Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Masa 14 open for business

Is 14th Street ready for another small plate restaurant? Let's hope so.

After months of construction and a soft opening last week, the latest entry into the 14th Street dining world, Masa 14, officially opened its doors for business yesterday.

Image courtesy of Thrillst.

Masa, as you may recall, is the product of two esteemed DC chefs--Kaz Okochi (of Kaz's Sushi Bistro) and Richard Sandoval (of Penn Quarter's Zengo). Together, they have created a large (5,000 sf) dining establishment and bar/lounge. According to Masa's team, the bar itself--at 65 feet in length--will be one of the largest bars in the DC area.

As for Masa's culinary offerings, the "Asian and Latin small plate" establishment will offer a selection of sushi rolls, and seafood, meat and vegetarian small plate dishes, as well as a small selection of noodle dishes, for enjoyment in their 100 seat dining room. There is also an extensive wine and sake list.

Masa's full menu is available here.

Masa 14 joins an ever lengthening list of establishments along the 14th street corridor serving "small plate" offerings. Now, we've been to pretty much all of them, and have largely found them to be good to excellent. But it does beg the question: how many small plate establishments does one neighborhood need? Sometimes, I'd be thrilled with just a bagel sandwich, rather than pork belly al pastor tacos. But maybe that's just me.


Jimmy Lee Farnsworth said...

While I would also enjoy a bagel place, I think Masa 14 will be a good addition to 14th street. I ate there on Sunday and I was pleasantly surprised by the food. And I certainly believe the area can sustain another tapas restaurant -- just stroll by Cork on a Friday or Saturday evening as evidence.

My concern is that this place will become a scene over the next few months (or longer) given that it has good food, a large bar, sleek interior, and a future lounge upstairs. Not necessarily a bad thing, but hopefully, Masa 14 will remember that once it's not the trendy place to be, it will be the neighborhood patrons who make or break it as a long term establishment. As such, I think a "no reservations" policy, which I find caters more to locals, is the way to go. (I spoke with the waiter and he said they plan on making it primarily reservations.) Just my 2 cents.

Anonymous said...

how about an address?

Timmy said...

Address is 1825 14th St. I went there last Tuesday or Wednesday and was pleased. The space is fantastic, the service was good (considering it was their second night open), and some of the dishes were great. I really liked the Crunshy Shrimp hand roll and the tuna sashimi flatbread, and I loved the black cod with chipotle miso. The margarita was just ok, and they didn't have a lot of the wines or beers (yet).

I didn't have a reservation - just walked in, and they were able to seat me right away (could be because it was the second night open).

Phil Spalding said...

Richard Sandoval is much more than a DC chef, and his choice to open a restaurant in the 14th/U area is a reflection on the growth and development of this neighborhood. For more on Sandoval visit www.modernmexican.com.

Brandon Green said...

Looks like it has a smart decor.