I know I’ve mentioned that I think Masa is great before, when I talked about my birthday way back in March, but when I headed back last night I couldn’t help but wonder: Was the food really that good, or was it just my sangria margarita talking?
The first time I stepped into Masa I instantly thought, I have to bring Z here, he will love it. Finally last night I had the chance. We headed over right after I got off work so we arrived around 6. The bar area was already fairly crowded, but we managed to grab two seats at the copper bar. Though it was still light out, the bar was still the seductive and cozy space I had remembered.
Our long walk had left us parched; I ordered the habanero watermelon margarita ($9), and Z tried a mango margarita (around $9). Mine was a striking and unusual blend of sweet and spicy—the hot peppers stung my lips and throat, while the watermelon cooled and soothed. It was incredibly fresh and different—definitely not your average margarita. Z’s mango margarita was refreshing, but not overly-sweet.
Masa is famous (or should be!) for its $1 tapas menu at the bar, but I had forgotten that between 5-7 it’s only .50 cent tapas! Holy early bird special! We did the combo platter which is 10 of them ($5). While the word “tapas” might mislead you (they are very small, more like “nibbles” than small plates), when they arrive it is a beautiful sight. Each little tapas is arranged with love. I don’t want to bore you listing all ten, so I’ll just mention the cheesy jalapeno empanada, sweet potato chip topped with sweet onions, and shredded BBQ pork spring roll. Mmm mmm!
Still hungry (naturally) we ordered two appetizers—queso fundido con chorizo ($9) and roasted poblano and banana pepper spring rolls ($11). Both were like fancy/southwestern versions of classic bar food. The latter was like a jazzed-up mozzarella stick—crunchy, spring roll outside with a cheesy inside. It was sweet, a little greasy, and very delicious. The former tasted as if you scraped off the cheese and pepperoni topping of a pizza into a casserole bowl and served it with tortilla. That sounds disgusting, but it was delicious! At least for bar food—not the most dainty or palate cleansing appetizer.
To wash down this last round of food I got the “Masarita” ($8) which features apple juice and fresh squeezed orange juice. It was very good, but didn’t taste all that different from a standard margarita. Z, at my urging, got the sangria margarita ($9), which was just as good as I remembered. I made him switch halfway through. He kindly obliged. What a keeper ;)
I left the restaurant full and in love with life. Masa gets an A once again, even in a non-margarita induced state.