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Masa 14, 14th. and Swann Streets in Shaw - Chef Ryan Ratino Replaces Eric McKamey - Closing at the End of Aug, 2019

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Late last week the following message was posted to our U-Street area email group:

Some questions were answered at last night's ANC1B meeting on the application for a new restaurant at 1825 14th Street. The placard described the restaurant as "serving Mediterranean fusion cuisine with a focus on Latin and Asian Tapas." At last night's meeting attorney Andrew Kline disclosed that the restauranteur is Richard Sandoval and the chef is Kazuhiro Okochi. Here are links to explore on each of these partners:

Richard Sandoval: www.modernmexican.com
Kazuhiro Okochi: www.kazsushibistro.com

Sandoval already has a presence here in DC with Zengo in Gallery Place. Capacity is estimated at 140 and will also feature a sidewalk cafe with seating for 25. CSNA review of the application will be on the April 9th agenda.

The concept -- "Mediterranean fusion cuisine with a focus on Latin and Asian Tapas" -- sounds pretty circa 1995 and I wouldn't have paid much attention had I not seen Kazuhiro's name attached to the project. Now all of the sudden it sounds interesting.

Anyone know anything about it?

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Anyone know anything about it?

I just got off the phone with Kaz. Here is the summary:

1) "People know things I don't even know about," he said.

2) Any discussion at this point is premature and speculative.

3) Kaz Sushi Bistro is going to remain open no matter what.

Cheers,

Rocks.

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As a neighbor to that area, that neighborood is so not Shaw. I think it is either U st (more likely) or Logan, or, 14th St (which I think should have it's own neighborhood - roughly 14th between P and U).

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I'm really eager to try this place, but the opening date for September has been changed to Fall '09.

Anyone have any inside knowledge as to when-abouts it'll be open?

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We are getting close. As things get nearer to completion I'll update but as it stands now, it would be slightly amateurish to guesstimate on an opening date. As you all are aware, I'm sure, the final inspections and last minute things always push things longer than you anticipate.

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Yes, but that has never stopped us in the past!!!!!!

Best of luck, let us know when you want the hoards to ascend!

I'll update but as it stands now, it would be slightly amateurish to guesstimate on an opening date. As you all are aware, I'm sure, the final inspections and last minute things always push things longer than you anticipate.

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Well...I am going there on Monday as my 16 year old daughter wants to go to a book signing by Scott Schuman.... He photographs "street style" fashion. Oh, and she is the new "Veggie Teen" (thank you Zora for that wonderful coiner)...so Lord knows if and what she will eat.

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Well...I am going there on Monday as my 16 year old daughter wants to go to a book signing by Scott Schuman.... He photographs "street style" fashion. Oh, and she is the new "Veggie Teen" (thank you Zora for that wonderful coiner)...so Lord knows if and what she will eat.

it's all yours now, Raisa. my daughter is eating meat again :( and is in the final stretch of her teen years-next summer she will be 20. hang in there, it does seem to get better with time!

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We had an enjoyable early dinner at Masa 14 tonight. Obviously they need and deserve some time to get settled in, but a few early observations -

The vibe is cool, but friendly. There's house music playing, but it's not so loud that you can't have a quiet conversation (at least where we were sitting toward the kitchen). It's a beautiful space, with a HUGE bar.

It's pretty modestly priced, which we didn't really expect walking in. There are a number of $5 and $6 items on the menu, and while they are (as advertised) "small plates" the portions are pretty generous for what they are.

Some standouts from the menu included delicious crispy garlic teryaki chicken wings and a really outstanding smoked tomato soup with crab, tofu, and mushrooms. (The soup was $5...I think the wings were $6). It's an eclectic menu, as you can imagine from a place that bills itself as Latin/Asian fusion, and there were quite a few things I'm looking forward to trying next time (including Kobe beef brisket!)

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I guess they do have a few kinks to work out! Like telling their hostesses whether they are open for public dining or not! We called Saturday to assure that dinner was being served this past Monday during the book signing and were assured it was....wrong. It's okay, Veggieteen got her book signed and we had a very nice meal at the corneer at Saint Ex. We will attempt Masa 14 again in the future!

