for November, 2012
Admittedly, I’ve been bored with Malo for a while. I used to go all the time, but eventually my enthusiasm waned. Of course, I still had love for the habanero and cream salsa and ground beef and pickle tacos, but neither kept me coming back. For that reason, news that Chef Robert Luna had re-vamped his menu caught my attention. And as luck would have it, I was invited to try it.
The verdict: I liked the new menu so much that I’ve already been back twice.
What I’ve always appreciated about Malo is that it doesn’t purport to be authentically Mexican. Instead, it’s a re-imagining of good old-fashioned LA-style Chicano comfort fare—cheesy enchiladas, hard-shell tacos, chewy chips, sweet mole, etc. The new menu follows that line, but goes beyond its previous taco-centric limitations with a long list of starters, salads, and small plates.
Standouts include the Soyrizo Fundido, a decadently cheesy concoction that’s meant to be spooned onto thick pieces of bread. I preferred it as a chip dip. On the lighter, more nutritious side was the Kale & Seed Salad topped with flax and sunflower seeds, thick tomato chunks and pistachio dressing. Unexpectedly functional were the Kale Mole Enchiladas with Pumpkin. Mixing cheese and pumpkin shouldn’t work, but somehow it does.