Mojos on 86th

Write a review for Mojos on 86th

by brettgjacobs

This was my fiancee's & my first time going to Mojo's. We really wanted it to blow us away but unfortunately it was just average (for any quality restaurant). The meal started out alright with the potato & chive empanadas. The complimentary bread & butter was probably the best thing we ate while there. Our dinners were the southwestern beef pasta & chicken two ways. Chicken two ways was good and it could have been much better but it had this odd flavor about it. I want to say it had either a small amount of cinnamon or vanilla used in it. Either way, it was a flavor that might have been intended to be creative, but it took the dish down a couple notches. The beef pasta was ok at times but there was a strong chipotle flavor which wasn't in the description of the dish and it wasn't anything close to spicy or southwestern...maybe southwestern Iowa. I am sure the other dishes are much better, but sadly for the price I don't think we will take that gamble again.

1 person found this review helpful. Did you? Login or Join to give your opinion

by Mike

Had dinner here on Tuesday the 4th with M. Has the Calamari for an appetizer which was different but really good. I ordere dteh lamb whihc wa scooked perfectly and M had the shrimp pasta. The cream sauce was nice and light. Dinner can be pricey but the service was attentive the food was great.

Did you find this review helpful? Login or Join to give your opinion

by candi

Ate on the pation last night at Mojos. The good was amazing, they have such a good selection. I will definately be back to enjoy the patio which has great scenery and very cozy!

Did you find this review helpful? Login or Join to give your opinion

by dsmbball

Ate at Mojo's for lunch with a couple of co workers. The food pretty good. But the waitress was slow to respond or check back, and the hostess was on her cell phone the whole time and was talking loud enough for half the restaurant to hear.

Did you find this review helpful? Login or Join to give your opinion

by Kelly

I would like to know what JO had that was so good as this wasn't the case with us. After spending $150.00 for the 4 of use to eat, and that was without drinks, we all felt it was overpriced and not a good meal, we eat out apx. once every two weeks and this was below our standards.

Did you find this review helpful? Login or Join to give your opinion

by candi

I visited Mojos just last week and had a great experience. Everyone was so friendly and made it the best experience for us. The food was great, Chef Anthony did a wonderful job as we expected. This is a great place to go and eat or just for cocktails after work.

Did you find this review helpful? Login or Join to give your opinion

by Jo

Ate here last night, food was amazing and the service is great! I would highly reccommend visiting Mojos on 86th!

Did you find this review helpful? Login or Join to give your opinion

by laura

After hearing such wonderful things about this restraunt all I can say is I would never go back again. We started with the Calamari and Escargot what a huge disappointment flavorless, unlike any place I had ever tried as well. The best part of our meal was the salad. To follow we had the shrimp pasta, which was made with bacon and corn, terrible fishy flavor, took two bites, we also tried the rib eye which was cold as were the potatoes. The steak had more fat than meat and cooked medium had no juice, again very unhappy with the entire meal. The owner I believe came over to our table and I told him he did nothing, needless to say I will never go back or advise anyone to go there. IT WAS A WASTE OF MY 100.00

Did you find this review helpful? Login or Join to give your opinion

by Michael

I was highly disappointed with our dinner tonight. First we had the calamari as an appetizer and it was not anywhere near as good as what other restaurants have offered. The corn chowder was by far the best part of the whole meal but it was a bit too sweet for my taste. My partner had the duck with fried polenta. The duck was tough and gamey and the fried polenta was extremely salty. I had the rib eye which had more fat than meat. By the end of the meal we were so disappointed we did not even attempt dessert. I had been to Mojos a year and a half ago and had a completely different experience. The meal then was to die for. The meal tonight cannot even compare. I'm not sure if they have changed chefs but if they have, I highly suggest they change them again.

Did you find this review helpful? Login or Join to give your opinion

by TanyaC

One of the top 5 restaurants I've ever dined at as far as food quality and creativity. Cold smoked ribeye is spectacular, heirloom tomato salad, fantastic, desserts are out of this world (especially chocolate nachos/mousse), server was knowledgable, pleasant, professional, and very attentive. I look forward to future dining experiences here, and love the newly remodeled decor since last winter's sprinkler failure. It's a fresh, earthy yet semi-formal atmosphere--very comfortable.

