Masala Art DC
Masala Art DC

Masala Art DC

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.masalaartdc.com/
  • Phone: 2023624441
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch: Monday - Sunday: 11:30am - 2:30pm; Dinner: 5:00pm - 10:00pm
  • Payment Options: MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Contemporary Indian
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Delivery, Takeout

Getting there

  • Parking: Public Lot
A word from Masala Art DC
'Too much is so good, you can't stop eating it. The tandoor-baked breads are not mere swabs for sauce but could be eaten, and enjoyed, on their own; the naan with cilantro and rock salt is terrific, as is the kulcha richly stuffed with minced lamb. Masala Art offers combinations you don't see often around here, but even its more familiar dishes can be revelations. Consider its samosas. They're flakier than a lot of the competition, and their filling of peas, potatoes and sweet raisins tastes fresher, too. A burst of cardamom in every bite helps. In the same vein, soft logs of minced lamb pulse with heat from jalapeno peppers, a shock offset with breezy mint. Pureed spinach is a vibrant green, flecked with corn and rich with garlic...' - WashingtonPost.com
Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Masala Art DC reviews from OpenTable diners
62 reviews since June 2, 2014
Overall Rating4.1
  • Food4.3
    Service3.9
  • Ambiance3.9
    Noise LevelModerate
96% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (41)fit for foodies (38)special occasion (10)great for lunch (9)romantic (8)good for groups (7)kid-friendly (2)great for brunch (2)notable wine list (1)Show More
  • Continues to be excellent
    Alphonse
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    Creative and carefully prepared food, different than most Indian restaurants, and with a lot of taste and nuance. Not bad wines either.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • maryVIP
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    Wonderful Indian food. Much more variety than the average Indian restaurant. Everything was delicious. We will definitely go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • An excellent Indian restaurant
    TerryP
    Dined on 9/17/2014
    I have dined at Masala Art many times and have never been disappointed. I have traveled to India many times and the food at Masala Art is authentic and exciting. The menu is varied and offers a wide variety of different dishes but not too many so the dishes are always excellent and well presented. There is a quite large vegetarian menu so that is rewarding when one dines with friends who do not eat meat. The staff are always courteous and the manager attentive. I have lived in the Tentleytown area for over 25 years and I was excited when this restaurant opened. I highly recommend this restaurant to anyone looking for good Indian food and excellent service.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • The food has amazing flavor!
    FishBuddyVIP
    Dined on 9/15/2014
    I absolutely love the Jumbo Shrimp Tikka Masala paired with the Cilantro and Rock Salt Naan! So yummy!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Haute Indian
    pam2008
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    A wonderful restaurant, with a menu that goes far beyond the standard Indian fare offered by almost all US south Asian venues.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Nice find
    macnosher
    Dined on 9/2/2014
    Enjoyed our midweek dinner. Nice quiet ambiance, good food (none of our three entree disappointed) and gracious, understated service.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Better for dinner
    bemusedprof
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    I've quite enjoyed dinner at this restaurant, but this was my first time for the buffet lunch. I am normally not much of a fan of buffets for Asian or South Asian food, and this was confirmation. All of the dishes were somewhat bland. Others with me said that it has been better, but everyone thought that all of the dishes, including the curries, were far from tasty. With a crowded lunch group, it was difficult to hear people on the other side of the table. Service and hospitality was flawless.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • just the best
    chrisVIP
    Dined on 8/25/2014
    i have dined at masala many times and always have a great experience and great food!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • 100 Foot Journey
    Rosebud
    Dined on 8/18/2014
    Perhaps, like us, many were inspired by the new movie to re-find our great neighborhood Indian restaurant when we visited last night. Unfortunately, the volume put a strain on staff working very hard and professionally to handle it all. Service less attentive than usual (although when they came as polished as ever -- not showing harried) and food was slower than usual. On hold 5 mins when called to say I would be 10 mins late for reservation. Waited 30 more for my table. And I initially got the wrong bill. I chalk it up to a very busy Monday night because the fundamentals are solid if they can match volume to service.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • nice time
    eatwell
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    We arrived a little late for our reservation but they were great...also had great service. Location is great for metro.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Awesome!
