Spain and Latin countries - items not readily available in the area.
Bar makes great cocktails if ordered from the menu (well crafted), or commonly known - they do get a little lost if it is not on their menu. So well known cocktails - great, lesser known ones...may not occur. I know someone really happy with the Mojitos they make. Did a really good job on a side-car.
The location is a former central fire station and is shared with Des Moines Social Club, Kapes Cafe and an art gallery - so there is something to do before and after meals.
The space itself is large and open with giant windows / former overhead doors allowing in plenty of light. Though the space is large and open with plenty of hard surfaces the crowd noise is tamed by the sheer amount of overhead space in the dine in area. They also have a well-laid out patio.
Have not been late night...only lunch and brunch.
Like the Luchador artwork.
Would recommend and have recommended it to others.
The place was busy when we went there on the Saturday night before Mother's Day. It was a little noisy, but I thought that just added to the fun, vibrant atmosphere. Our waitress friendly and knew her stuff when we asked a few questions about menu items. The food was delicious and HOT, something that often isn't the case at a couple of the priciest places in Des Moines. I had tacos. They were seasoned so well I didn't ask for taco sauce.
Great Happy Hour
Stopped on Cinco de Mayo for Happy Hour - busy but the food was still excellent. Can't beat the variety of single tacos and margaritas at this spot. We've tried appetizers and entrees too on prior visits and have always been impressed. I would recommend reservations - there is always a wait.
First time visit, won't be the last
Was very surprised at the dining area - very sleek and modern. Service was prompt and efficient. Separate checks handled accurately. Food was generously portioned. Salsa was tasty with a little heat. Would definitely go back and bring more friends.
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