Masala Art - Waterfront
Masala Art - Waterfront

Masala Art - Waterfront

  • Dining Style: Fine Dining
  • Website: http://masalaartdc.com/
  • Phone: (202) 554-1101
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch: Monday - Friday:
    11:00am - 2:30pm; Dinner: 5:00pm - 10:00pm
  • Payment Options: MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Indian, Contemporary Indian
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes

Getting there

  • Parking: Public Lot
A word from Masala Art - Waterfront
Waterfront location to open soon!! - '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, B-Wisconsin Avenue, NW location.
Continued
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Masala Art - Waterfront reviews from OpenTable diners
178 reviews since July 29, 2014
Overall Rating4.2
  • Food4.3
    Service4
  • Ambiance4.2
    Noise LevelModerate
93% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (112)fit for foodies (91)good for groups (31)special occasion (30)great for lunch (21)romantic (21)vibrant bar scene (11)great for brunch (9)hot spot (8)notable wine list (5)late-night find (5)kid-friendly (4)great for outdoor dining (1)Show More
  • Wonderful to have Masala Art near Arena Stage
    SteveVIP
    Dined on 11/23/2014
    It is a long overdue joy to have a quality restaurant available for Arena Stage "theater date nights". Food and service very well done. We'll be back again soon!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Go! The Food Here is Delicious.
    DorhonVIP
    Dined on 11/22/2014
    Ate here on a Sat night when the place was jumping. The early dinner hour usually is it's busiest time and will be even more so when other Arena Stage goers realize how good the food is. I had the spinach and cottage cheese dish (Sag Paneer), which was good. Even better was the spinach and chicken dish which was wonderful. One friend had the eggplant dish and the other two ordered lamb and loved it. They raved about the food. The menu is different from the other location and is interesting. I was very pleased with the portion size as many Indian restaurants seem to serve very small vegetable entrée dishes.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2010VIP
    Dined on 11/21/2014
    Beautiful spacious restaurant. Masala Art SW is a wonderful sibling to the Tenleytown classic - with best Indian food in DC. Great menu with nice mix of food that includes many vegetarian options. Perfect spot for a pre-Arena dinner.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • 5 stars all around
    MJDCVIP
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    I've been a big fan of Masala Art - Tenley since their opening. Hard to believe but Masala Art -Waterfront even topped my high expectations. If you are a fan of well-made Indian cuisine...this place is a must.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Food was good, service left a little to be desired
    food2all
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    We dined here on Saturday night before a show at Arena stage. We made the reservation online just before pulling up to the restaurant so we would not have been surprised if we had to wait a bit. We were seated promptly, even though the restaurant was quite busy. That was the end of the prompt service though. I'm not sure if they are understaffed, because while our waiter was helpful, polite and knowledgeable, he seemed to be having trouble being attentive to his tables. We had quite a wait for him to return to take our order, and then quite another wait for our food to actually get to us. At one point I had to flag him down to advise him that we were trying to make the show. The food, when it came, was delicious. Everything was nicely spiced, and the meat was very tender. Quite an enjoyable meal, except for the fact that we had to wolf it down to make our show. We even had to wait to pay for the meal! I recommend this restaurant if you're in the market for a nice Indian meal and don't mind leisurely service.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great dinner
    bysigVIP
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    We had a wonderful dinner- salmon was memorable . Everything from drink, appetizers, and main course were terrific.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food!
    NJgalinDC
    Dined on 11/14/2014
    The service was a little bit slow, but the amazing food is worth the wait. The prices are reasonable. I highly recommend it for lunch or dinner.
    Special Features:
    hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A little above average.
    PreTheatreDiner
    Dined on 11/14/2014
    Basmati rice and naan were great. Chicken and lamb were a little better than average. Service started off being great but got much slower during the dinner. Although dessert was included, we never received it because of slowness and we ended up running late for the theatre. We had to ask more than once for our check. It was a Friday night, so I have no idea how their food or service is on less busier nights.
    Special Features:
    hot spot, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Spicy and Delicious
    tobquilten
    Dined on 11/11/2014
    We had a delicious dinner before attending Arena Stage. The restaurant is a short walk from the theatre which makes it very convenient. The menu was different from other Indian restaurants we've been to. Started with a lemon basil martini, then had Papri Chaat appetizer, shared Tandori Shrimp, and chickpea Curry. The perfect amount for 2 and they even have gluten free bread! the staff and owner were very friendly and we had nice conversations with both. We will be back.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good Indian place.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 11/9/2014
    I took my date here for her first taste of Indian food and our experience was good. Entrees seem authentic and interesting. Cardamom ice cream and milk dumplings for dessert was fun.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • pre theater issues
    theatergoerVIP
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    I love the food at Masala Art and have been to both locations more than once. I am troubled by the Waterfront restaurants inability to deal with the pre-theater (Arena Stage) dinner crowd. My friend and I got there at 6:30pm thinking that would be plenty of time for an 8pm show only a few minutes' walk away. By 7:15 when our meals still hadn't arrived (nor our bread, simple naan that arrived half way through our meal) we reminded our server that we had theater tickets (we had told him at the start). About five minutes later we got our dinners and gulped them down--both happy with our choices--and raced over to Arena. I assume that much of their dinner crowd is theater goers so they really need to get the kitchen act together.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Delicious Food and Terrible Service