Did you find this review helpful? Login or Join to give your opinion

by jessicam

I felt a bit let down by our first visit to Mojo's. After hearing raves, I was expecting a pretty amazing meal. We had the Louisiana Shrimp appetizer, which was delicious, but I was wishing for more bread to be included to soak up what was an amazing sauce. The shrimp were excellent, tasting very fresh and cooked perfectly. We both had dinner salads which were also excellent. I never finish my salad and I couldn't get enough of this one. The only odd thing was the color of the roasted garlic and asiago dressing - a rather unappetizing pale pink. Could have done without that, but it tasted great. Then came our entrees. I had steak de burgo, and was wishing that I was haveing a steak from almost anywhere else. Two thin slices of not so flavorful beef came overcooked from the medium rare that was requested. The sauce wasn't great. I don't know how else to explain it, but it reminded me of a those flavored bread dipping oils you buy at the grocery store that have tons of dehydrated herbs and garlic in them. I don't care for those, either. My date had the Mojo plate of the evening, which was two very thin slices of prime rib wrapped around an Italian cheese and spinach stuffing served over penne and marinara. It was okay, but for $21 I expected something better than what you might get at a chain Italian restaurant. The beef was pretty good, but there wasn't much there. A rave-worthy part of the meal? Dessert. The chocolate mousse nachos are so rich, but unique and delicious. Of course, you would hope so for $9. The berries romanov were incredible. Large juicy berries, an excellent custard. I would like to give this place another shot, but I don't think I'll be in a hurry. I've certainly spent far less money for much better meals. I will say that unlike the other reviewers, I had no complaints about the service. He was very attentive, quick to remove plates and bring new silverware, and was very professional.

Did you find this review helpful? Login or Join to give your opinion

by Kari K

The best part of Mojo's is the wait staff! chains and plugs and tattoos and all. Without this human element, it's just another uptight republican assembly of snotty, rude wanna-be @$$holes.

Did you find this review helpful? Login or Join to give your opinion

by A and D

Mojo’s on 86th
Lunch and Dinner

Chef Robert Beasley is a transplanted Louisiana chef, a semi-fixture on the Des Moines restaurant scene. He has a following of loyal customers, many of whom make the switch with him as he moves from restaurant to restaurant. The reason is clear: he’s an excellent chef. Beasley is creative and has that certain, undefined ‘touch’ that sets his cuisine and style apart from others. His latest creation, Mojo’s on 86th, has some of that renowned ‘Beasley touch.’

“A” and “D” joined an already impressive group of diners at 5:30 PM on a Saturday. The restaurant has two sections, the bar and booths in the front room and tables in the larger rear dining room. We were seated at a table in a corner and would suggest asking for a ‘center-of-the-room’ table as the speakers are mounted in the room’s corners and tend to be overly-loud for the corner and adjacent tables. The jazz selections ranged from quiet jazz to dissonant, atonal jazz with little volume consistency, a small detail when overlooked, but important for a dining atmosphere focused on the diners.

Two glasses of Avalon cabernet were ordered. This is an excellent wine that we have enjoyed for years, and at $6 a glass, it is an excellent value. The wine list is interesting, not pretentious and reasonably priced. The stemware is large and adds to the wine service.

“A” and “D” began with Louisiana Spiced Shrimp for the appetizer. The spicy shrimp were arranged on baguette bread slices and bathed in a New Orleans-style sauce. The shrimp were very fresh, done perfectly, dense and resistant to the bite, not the often-encountered limpness of frozen shrimp. If there is a value comment, it is that the shrimp are medium size, maybe 16-20 count, but not large—two tiny bites. The sauce is pure Beasley—full of flavors and intriguing. “A” thought it was quite spicy; “D” thought it only moderate in heat; a perfect blending that appeals to a range of heat tolerances.

For the salad course, “A” ordered the Dinner Salad with mixed greens, spiced candied pecans, Niman Ranch bacon, and Asiago cream dressing. The dish was excellent, fresh, crisp and interesting. “D” ordered the Fresh Spinach Salad with a warm Niman Ranch bacon vinaigrette combined with grilled pears, toasted walnuts and feta cheese. The vinaigrette, while not warm, was superb. The pears were perfection, firm and lightly grilled with a burst of flavor in each bite. The fresh spinach was a baby-like leaf, tender and earthy, adding a pleasant green top-note to the well-balanced overall flavor of the salad.

The entrees were Steak de Burgo with herbs and spices, butter-sautéed, accompanied by potato cakes for “A” and the special Grilled Tasmanian Salmon for “D.”
The Steak de Burgo was prepared to perfection, medium rare as requested, moist and properly rested. The sauce was an intriguing and unusual de Burgo sauce with an herb and spice combination creating a subtle pairing with the butter and the beef. There was obvious care and creativity in the de Burgo flavor elements in the construction of the dish. The potato cake had a crispy exterior and a creamy interior, but lacked flavor and expected punch and, thereby, served only as a foil for the de Burgo sauce.

The Tasmanian Salmon was a treat. This was “D’s” first experience of this Australian, farm-raised salmon prized for being organic and free of all the unpleasant contemplations of northern hemisphere farm-raised salmon. The preparation featured a Beasley sauce that was both sweet and heady with deft handling of the herbs and spices. The salmon was a beautiful pink, perfectly grilled with precise grill marks, and as flaky and sumptuous as one could wish for. Even more gratifying, the sautéed fresh vegetables were even more flavor-filled and done to perfection.

