Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Masa 14 in DC

So last night we had our first food adventure for Restaurant Week in DC.  We went to a place called Masa 14 located on 14th St NW between S and T streets.  Masa 14, only open for barely over a year, is a cool sophisticated place that serves a fusion cuisine of Asian and Mexican.  Whoever woulda thought to put those 2 things together? Well, someone did and it was genius!
can you see the snowflakes/ice pellets falling?

For most restaurants who celebrate Restaurant Week, they have a special prefixe menu specifically for this particular week.  And most menus have 3 or 4 courses for about $35 a person.  And in each course you usually have several items to choose from.

For our first course I chose the Tom Yum Soup...a sweet and spicy concoction of coconut milk, chicken adobado, masa dumplings, thai basil, bean sprouts, and some kind of spicy red peppers. Absolutely delicious and amazing how all those flavors work together.
Tom Yum Soup

For Hubby's first course, he chose Shrimp Ceviche...which contained juicy shrimp, yuzu (an Asian citrus fruit), melon, orange slices, cilantro, lime, and serrano chilis. For those who have never had ceviche, its essentially raw but then "cooked" in the acid of lime juice.  Its amazing how science can make food so yummy!  It was light and sweet and spicy all at once.
Shrimp Ceviche

For the second course, I chose the Country Ham Flatbread...a flat piece of bread (as the name implies) toasted crispy topped with salty very thin sliced ham, goat cheese, slices of cantaloupe (yes, you read correctly...cantaloupe), arugula, truffle, and lime.  Such a pantheon of flavors I never imagined together.  You could experience just about every flavor sensation in one bite.  Salty, sweet, crunchy, slight bitterness from the greens.  It was awesome.
Country Ham Flatbread
check out those slices of cantaloupe under the greens!

Hubby's second course was Pork Belly Steamed Buns...soft squishy doughy buns wrapped like a taco around the sweet shredded bits of pork belly topped with achiote (a paste made from annato seeds), hoisin sauce, pineapple, red fresno peppers, lime, cilantro, and pickled onions.  Again this combination of sweet, savory, and spicy was beautiful.
Pork Belly Steamed Buns

Third course...I picked Salt and Pepper Calamari...slightly crispy fried squid rings with flavors of madras curry, cilantro, mint, scallions, and a sweet and spicy chili sauce.  Fairly simple, not extremely unique but delicious and lovely all the same.
Salt and Pepper Calamari

Hubby's third course...Smoked Wagyu Beef Brisket Medallions...sweet and smokey shredded wagyu beef shaped into a lovely medallion, so soft and sumptuous you could eat it with a spoon!  It also was served with a wasabi parsnip puree, tat soi (a type of Asian green), hot and sour sauce, and truffled huitlacoche (which is actually a kind of fungus that grows on corn...sounds weird but was yummy).  There was definitely a little heat with this dish so proceed with caution if you're heat-sensitive as I am.
Wagyu Brisket Medallions

Our last course was dessert of course.  I chose a Molten Spicy Chocolate Cake...not your average molten chocolate cake here as there was definitely a hint of something spicy in that wonderful gooey melted chocolate pouring out of the center of the cake.  And next to the cake was served an orange tapioca/strawberry sorbet and gingered strawberries.  The heat from the cake (both temperature and flavor) mixed with the light fruity coolness of the strawberries and sorbet were a perfect combination of yumminess!
Left: mango panna cotta; Right: chocolate cake and sorbet

Hubby's dessert course was Mango Panna Cotta...something neither one of us had ever had and weren't even 100% sure what it was exactly.  Panna Cotta is traditionally an Italian dish kinda of like a creamy pudding type thing but with a bready texture to it.  This panna cotta was mango flavored which gave it a bright citrusy orange color.  It was topped with diced mangos, sake blackberry sauce, and a coconut tuille (which is a crispy cookie decoration on top).  Very unique for us.  It was odd and yet delicious.
the aftermath

Needless to say, our bellies were full to the brim and our plates scraped clean when we left!  Unfortunately we had a long drive home in the middle of a freezing rain downpour!! But we eventually made it home in one piece and very pleased with our food adventure.  We can't wait for Thursdays dinner now!  Stay tuned...

1 comment:

  1. What an unusual combination of cuisines for a restaurant indeed. It looks wonderful though.