Malo debuts its summer refresh with new look and menus in downtown Des Moines
The odd and long hours of the job mean the bonds that tie a restaurant kitchen together are like those of a family. Brian Powers, firstname.lastname@example.org
A popular Latin restaurant in downtown Des Moines is again open for business after being closed for 10 days to refresh the bar, dining room and menu.
Malo, located at 900 Mulberry St., closed its doors on May 27 and reopened on Thursday, resuming its popular lunch, dinner and weekend brunch service.
Interested in Iowa food news? Follow @briantaylorcarlson on Facebook, @BriinDSM on Twitter and @briindsm on Instagram.
Most noticeable is the new look of the bar — with its U-shape and three additional high-top tables for two placed along the newly exposed wall on the east side of the dining room.
Malo also added some decorative acoustic effects to the ceiling of the dining room and a convenient microbar to the outdoor patio to be used during busy times and events.
To join Malo’s current menu favorites and tacos (now available in platters), new items from executive chef partner George Formaro offer diners a wider variety of Mexican flavors.
The new “wood-fired fajitas and cazuelas (casseroles or one-pot meals)” section is full of classic Mexican cuisine with a home-style, rustic twist.
Here are a few examples:
- Wood-grilled lemon chicken — Mexican oregano, charred lemon and mojo de ajo ($19.99)
- Shrimp a la crema — Charred poblano pepper and onion, sour cream, green onion and queso fresco ($23.99)
Snapper Yucatan — Achiote and orange marinated snapper, mojo de ajo and grilled orange ($24.99)
A “chilled” section on Malo’s dinner menu features coastal favorites like oyster ceviche, shrimp campechana (cocktail) and seared tuna. The refreshing cucumber and jicama ceviche will be a must-try.
Of course, all the classics are back like burritos, tacos, enchiladas and even the 8-ounce grilled Malo burger with bacon, caramelized onions, guacamole, lettuce, tomato and pepper jack cheese on a brioche bun ($12.99-$22.49).
The cocktail menu has undergone a summer spruce-up as well. Malo engaged Aubrey Howard, partner and creative director of 10 INC, a Chicago-based consultancy formed out of the ranks of The Violet Hour’s rigorous bar program with a hand in successful and innovative beverage offerings across the continent.
Howard's cocktail list for Malo introduces a new level of cocktail selections and encourages exploration of traditional preparations with a twist (alongside Malo’s signature margaritas).
Here are a few examples from the new cocktail list:
- Oaxacan old fashioned — Silver tequila, mezcal, Campari, demerara, lemon oil
- Topside daiquiri — Cachaça, ancho chile, coconut, nutmeg
- Cafecito — Cold brew coffee, vanilla, orange, lemon
Additionally, Malo will feature a large selection of tequila and mezcal.
Malo also welcomes Todd Millang to the restaurant’s ownership group. As co-owner of RoCA and Johnny’s Hall of Fame, he has a dedicated history of advancing Des Moines’s cocktail culture.
Location: 900 Mulberry St., Des Moines
Hours: After reopening, Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.