Open Today: Mas Malo Revives Restored Downtown Space

If you've ever climbed the carpeted stairs to Downtown's favorite whiskey bar, 7 Grand, you may have wondered what was on the ground floor, and behind the wall to your left. For several years that space remained vacant, and only now has been restored, renovated, and re-purposed as an even more east-side sibling of Silver Lake's popular Malo restaurant. Built in the 1920s as a jewelry store, and home once upon a time to Clifton's Cafeteria's Silver Spoon, the space that is Mas Malo incorporates the original murals, vaulted and embellished ceilings, and jewelry display cases into its design.

The menu is largely the same as the original restaurant, including the head chef's family favorite ground beef and pickle tacos that are oh-so-perfect for carnivores who need to soak up a Spicy Cucumber Margarita or two. The seafood plates shine, however, if you're not in the mood for some deep fried fare; The Lobster Diablo is devilishly spicy, the snapper dish tender and soothing, and the Oaxacan shrimp a surprising balance of lightness and heft from the savory, creamy soup-like sauce in which it's served.

While upstairs has a more austere charm, even with the familiar alt-rock tunes on the sound system and the boisterous sounds of people dipping chewy chips into smoky, spicy mole and fiery hot salsas, downstairs is a cozy post-9 p.m. hideaway that melds an Acapulco Club Med circa 1986 and your childhood rec room. A copper top glimmers at the bar, and the low ceilings and warm wood makes this an ideal spot to sip away the night.

Mas Malo is finishing work on their tequila "vault," which will be installed inside the building's actual vault. The restaurant opens for business today. Salud!

Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling 213.985.4332