Here's a win-win. Take everything you love about Silverlake's Malo, then transport it downtown next to our favorite whiskey bar and you get Mas Malo.
Make it roomier and ritzier, with art-deco ornate vaulted ceilings, scenic murals, and a mezzanine from which you can survey the scenester-packed dining room below.
Keep the majority of the Mexi-centric menu intact, including the famous Coke-and-O.J.-marinated carnitas (best when ordered “crispy”).
And take your pick of top shelf tequilas, or cocktails that have undergone the mixologist treatment: spicy cucumber margarita for you, a Kahlua-and-horchata concoction or floral hibiscus margarita for her.
Is that something you'd be interested in? Warning: all this comes at a price, you'll pay extra for everything (even chips and salsa). Live it up, you're downtown.
Plus, there's a secret in the back. Pass through the unmarked door by the waiters’ station to the Brazilian-themed speakeasy in the basement for a late-night round.
515 W. 7th St., Downtown (213) 985-4332
Price: 3 (out of 4) Noise: 4 (out of 4)
Parking: $3 lot (after 4) half a block south on Grand.
Scene: High-energy and crowded (reservations recommended).
Best bets: Ground beef and pickle tacos; shrimp and bacon tacos; carnitas
Hot seat: Be right in the mix at a table in the main dining room
For the purists: The jewelry vault will soon house a tasting room with more than 150 tequilas.
Nearby: Seven Grand; Bottega Louie; Golden Gopher
The Rundown's restaurant reviews are based on anonymous visits by reporters, not press releases.