DT Alert: Mas Malo

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More ridiculously good DT to tell you about.  It’s about T’nT again…. my FAVES!  I know you’re probably thinking  are the only things this girl eats and drinks Tacos and Tequila? kinda sorta yes.  I mean, if you planned my dream meal and any other random meal of the week, yes.  I’m like the Veruca Salt of tacos – Fish Tacos, Chicken Tacos, Beef Tacos, Potato Tacos, Shrimp Tacos – I want them all–give them to me now!  Side note: we even had breakfast tacos at our brunch the day after our wedding. Ob.Sessed.

I’ll admit I draw the line at late night drive throughs and Choco-Tacos, but truly I can dominate all sorts of tacos.   Some of my favorites are here in Venice,  here in Malibu, here and here in New York and now HERE in Downtown Los Angeles.

{I am a firm believer in having a go-to in any city I’m in — especially when I suddenly dying of hunger and need to be fed before I become the most painful person in the world to deal with…ask the Mr.  it’s true. very true.  he packs me snacks just in case}

Anyway, we were running some last-minute errands for our wedding a few weeks ago downtown including picking out flowers and picking up the Mr.’s ring and we stumbled upon Mas Malo. It’s actually right across the street from one of our other favorites, Bottega Louie.  It was only about 11am in the morning but they were open and serving brunch.

Yes, Please.

Mas Malo is an old jewelry building turned gorgeous Mexican Restaurant.  Huge Vaulted and Arched Ceilings, Marble Floors, Art Deco Inspired with Frescoes on the Wall.  Hardly your dive-y, cave-like Mexican joint.

Being that it was early Saturday morning and Downtown LA is not truly known for its weekend-morning vibe, we were the only ones in the restaurant! That was certainly a first, but kind of fun to have the place to ourselves.

{Side note: we went back a week later after this crazy midget wrestling and the place was packed}

The Mr. went with brunch – Huevos Rancheros and a Modelo; I got all Veruca Salt on the tacos and paired my Fish Taco Zucchini Blossom taco AND Ground Beef and Pickle taco with some Echo Park aka straight from the street cart Corn and a Michelada.

Shocker, but I strayed from the ‘nT at MM.

Not gonna lie.  I pretty much have been dreaming about these tacos since the minute I stuffed my face with them. {oh and the second time too since I ordered the EXACT SAME THREE TACOS}.  Creature Dreamer of Habit.  I kind of went out on a wire with the Beef and Pickle {and sure, the Zucchini Blossom too} – not your average tacos.  Actually way BETTER than your average tacos.  The zucchini blossom was every vegetarians dream come true in a taco and served on a corn tortilla, it brought forward all of the best of each of the flavors.  The combo of the pickle and beef taco far over-delivered on my expectations – it was simply outstanding and I laughed to find out its ever-so-trite origin

“It’s simple. I was twelve years old and my mom was prepping for hamburgers when she realized she had no bread. She took a tortilla and turned it into hard taco with the beef and the pickles. Since then I haven’t wanted hamburgers any other way.” — Malo and Mas Malo chef Robert Luna

The only thing that was a miss – the Migas.  They weren’t bad, they just weren’t anything special in comparison to the rest. Wavering thumb for the Mr…

Good thing I usually order more than I can eat!

Tell me – where are the best taco spots in your neighborhood?

Is there something that you could eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner?

{MF Dre}

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DT Alert: The Unmarked Velvet Rope.

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I’ve always been one for a dining adventure and last night was no exception.  To most New Yorkers, it’s a poorly kept secret that there is a restaurant buried below The Corner or La Esquina taqueria. The secret however, is finding it. And Getting in.

  Accessible via an unmarked door in back of a casual taqueria where SoHo and Nolita connect, the restaurant bears no phone number – its entrance is completely disguised to the unknowing diner.  Yet reservations are mandatory.

So how do you get past a velvet rope that you cannot even see?

  That secret is still one I’m still dying to find out.
Lucky for me, I have friends in the know.  They’re sworn to secrecy, but more than willing to make the call for the Mr. and I to have special birthday dinner together before the weekend wedding festivities take over.

Behind the unmarked door, we traveled down a narrow flight of stairs, squeezed through cheaply-lit and tin can lined kitchen, through the laundry room and around twisted corners before we entered the Mexican dungeon filled with distressed stone walls, candelabras, and private dining cells.

Pure Mexican Romance clashing with Vibrant Crowds, Lively Music and Unstoppable Energy.

La Esquina was perfection.

In the spirit of adventure, we let the waitress order for us, looking to be surprise and delighted.  She didn’t fail bringing out Ceviche and Plaintain Chips, Shrimp and Carnitas Tacos, Carne Asada, Platanos Fritos and their famous Grilled Corn along with a round of tequila for each course. {Reminder, it’s not a birthday without TnT}

It was pure insanity. One of the best dinners we’ve had in a long time.

While there is a piece of me that wishes we had La Esquina in LA, there’s something incredibly sexy and fun about being a part of something hidden, insider and underground in a city outside your home turf.  It’s one of the reasons we travel.  To uncover the hidden gems, the secret caves and the unique tokens that make up this crazy world.  It keeps us curious, and most certainly inspired to always say yes to any adventure.

Figure out how to get behind the velvet rope.

{MF Dre}