For “A” a second glass of Avalon served as dessert, and “D” enjoyed the coffee. Desserts appear to be the Beasley stand-bys which have always been good. The check totaled $95.00; a $20 tip for service brought it to $115 and change. A bit high in comparison to other Des Moines top restaurants, such as Dish, Greenbriar, Mosaix, Sage and Bistro Montage. Entrees range from $14 to $24; salads from $5 to $9 (often included in the entrée at other restaurants); and appetizers $7 to $11.

And here, “A” and “D” find an interesting comparative element. If you expect Mojo’s on 86th to be among Des Moines’ top restaurants for its food, you won’t be disappointed. Beasley delivers on quality, cooking, flavor and presentation. If, however, you expect it to be among Des Moines’ top restaurants for fine dining, it hasn’t begun to reach its potential yet. It is casual dining and has many of the ‘casual’ ear marks.

The wait staff is adequate, but does not have the fine dining edge. They are a somewhat motley crew dressed in their skate-boarding pants, silver motorcycle chain, and whatever shirt they happened to throw on. Pens stuck behind the ear lend a ‘New Jersey diner’ element, but not a professional waiter impression. The prevailing approach is a “Hi, guys” level of communication appropriate for the sports bar rather than one of well-trained, unobtrusive, professionalism.

The second difference between casual and fine dining is amenities. At Sage, Mosaix, Café on 35th, Bistro Montage, 43, Trostel’s Dish and others competing for the $120 plus for two, there are tablecloths, fresh flowers, silverware not pre-rolled in napkins and replaced appropriately based on courses, controlled music, gracious welcomes and good-byes, and much greater professional service levels. Interestingly, as a restaurant open only a few weeks, no manager came to the table and asked how we enjoyed Mojo’s food, service and the restaurant. No one said good-by or thank you on the way out. No one asked us to return. It’s as if they are unconcerned. The kitchen has the mojo, but the restaurant is searching for the magic.

Whether casual or fine dining, every diner appreciates attention to the details. Fresh off a review at the 5-star The Restaurant in West Palm Beach’s Four Seasons Hotel, “D” was struck by the flawless service of The Restaurant wait staff. The chef is the symphony conductor, but the waiters are the Concert Masters. They direct the orchestration in The Restaurant dining room. Servers, often three or four to a table, bring the entrees at the same moment, and they know exactly who ordered what cocktail, wine, appetizer, salad, entrée, dessert, cheese selection, port, coffee, and espresso. At Mojo’s, “A” and “D” experienced and observed—at our table and most other tables—food runners placing the wrong dish in front of the wrong diner. There’s no ‘guessing’ in fine dining. In almost every service, they had to ask who ordered what, and all over the room one could observe diners raising their hand to say, “No, I had the Seafood Pasta; my wife gets the Filet.” That’s casual dining, but it is decidedly not fine dining.

On balance: excellent food, average service, adequate amenities. For casual dining at Des Moines fine dining prices and great food, Mojo’s on 86th will meet your expectations.

Rating: 3
Quality: Top quality food
Service: Average
Value: Fair
Recommended: Yes
Alternative’s: Trostel’s Dish, Mosaix, Bistro Montage, Sage

Did you find this review helpful? Login or Join to give your opinion

by Kevin

I had dinner last night at Mojo's. Food is excellent but the service was disappointing. Our waiter didn't know the menu and couldn't answer a lot of our questions. Overall the place is nice.

Did you find this review helpful? Login or Join to give your opinion

by Emily

I was at Mojo's today for lunch!!! Hats off to the food, it was outstanding as always from Rob Bealsey. The service was great. This place will definitely take off and be a great new place for the Des Moines area. Great job as always Rob!!!

Did you find this review helpful? Login or Join to give your opinion
Tips for Mojos on 86th from foursquare users


Urban Card Member Incentive: Buy one get one free (food only)

2 people have done this

Adam B.

Does not have a baby changing table. Plan ahead parents!

1 person has done this

A smoke free restaurant taking over the former Foxboro Grill. Opens January 13.

Manager: Kristen Morrow of Bistro Montage and Forty Three
Chef Rob Beasley: of Adam & Abby's and Varsity Cafe

Window and Sign at Mojos

@MojosOn86th on Twitter

KoreanCopia is this Sunday at Mojos, get your tickets by calling Ingersoll Wine & Spirits. We are limiting it to...

KoreanCopia is this Sunday at Mojos, get your tickets by calling Ingersoll Wine & Spirits. We are limiting it to...

Half priced beers tonight! (excludes beers over 6% alcohol "high alcohol")...

We are going to have a lot of fun with this one! Call us soon for reservations....