May 13, 2014
Malo's colorful interior provides
a welcoming atmosphere.
Photo by Duane Tinkey.

Malo Set to Open 

By Wini Moranville


What a season for the Des Moines dining scene: Eatery A swung its doors open on Ingersoll Avenue last month; now, the equally ambitious Malo is set to do the same tomorrow at the Des Moines Social Club's new home.

Malo literally means "bad," but it can also mean naughty, and it's this more playful sense of the word that inspired the restaurant's name. But make no mistake--while a little erotic art here and Hemingway-era rum drinks there make a nod toward naughtiness, Malo isn't the kind of sexy hideaway to head to with someone you shouldn't be with.

Because, like Django and Centro (other restaurants overseen by the Orchestrate Hospitality), this boldly colorful 6,000-square-foot venue is the next see-and-be-seen hot spot. Everyone from your mother to the mayor will likely be popping by, so what happens at Malo might not stay at Malo.

The menu celebrates the flavors of Latin America, and you'll find plenty of familiar-sounding dishes (tacos, quesadillas, enchiladas), as well as a few signature finds. Selections like Nacho Daddy's Mac & Cheese (with salsa blanca and fried tortilla strips) and the Tijuana Trainwreck (chorizo, tomatillos, crème and a fried egg) offer the kind of playful heartiness that diners expect at Orchestrate venues like Django and Zombie Burger.

I had the good luck to taste some of chef Scott Stroud's creations at a few happy-hour preview events. The guacamole rivaled any in town, and the bright and sweet Mexican shrimp cocktail tells me that "fresh" might become a buzzword here, too.

Housed in the former downtown firehouse, Malo is at 900 Mulberry St.; 244-5000.


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Dr. Richard Deming (left) and
Angie Dethlefs-Trettin (right)
present the Better Together organizational award to Jerry Armstrong (middle), board chair
of Meals from the Heartland.

Walking the Talk 

By Kellye Crocker


Thank you, Paul Turner and Meals from the Heartland, for making our community better--and inspiring us to do the same.

For those who missed it, the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines held its annual lunch yesterday and presented the fourth annual Better Together Awards. The awards honor "social capital"--defined as the ability to connect and collaborate with diverse groups to make positive change.

Turner picked up the individual award, which includes $1,000 for the nonprofit of his choice. A community organizer for 27 years, Turner has spent the last 10 as lead organizer for A Mid-Iowa Organizing Strategy (AMOS), helping the nonprofit grow from 12 to 29 members, which consist of diverse religious and advocacy organizations. At AMOS, Turner has focused on training Iowans for living-wage jobs, juvenile justice reform and mental health, among other issues. Learn more here.

Meals from the Heartland, which recently opened the Patty Cownie Center, its packaging center and warehouse in West Des Moines, received the $2,500 organizational award. With a goal of "empowering people to save the starving," the group works with volunteers of all ages and backgrounds to package meals for people around the world and in Central Iowa. Last year, 33,000 volunteers packaged 8.7 million meals. For more information, click here.

Amy N. Worthen, "Walks in
the Dolomites (Red)" (2013), engraving with watercolor.
The (Artist's) View from Here
How has Central Iowa's art scene changed in four decades? And what's it really like to work as an artist here? Internationally acclaimed printmaker Amy N. Worthen offers her perspective May 17 at 1 p.m. at Olson-Larsen Galleries in West Des Moines' Valley Junction. Her presentation is the first in a series of gallery talks by Olson-Larsen artists celebrating the gallery's 35th anniversary.

Worthen, the Des Moines Art Center's curator of prints and drawings, creates fine-line engravings, often showcasing architectural themes (realistic and fanciful). Her prints have been exhibited widely and are in top museums such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American Art in Washington, D.C.

Although based in Des Moines since 1970, Worthen has wandered the world. She grew up in the Bronx, earned a master's degree in printmaking at the University of Iowa, and spent several years living in Italy, as well as extended time in England, France, Japan, Turkey and India. Venice, Italy, where Worthen also owns a home, inspires her current projects. Worthen's talk is free and open to the public. Wine and light refreshments will be served. Don't miss the gallery's anniversary exhibit too, through June 7. --K.C.
Today's "open air" terrariums
require watering like houseplants
but avoid condensation problems.

Gardens Under Glass


If the word "terrarium" brings to mind 1970s plastic globes or failed science projects, you should see today's options. With a focus on artful design, these modern mini-gardens bring natural beauty and whimsy to your space.

"The big craze is the fairy-garden style," says Jeri Sims, who runs Gateway Market's floral department with her sister, Jody Elwell. (The pair owned Petal Perfect in Valley Junction for 14 years.) Fairy-garden terrariums are popular with all ages, Sims says, and can include trimmings such as animals (dogs, birds), accessories (bicycles, chairs), architectural features (stone pathways) and miscellaneous items (seashells). "They have so much inside them, you can look for a while and still see new things," Sims says. In the past, terrariums were pretty much limited to plants and rocks, she adds.   

You can buy terrariums ready-made (about $35-$250) or work with a florist to create a custom design. Gateway also sells do-it-yourself materials, including gnomes (so your fairy won't feel lonely). "It can be a fun family activity," Sims says. For inspiration, check out the paperback "Tiny World Terrariums: A Step-By-Step Guide" by Michelle Inciarrano and Katy Maslow. They own Twig, a Brooklyn, N.Y., shop that sells unusual terrariums, including the Zombie-arium-K.C.
Grace Zhenhuan Yang

Making Iowa Better


Grace Zhenhuan Yang has donated more than 500 hours to local nonprofit organizations as a way to say "thank you," she says, for the help and friendship she received after leaving her native China in 2003 to attend graduate school at Drake University. Yang, a creative design specialist, was one of four Iowans to receive the Passport to Prosperity award last year.

The award highlights the significant contributions immigrants and refugees bring to our communities. Sponsored by the Iowa International Center, it celebrates individuals who have lived in the state at least five years and are making an impact in areas such as business, education, the arts, nonprofit work and cultural organizations. Know someone who deserves recognition? Download the nomination form here and submit it by the May 26 deadline. Winners will be honored at a Sept. 27 gala at Drake University's Olmsted Center. -K.C.

Kellye Crocker

Kellye Crocker lives in Clive and writes fiction for teens and nonfiction for adults. A former Des Moines Register senior reporter and current dsm contributing writer, she's also written for Parents, Better Homes and Gardens and Glamour, among other national publications. Connect with her on Twitter: @kelcrocker.
Wini Moranville

Wini Moranville, author of "The Bonne Femme Cookbook: Simple, Splendid Food That French Women Cook Every Day," is a food, wine and travel writer who covers the dining scene for dsm magazine. Follow her at All Things Food DSM - Wini Moranville and catch her food segment on Fridays at 6:40 a.m. on KCWI-23's "Great Day" morning show.

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