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Had dinner here last week. Highlights: Pork Belly Tacos al Pastor (love that they use Chinese steamed buns instead of typical tortilla), Serrano Ham Flatbread (not particularly Latin or Asian but nice texture, Serrano is Spanish ham isn't it?), Yucca fries with a great dipping sauce (chimichurri, lime aioli- sounded like it would be too much but the flavors blended really well). Not as into the Kobe beef brisket (overcooked) or black cod (also overcooked). Overall- a great experience and a nice space. Bar was packed. Glad to have a new option in the neighborhood. Welcome Antonio!

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Highlights: Pork Belly Tacos al Pastor (love that they use Chinese steamed buns instead of typical tortilla),

Debbie - which type of steamed bun? 割包? Just curious. Thanks.

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Debbie - which type of steamed bun? 割包? Just curious. Thanks.

yes- very similar to gua bao. but a smaller flat circle with the pork belly placed on top rather than being folded over.

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Real Kobe or the Wagyu version?

There is no difference between the two whatsoever. They are both terms for the exact same thing and can be used interchangeably.

If you want to know the full story, the term "Wagyu" was recently invented by the marketing department at Harris Ranch Beef Company since Dan Snyder owns the rights to the name "Kobe Bryant" and has plans to trademark the term "Kobe" to use as a brand, developed especially for him by scientists at Cal Poly, of "under-sized condoms with that big condom swagger" to be marketed to pathetically hopeful teenagers and sold exclusively at Six Flags and Johnny Rockets.

Hope that clears things up.

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yes- very similar to gua bao. but a smaller flat circle with the pork belly placed on top rather than being folded over.

Tried this as well when I was there. I really liked the pork filling (or topping, rather) but thought the bun was too doughy, and too big, for the portion of pork.

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Just went on Tuesday, I really liked the Pork Belly Tacos al Pastor and my girlfriend really loved the fried oysters with bibb lettuce. We also had the serrano ham flat bread, the seaweed salad, and kobe beef brisket (which was probably not worth the extra price). They were all very good. We had a good value bottle of white wine (the Basa Rueda blend for $25). We tried two desserts, the white chocolate pot de creme, and the other chocolate dessert, both were forgettable. Overall, very good especially since it just opened. I look forward to going back soon.

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OK, this post is long overdue. I had a pre-birthday dinner here with NQD and my mom last week. No, we weren't taking a risk on a new place - NQD and I had already eaten here once before.

I didn't take notes, and it's been long enough that I don't think detailed descriptions would be accurate (I have no memory). But in general, I love this restaurant. Well thought-out recipes, excellently executed. There's a great mix of Asian and Latin influences that doesn't feel like "one from column A, one from column B." It's fusion for the sake of making food taste good.

The small plates concept works well - large enough to share, small enough to order lots of different things. At our most recent visit we ordered everything at once, but whether it was the work of the server or kitchen, it was presented as a carefully paced dinner, with the sequence of plates well planned, not just whatever came out first.

No, not everything was perfect, but in two visits I haven't tried anything I wouldn't happily eat again, just maybe a few things I would place higher on the rotation. Considering the very reasonable prices, it's an excellent value.

One warning: For people with a sensitivity to salt, be careful. I found nothing overly salty, just well-seasoned. Nobody's hand is slipping, but the food is meant to have a fair amount of salt. Very, very tasty, but be careful if you're monitoring your sodium intake.

OK, there is one major flaw - it's on the wrong side of the river. But I'm willing to overlook it. I'll comment on specific dishes after the next visit.

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AGM any dishes you can recommend to try or avoid as of now? going to check out Masa 14 tonight...

Snack on the edamame while looking over the rest of the menu. Or at the bar, if you start there.

Hijiki seaweed–jicama salad is required. Tuna sashimi flatbread is great, better than the serrano ham flatbread. I'm not generally a seafood fan, so otherwise you're on your own in that area; expect high quality ingredients, especially tuna (considering Kaz is a co-owner, no surprise there). Oh, NQD is a big fan of the crunchy shrimp.

Pork belly carnitas melt in your mouth; the pork belly tacos are very tasty, but some people said there was too much bun both for balance and ease of eating. I'll order them every time. The meatballs are good, their sauce is great (one person wanted more kick from the cheese). Someone posted earlier about overcooked brisket; ours was perfectly done and melted like the pork belly.

NQD really liked the fried rice the first time, but not as much the second.

Nothing on the menu is over $14, most of it under $10, and if you have people to share with, experimentation is cheap.

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