Good vibe, friendly professional staff and delicious dishes. I have lived in Mexico multiple times, in various places Although this isn't the hole in the wall amazing gems found in the heart of Guanajuato, it is a great place for good, fresh, healthy good with a modern and classy atmosphere, which I believe is the goal of this great spot. I went with here with a girlfriend of mine before heading to the Dakota Jazz club and was very impressed- which is a hard thing to do for my taste and high expectations. I will be returning prontito:).
Masa - Good for a bite, not for dinner. I've been to Masa twice for dinner and twice for "dessert and drinks". First of all, you have to realize that this is a fancy Mexican restaurant. With all of the cheap, authentic, delicious Mexican restaurants around here it may be an unusual concept to go to a nice Mexican restaurant and pay over $20 for a taco-ish entree. If you can get past that, I think Masa offers exceptional quality food in a modern, sleek environment. To me, their largest selling point is the modern decor right downtown on Nicollet. My one complaint with Masa is the entree sizes. Both entrees that I ate here very good but there was not enough food on the plate to constitute a meal. Keep in mind that I do not subscribe to the "more is better" standard in America and do not expect restaurants to serve me a ridiculous amount of food. On the contrary, I appreciate restaurants that serve quality food and keep their portion sizes to normal. Masa's entrees are tiny. One dish was 3 seared scallops each about 1.5 inches in diameter accompanied by 4-5 bites of caramelized squash. It tasted great and left me still hungry. The second dish was about 3 ounces of pork in a banana leaf with 1/2 cup of black beans and some flat tortillas on the side. Again, everything I ate was good but they could have doubled the amount of food. Both times I ate here for dinner, I had an appetizer, entree and dessert, and walked away hungry. As for service, our waiters have been young and inexperienced. One of them was quite the salesman, with the know-it-all-ness that only youth has, trying feverishly to maximize the bill by continually asking if we wanted more drinks, more anything. Once we didn't receive our chips and salsa until after our food came, despite asking several times if we could have some. If I go back to Masa, it will be to order a bite to eat, linger with friends and enjoy the ambience. I can not expect to be fed my dinner there.
More foodie-haven than cantina, let the Latin flavors of the decor, drinks and food whisk you away, if only for an evening..
You won't find hot sauce in this mod Mexican dining expanse, where each table comes stocked with sea salt, limes and a trio of tasty homemade salsas. The food is the primary draw, with a menu offering new takes on classics. Try the Pescado ala Veracruzana, sea bass with tomato, onion, Manzanilla olives, pickled jalapenos and capers for an adventure worthy of the likes of Ponce de Leon. Fancy folks on their way to Orchestra Hall prefer to sip honey-and-anise-infused Mayan Margaritas in the bar area.
Love it!. A refreshing change for Nicollet! We have dined at Masa multiple times over the past few months and on every occassion we have been satisfied beyond our expectations. The unique flavors, friendly waitstaff and warm energy Masa emits is hard to match in the heart of the city. The restaurant does have some problems...the dining room can be noisy on the weekends and it has become more difficult to get in without a reservation. There was one night we had to eat at the bar before the orchestra but were very pleased with the service. Overall I am happy to have stumbled across Masa and look forward to many return visits!! ps..if you like a little heat, ask for the habanero salsa...
lousy place for vegetarians. has an excellent location in downtown with outdoor seating, but sad menu for vegetarians. had some salsa n chips, and ordered side of their rice n beans, very ordinary. tried their white sangria, was terrible, felt like a cocktail-punch with no kick. had no fruit either.
Great Happy Hour - But Don't Sit Down!. A group of 8 thirty-something women with a reservation is usually a new restaurants delight, right? Not the case at Masa this Wednesday at 5:30pm. They offered a great half-off drink special at the bar, which, while waiting for our whole party to arrive, we took blissful advantage of (there were only 30-minutes left of it!). Then we were seated. We were seated at a great sunny table and offered chips and dip, of which I did not even get a chance to taste, because we were reprimanded like high schoolers because a couple of our friends ventured back to the bar to grab their last half-off drinks before ordering food. The waitress, after scolding the whole table for allowing our friends to go up to the bar and ordering a half-price drink (not full-price drink through her), then proceeded to also scold our friends up at the bar. The waitress then explained that it was against the managers policy for customers at the tables to get half-off drinks...so let me get this straight...as long as you are at the bar, you get the half-off drinks for happy hour, but as soon as you sit at a table with 8 of your friends and get ready to drop at least $200 dollars on dinner and drinks you no longer get the half-off drinks that are only 10 feet from your table and 10-minutes from ending. PLUS you get reprimanded by the waitress in front of other customers for disobeying a "policy" that was not written anywhere OR told to you verbally until AFTER you have disobeyed it...hmmm...tack that on to the fact that it cost me $9 to park at a nearby ramp due to an event downtown, I won't be going back...well, I might be back to the bar, but definitely not the restaurant.