    HungryMark
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    This was my second visit. Took 5 friends to Masala Art and they all loved it. (Two were Indian, three were self-proclaimed Indian food attics!) First visit was Valentines Day 2014.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Slowwww....again
    BorincanoVIP
    Dined on 7/24/2014
    We are regulars at Masala. We live in the neighborhood, the food is delicious, and it's a family consensus choice. But from time to time, we seem to fall into a diner's twilight zone, and it ends up eating up a big chunk of the evening just to get dinner. This most recent visit was one of those occasions. 50 minutes wait for entrees (after a half-hour wait for appetizers) is just too long at a neighborhood restaurant. When this happens, and it's far from the first time, we wonder aloud as we walk home whether we should visit again soon. We'll be back, but that occasional endless wait is an irritating flaw in an otherwise good restaurant. (It would also be nice to get an acknowledgement from the waitstaff that there's a problem)
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • India's best
    SparkyVIP
    Dined on 7/20/2014
    Our favorite Indian restaurant did not disappoint us. As always, the food is well prepared and enjoyable.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Liked it better at lunch
    LREVS
    Dined on 7/13/2014
    Second time here. Food just okay except for the bread stuffed with onions -delicious. Made specific request due to allergy and several dishes came with what friend was allergic to sitting on top in clear view. Mgr came out twice to apologize as did waiter. If they'd offered a complimentary dessert or drink or something it would have made us feel better. Prefer Tiffin or Taste of India.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Phil
    Dined on 7/10/2014
    Masala Art continues to produce excellent, unique dishes. As often as I go, it continues to be a treat.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent Indian Food !
    IndianfoodieVIP
    Dined on 6/29/2014
    Had a great dinner at Masala Art. A year ago, the food was good then but now they must have a different chef since he food was almost uniformly spectacular. We only ordered vegetarian dishes. We had the pani puri, the Makai kabab and the dahi bhalla as appetizers; the tawa paneer, bhindi chole and the zucchini jalfrazi with the garlic and cilantro naans. We also ordered the channa biryani to go. Each dish had a unique flavor, which is something you rarely encounter in most restaurants (the exception is Rasika). We also ordered dessert - the sorbet and the date/fig with cardamom ice cream - a big mistake. They were very ordinary and not quite the finish that we imagined to the wonderful dishes before that.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Indian Restaurant
    Flowershopgirl
    Dined on 6/27/2014
    Our family has opted to go here on several special occasions. The food is excellent, location is perfect as a meeting spot for us. Lovely decor, a bit on the smaller side, so I recommend making a reservation. Very close to metro and I recommend you take metro. Staff is very nice and if you ask for something and it is not on the menu, they probably will make it for you, they have made it for me. Their selection is huge, and many vegetarian options as a few of us are vegan/vegetarian. Long dessert list which is nice, usually it's just a few selections available at other places. Nice wine list as well. The portions are not huge, but I still had a little bit I could bring home, and room for dessert. We will definitely be back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Another great Indian evening
    TerryP
    Dined on 6/14/2014
    My wife and I went back to Masala Art, our local Indian food gem. As usual, the service was outstanding and the ambiance and decor very good but the food was truly exquisite. My giant prawns were cooked just right in a creamy mango-inspired sauce, which together with an onion-stuffed bread was a real dining experience. My wife's saffron cream chicken dish was also terrific and together (we always share) these dishes made for a real gastronomic delight. Of course the appetizers are always terrific and rounded out with good Indian beer it was as though we had been transported back to India but on a far superior level. We both heartily endorse Masala Art and recommend it to all of our friends.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 44 ratings-only reviews submitted since June 2, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.1
    • Food4.3
    • Ambiance3.9
    • Service3.9
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 677 reviews are from the Masala Art DC reviews archive.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2012VIP
    Dined on 6/1/2014
    Menu has been revised and improved since the last time we were there. Dishes had very distinctive flavors. We will be back. Other reviews suggested that noise levels are high but it was very quiet when we were there on a Sunday evening.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Art is Right
    MMMMMMMMMVIP
    Dined on 5/30/2014
    We eat here all the time and I cannot adequately express how CONSISTENTLY good the food is. The flavors are tremendous and creative. We have tried nearly every appetizer on the menu and they are delightful. The entrees are good sized and fill you up. The spices are wonderful and everything is just carefully done and beautifully presented. Everything about Masala Art is wonderful, including the service, the manager, the owner, the wait staff. The naan bread is out of this world -- the rock salt and cilantro in particular. Perhaps one of the best restaurants in all of Washington.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Wonderful meal, as always!
    LPG1VIP
    Dined on 5/24/2014
    The chicken & lamb dishes were excellent, but I'd return again and again if only because of the rock salt nan and the perfect vodka martini.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • scubadiverVIP
    Dined on 5/18/2014
    Masala Art is our go-to joint after a Cathedral Choral Society concert. Street parking. An easy drive from National Cathedral. And excellent cuisine. Indian food could make a vegetarian out of me.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 5/17/2014
    Can't wait for the new location in SW! Delicious Indian food in a great neighborhood location, steps from Tenleytown metro.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • f you have patience and time
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 5/16/2014
    The food is good and the service is okay once you get seated. Somehow making a reservation doesn't seem to mean much . So if you have plenty of patience and time at hand, might be worth a try
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good, with some unusual dishes
    BetsyVIP
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    We went here for the first time for a birthday dinner. We liked it -- the service was attentive but not too much so, and the food was all good. The pineapple fritters, lentil dumplings, and fig/date ice cream probably ranked as our favorites, but everything was good and many of the dishes were ones we hadn't encountered at other Indian restaurants. So we would definitely go again if we were in the neighborhood and up for Indian food. But I'm not sure anything was outstanding enough to draw us back otherwise.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Very disappointing.
