Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Masa 14

Sometimes fusion restaurants work well. Sometimes they flop. I think Masa 14, the Latin-Asian fusion restaurant on 14th Street NW, belongs in the former but depends on your wallet. http://www.masa14.com/
It's hard to be all things to everyone. Masa 14 does a nice job of being a fun place to gather, have some cocktails, tequila or sake, and try out a few small plates. It does get quite loud, although a recent brunch service was very laidback and relaxing.
Veggie Benedict with spinach, red peppers, poached egg, green chili hollandaise sauce ($8)
Great flavor, although it would be easier to cut the toasted bread with a serrated knife.
A bit pricey for only one poached egg IMO. Side order of Anson Mill Grits with chipotle pepper, Oaxaca cheese and scallions ($4).
My favorite part of brunch. Creamy with a slight heat.
Chilaquiles - corn tortilla with chorizo, scrambled egg, queso cotija and salsa verde ($7)
Side order of fried yucca with chimichurri and citrus aoili ($4). Good texture, small portion.
Salted Caramel chocolate flan smores concoction. My friend loved this, I was put off by the burnt marshmellow aroma. Texturally interesting, loved the nuts/brittle on top of the flan.
Spicy tuna temaki ($6). Cute presentation, a little more fish would have been nice.
BBQ salmon with achiote sauce, spinach and bacon ($9).
Great flavor, but still priced a bit high for a tapas dish.
Wild mushroom flatbread with Oaxaca cheese, red peppers, avocado ($9).
Maybe Churchkey/Birch and Barley spoiled me, but this rendition of a flatbread was very disappointing. Anthony Burrell needs to do something better for the non-meat eaters.
In general, I really like the space, think the menu is full of interesting flavor combinations, and the hits have outnumbered the misses. However, the price point, while it fits with Cork, Bar Pilar and the rest of 14th Street, does not make this a super value dining option.

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