The Most Expensive Taco Bell ever. Not Impressed at all. I have been to most of the Damico places and love all of those especially Damico Cucina. However I cannot believe they own this place. The food was OK, the service sucked! We stood by the door for 10 minutes before someone sat us, the waitress had a cold and was sniffling the whole time and then she explained the menu.... NOT the food the menu- "The apps are on the left and the entrees on the right" - Yes lady I have seen a menu before, they are the same all over the globe. Then my Girlfriend ordered a dish slightly modified- Shrimp instead of the chicken. Well apparently that was not OK with the staff or the cook. While we ate (on the tables right next to the kitchen) one of the waitresses just kept staring at her shrimp dish.... I did not get a good feeling from that. So we finished our over priced DON PABLO'S meal while listening to the Host and the staff make fun of all the patrons, this really added to the experience and I think of this every time my family wants to go to Damico Cucnia (keep in mind Cucina will cost your family no less that $400 for a family of 5) After our luxury Taco Bell dinner we went home to have my girlfriend who differed from the menu - keep in mind the wait staff watching her eat it- then proceeded to thew up and dry heave and then I got this wonderful stomach full of masa pains. Do not eat here. Again I am a fan of Cucina but this was like the red headed step child of the damico family. Don't waste your money and you will not get sick or made fun of by some ungreatful waitstaff. I tried going to the Damico website to complain or write a review, they do not give you the option.
I heard so many exciting things about Masa and my boyfriend and I are always trying out new restaurants so I figured we'd make a reservation there. We went at 7:45, Valentine's night which is not the most ideal night to go I'm aware. It was pretty slow for a Wednesday the bartender told me. The same guy that didn't recommend half of the drinks I asked about. That was interesting. The decor is minimalist and bright. The staff was polite enough and our server was efficient. The food sounded wonderful from it's description and both of us have had authentic Mexican cuisine so we were eagerly anticipating our meal.
We chose from their list of appetizers, courses, and desserts for Valentine's Day. All of which included the items we would've chosen from the original menu. The chips and two salsa's were so-so. Nothing I'd dig into. Then we got a plate of more chips and veggies with guacamole. That was the most bland guacamole we'd both tasted in our life. I've worked in two restaurants that made it fresh and this was no where near as good as I've tasted. Then our side dishes arrived. Whatever mine was supposed to be, it was a horrible version of. The "pork on a chip" was so strange tasting and overpriced, I pushed it aside. My boyfriend's limeade came with a fly in it, which they politely replaced but not before grossing him out. The only saving grace was the bistek con chipotle marinado. It was SO good and tender and well seasoned. Our spirits were lifted and our hopes for dessert not completely dashed. But alas, the pastel de tres leches was sour and the texture made me gag. The authentic version I've had before was much more pleasant on the tongue. My boyfriend's spiced chocolate cake with ice cream wasn't much better. He barely touched it.
Overall, I wouldn't recommend this place to friends or strangers. Sorely disappointed.
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I took my daughter and her fiance, who live in Manhattan, to Masa for dinner last Friday night and we all were wowed by the quality of the food and beverages. I grew up in Mexico City and this is the first example of elegant Mexican dining I have encountered here in 30 years. I was worried because the restaurant was far from full on a Friday night. This is a wonderful resource for those of us with a passion for authentic, elegant Mexican cuisine.
I agree with the reviewer who challenged Minnesotans to adjust their expectations. Just as we have grown beyond "red sauce" Italian to appreciate all the nuances of regional Italian cuisine, I would hope we Midwesterners can make the same mental shift to think beyond tex-mex and appreciate this lively, complex and extremely flavorful cuisine.
Honestly...Masa is one of the most exciting restaurants to come to the Twin Cities in year. Masa goes beyond cheese smothered dishes to offer a truly elegant take on Mexican food. The Sopes are to die for...the sauces used on the various entree's I've had are amazing...flavorful, rich and full of substance. You know your not eating at Chevy's. The steak is amazing! The chips the salsa.
One note...service isn't quite on par with some of our nicer restaurants such as Cue...but they're nice enough. Lacks the "professional" server feel. I saw some of the servers talking to their friends etc...not a big deal but you notice.
Anyway...I love this place. Nothing bad to say.
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