    SteveVIP
    Dined on 5/10/2014
    After reading all of the great reviews, I was terribly disappointed today. Service was slow and inattentive due to understaffing. Food was not very good. I won't be back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Fantastic blend of Indian spices
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 5/9/2014
    The food had a fantastic blend of Indian spices and was presented with a modern contemporary twist. Service was ok. Would go back for the food.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2004VIP
    Dined on 5/8/2014
    Naan is included in the very good lunch buffet, but by the time the waiters bring you the bread, you are half way through the meal. That has happened to me several times. Kitchen needs to have it warm and ready to come out much faster.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent Indian
    Comomucho
    Dined on 5/3/2014
    Terrific and refined Indian food at reasonable prices. In addition to all the dishes you'd expect, Masala Art also offers some more unusual ones. The place is pleasant and unpretentious and not so noisy as to require you to shout at your dining companions.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Always good
    BorincanoVIP
    Dined on 4/29/2014
    Masala is a family standby (when we can get a seat). The menu is more challenging and interesting than the run-of-the-mill Indian place.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009VIP
    Dined on 4/26/2014
    Service was VERY slow, in terms of drinks and the main course, and at first they brought us the wrong main course. It also seems they did not credit us for making the reservation through open table.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • In many wasy this is a jewel!
    teacher
    Dined on 4/26/2014
    The food at Masala Art is wonderful! Although the lamb in both dishes was a bit on the chewy side, the sauces, bread and raita were terrific. The atmosphere is low keyed and very comfortable. However, we found our waiter supercilious. We were two women with a 6:30 reservation. Our waiter brought us past numerous tables to a twosome squeezed between the bar and the back wall at the very rear of the restaurant. When I asked if he could move the table a few inches from the wall, he ignored me. He then disappeared, and I finally flagged another waiter and asked if anyone had been assigned to our table. The original waiter appeared a few minutes later with no apologies for the delay. His service continued to be slow and indifferent.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Great for Lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Another Good Vegetarian Meal
    otberburVIP
    Dined on 4/13/2014
    We have been to Masala Art numerous times and it is consistently pleasing. Very good food quality, particularly with vegetarian dishes, at reasonable prices. The dining area and service are a cut above what one typically finds at a neighborhood Indian restaurant.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Masala Art never disappoints
    LPG1VIP
    Dined on 4/12/2014
    My husband and I shared 3 appetizers and 1 entree -- and it was all delicious. And of course, we had their incredible rock salt nan.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • WE had a delicious dinner
    lovetoeatVIP
    Dined on 4/5/2014
    WE had a delicious dinner at Masala Art. We have been there several times and the food is always good.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Slow...
    BorincanoVIP
    Dined on 3/27/2014
    Sometimes you can get lost in the shuffle at Masala. The menu is varied, the food is terrific, and the service is attentive...mostly. Every now and then (we live in the neighborhood and eat here often), your order just takes forever to come. The waiter apologized.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Authentic Indian
    DCGator13
    Dined on 3/26/2014
    For the money, I'm not sure you can beat Masala Art. All your favorite dishes from every region of India and Pakistan are available, but with quality ingredients not usually associated with restaurants serving that style food. Service was not on par with the food, but Indian restaurants rarely are. We had issues with food descriptions and our server had zero wine knowledge. I'm pretty sure one of our apps was not what we ordered(It was still great). It didn't matter though, management picked up the slack with a complementary desert and sparkling wine for my gf's bday. I could not have been more pleased with my experience at Masala Art. I will definitely be back. Thank you for the wonderful evening! Keep up the good work!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • On the fence
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 3/22/2014
    While I'd recommend this restaurant, I'm not sure I would return myself. The ambience was modern yet zen-like, which was very nice. The lighting was dim and I expected it to be moderately quiet. Instead, there was a large group that was noisey and two kids who cried throughout dinner. This was a Saturday night. Most of the food was great but the lamb cubes were so dry that we had to ask for extra sauce. The service was great though, no complaints there.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicioso!
    Yabadabbado
    Dined on 3/19/2014
    Every bite of the tandoori prawns was a spice explosion. This place is a true gem and a real treat in Tenleytown. It's known for superb Indian dishes seasoned to stimulate your tastebuds and it does not disappoint. Everything is wonderful from the greeting at the door to the recommendations for dessert. Terrific.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Another splendid dinner
    LPG1VIP
    Dined on 3/16/2014
    All the elements are in sync -- food, service, atmosphere -- which is why Masala Art is on our regular rotation. We especially love the Bhelpuri, any of the lamb dishes, and the amazing rock salt nan. Plus, there's no better extra dry vodka martini in town.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.