Checked out Malo in Silver Lake last night (Sunset just south of Fountain) for post-layoff margaritas. Pleased to report the food was good and the prices fair - not surprising, as Malo is from the same people who own Cobras & Matadors on Beverly. It's not the cheapest Mexican in town, nor is it necessarily the most authentic, but if you're looking for a fun place for a date or a group, this is a good contender. We had:
hard-shell beef and pickle tacos - tastes like a burger in a shell. A tribute to those boxes of Old El Paso, I swear, but really yummy. And only $5 for two.
soft carnitas tacos - hunks of carnitas, not shredded, on small soft corn tacos with guacamole. Really quite yummy. $6 for 3.
soft fish tacos - kind of bland, wouldn't bother again. Market Price for 3 - sorry to be unsure of what they cost.
hard-shell lobster tacos - fine, but nothing super-special (lobster was shredded, not hunks), and not worth $12 for 2.
The biggest downside is that one must pay for chips and salsa. You can choose one salsa (we had the habanero & creme fraiche - fine, but too rich) for $4, or you can get a selection for $12. However, I hear the guacamole is good, and they had some appetizing-looking salads on the menu. We agreed that next time, we'd share the steak salad to start.
Side dishes - rice, beans, that corn people sell on the street - is all available a la carte, but it's only $2 for most of it, so I didn't mind.
There was also a good selection of larger plates on the menu, priced from about $10-$16. Want to try those next time - shrimp diablo, a carnitas platter, etc.
On the plus side, they have a great tequila selection and their margaritas were very pure, clean and strong - no bright green syrupy mixes. They also have a few specialty drinks, all of which sounded appealing and authentic.
Overall, it's nice to find an inexpensive Mexican place that is a bit nicer than an El Compadre or Tere's. I'd feel comfortable taking friends, dates, even hipsters here, and I'm looking forward to returning to try some of the specialty dishes. Hope this is helpful!