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Mas Malo Brings Mexican Comfort Fare and Sleek Design to Restaurant Row

By Lauren Mattia
Published: Monday, January 10, 2011, at 04:00PM
Mas Malo Lauren Mattia

Mas Malo's Brazilian-inspired basement offers a more intimate dining experience.



Mas Malo, a take on Silverlake’s original Malo restaurant, opened on Friday to serve up Chef Robert Luna’s Mexican comfort food to Downtowners.

Mas Malo joins 7th Street’s up-and-coming Restaurant Row, and occupies an impressive art-deco building that was formerly Brock Jewlers in the early 1920s. Drawing from 1960s Brazil as well as Downtown’s urban landscape, interior designer Tracy Beckmann chose to use “loud, boistrous colors.”

Inspired by the building’s unique interior, Beckmann focused on “elevating the historical architecture by highlighting what was there and not retracting from it.” In order to do so, Beckmann used simple paint colors on the rosetted ceilings “to make it more sophisticated.”

While most of the restuarant follows Malo’s signature red, black, and white color scheme, the basement of the restaurant offers a completely different color palate and design style, “adding a cool, Brazilia hippie layer,” according to Beckmann. She noted that the basement has been hailed as “one of the best rooms Downtown.”

As for the menu, many of Luna’s Malo favorites are featured, like tacos with ground beef and pickles, cheddar and potato, and soya-riso, as well as the eatery's signature chewy chips and burnt habanero creme salsa.

While Mas Malo stays true to its older sibling’s menu (PDF, via Eater), it also goes into new territory with dishes like Huachinango Al Mojo de Ajo (Pacific red snapper sautéed in habañero white wine garlic butter), Ensenada Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp, and Rock Lobster tails sautéed with garlic, red chiles, lime, and white wine to add some Downtown refinement to the locally-sourced focus.

Mas Malo offers Mexican fare with Downtown flare, and brings Restaurant Row one step closer to becoming a culinary force to be reckoned with. It will be a featured restaurant in DineLA Restaurant Week, running from January 23-28 and January 30th-February 4th.

Mas Malo / 515 W. 7th / 213-985-4332

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