I went to the Malbec in Pasadena 8+ yrs ago. I retain very little memory of it, other than having a skirt steak that was very tasty but (duh) kind of tough.
Decided to try the Santa Monica one since I live near it and have been on a bit of a pasta kick recently:
Sorry for the crap picture quality; it’s very dark in there.
Trio of ceviche (top pic). Really tiny portions, and the predominant flavors in each glass were “really sour,” “not very sour at all,” “moderately sour.” Last glass was for housemade (I think) corn nuts (which were unsalted). I think the ceviche was fine, but, for half the price and double the quantity, I think I’d rather go to Tacos Punta Cabras.
Middle pic is the seafood pasta (sorry, too lazy to look at the menu to type the actual name). Last pic is the potato dumplings. Both were excellent. Seafood pasta had a STRONG taste of saffron (maybe a little too strong?) and a nice amount of seafood. Squid was a bit rubbery, but the scallops were PERFECT. Partner didn’t give me any of his clams!
Potato dumplings weren’t plump like the Italian version, but they were still soft, as they should be. Braised beef sauce was FANTASTIC, although I thought the peas were kind of a curious (although not unpleasant) addition.
Good portion size for both pasta dishes.
Partner very much liked his mixed drink, atlhough I haven’t the slightest idea what he ordered.
Bread (warmed!) and chimichurri is complimentary. Chimichurri was tasty enough but not exceptional.
I think the price is fair, but it ain’t cheap (and thus wouldn’t be place we’d go to on a weekly basis). Still, I think it’s well worth a visit.