Great for events as well as dining!
I've eaten at Mas Malo many times since it opened downtown and have always enjoyed it (the braised chicken tacos and beef and pickle tacos are our favorites). This review is actually based on an event we held at Mas Malo in November 2011 - our wedding reception.
We knew we wanted to have our wedding at a location that meant something to us. We considered doing it at the original Malo in Silverlake, since we have been going to that location for 5 years. However we live downtown and the management at Malo suggested that we consider holding it at the new location that was opening there. They were even kind enough to let me come take a look at it before it opened! I fell in love with the upper loft area, however knew it wouldn't work for our reception since it is part of the main dining area (not private enough). So they showed me The Cantina Room downstairs - the minute I saw it I knew it was perfect!
They were super flexible with us, letting us in earlier in the day to decorate and set up. We had a small wedding (about 40 guests total) and the size was perfect! It certainly could hold more than that number, but for us it allowed seating for everyone, as well as open space for mingling and dancing. The bar is along the back wall and we had a dedicated bartender and two servers during our event. They were super friendly and attentive - I actually hope they had a little fun along with us, they seemed to be having a good time! We had tray passed ceviche shooters at the beginning and then buffet-style, eat as you want, main courses: a variety of tacos, mini cheese enchiladas, oxacan shrimp AND 4 different kinds of cupcakes (we opted not to do a cake)! The food was fantastic and fun and the cupcakes really topped it off.
They have a great PA/speaker system in the room that you can hook up your iPod to, as well as a microphone for toasts/speeches. It was perfect for us, since we mixed our own playlists. The open middle area worked great for dancing. We weren't sure how many people would want to dance, but they did - and we had a great time!
The manager, Gilbert, was amazing! He checked in constantly to make sure things were going smoothly and that we didn't need anything else. They made us feel more than welcome, and very special - on our special day. We couldn't have asked for more and were so pleased with our evening there. All of our guests had a great time and commented constantly on the staff, the room, the food and the drinks. They even allowed us to come back the next day to pick up the decorations, and when we arrived, they had already packed most of it up in our boxes for us! All we had to do was carry it out to the car - we were floored and grateful (as you can imagine, while fun, a wedding is also tiring and stressful). Everyone we encountered there was friendly and helpful on all occassions; throughout the planning process, the few days right before the event, on the big day, and after. That made all the difference to us! We had an amazing wedding!
I highly recommend considering Mas Malo for an event (as well as dining). They can accommodate groups of many sizes and needs. Based on our experience, we think they can handle just about anything!