    DCFoodie
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    We booked a table two hours before curtain time at the near-by Arena Stage. We arrived at the restaurant on time and were seated promptly, but it took over an hour to get our food so we had to rush through our meal to make our curtain (which we did with just 5 minutes to spare). The restaurant is beautiful, though noisy when it filled up -- and the food was excellent. We hope our experience was just a matter of its newness and that after a shake-down period the service will improve. Goodness knows the SW Waterfront area could use some nice dining options.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • some kinks to work out
    ftailVIP
    Dined on 11/7/2014
    The food was extremely good and the setting was lovely. This is a terrific addition to the renovating Waterfront neighborhood. But both service and the bar stumbled repeatedly, I'm sorry to say. Of the 4 drinks ordered, two were close to undrinkable (one was sent back). Pacing of drinks, appetizers, and entrees was completely off. One of the four drinks (ordered first) arrived barely at the half-way point of the meal. Nan arrived at the end of the meal. Some kinks to work out here, for sure. Looking forward to a return, once those have been addressed.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Decent Food; Poor Service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 11/7/2014
    the ambiance and hostess was nice. The food was also pretty decent but slighty salty. The service, however, was poor. Our waiter was impatient, walked away in the middle of our menu inquiries, never checked on us once our meals arrived, was very abrupt and pushy when it came to what we should order, was not familiar enough with the menu and resulted to reading directly from the description instead of explaining certain ingredients of each item (one of us had a strong aversion to coconut milk), and displayed little professionalism. the only redeeming factor was that management was receptive to our complaints when we brought them to their attention. Nevertheless, we weren't given anything other than an apology for the unacceptable service.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Menu Review
    TrevorHewick
    Dined on 11/6/2014
    The only issue I had was with the menu's lay out and description of the food.
    Special Features:
    late-night find, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 11/6/2014
    Wait staff was spread way too thin.... therefore service was slow and erratic (e.g., three of us were served our main course and the fourth person received hers about 10 minutes later). Our waiter tried hard-- but had to spend valuable time with tasks that could have been delegated to others-- like refilling water glasses and removing plates.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Lovely, tasty but NOISEY
    ArenaStageSubscribor
    Dined on 11/4/2014
    We have eaten at Masala Art twice in the past week. Both times the food was excellent. The waiters were attentive, but the kitchen is slow even when we told them we had a 7:30 curtain (Arrived at 6). We literally had to run to be at Arena on time. Not great for the digestion!! Masala needs to understand the needs of people with hearing loss and what accessability means. We requested seating in a corner or against a wall both times. The first time we ended up eating in the bar instead of the beautiful dining room because no tables were available along the wall of in a corner, The second time they put us by a window. Windows are NOT GOOD for people with hearing loss. The glass reflects sound and makes it difficult to understand.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 11/2/2014
    We Loved the restaurant. Classy set up, waiter very attentive and knowledgeable. We went for brunch and now we will try it for lunch next time. Recommend it
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • great food. poor service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    Hostess took very long time to seat us although we had reservation and there were many oprn tables. Kept taking phone calls instead. Food was good but service was very slow. Got the wrong entree but it was excellent (black dal) so I overlooked that. Ordered second glass of wine which never came. I would go back but leave plenty of time.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Outstanding Indian Cuisine
    fredericksburgdiner
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    The food here was unbelievable. Loved every bite. The decor and atmosphere were outstanding as well. I have two complaints though. The service was slow and inefficient. We got there and had placed our orders when very few tables were occupied but it still took a long time to get our food and one item ordered never did come. The bread is delicious but way overpriced for the quantity received. We do plan to go back since the food was so good but we are hoping for much better service next time.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent food, less good service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    The food was absolutely delicious! All four of us were delighted with our entrees. But the service was very slow and felt disorganized. The restaurant was quite full and it felt as though the staff couldn't handle the crowd. Our reservations were at 6:15 PM and we ordered by 6:25 PM, telling the waiter we had 8:00 PM theater tickets. We didn't get served until well after 7:00 PM, even though we mentioned our schedule to our waiter whenever we saw him and to the hostess, as well. As a result, we ate our dinners more quickly than we would have liked and had no time for dessert or a cup of coffee afterwards. I'm hoping the service delays were a function of their being relatively new and they'll be able to fix it.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • does it cost extra?
    CestmoiVIP
    Dined on 10/30/2014
    When they ask you if you want some more rice to finish off your meat and sauce, know that it costs $3. That's ridiculous when you are already paying for a full meal. Restaurants should charge people without disclosing it first. Everything was all delicious and the service was excellent -- except for that little omission.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • HZ29VIP
    Dined on 10/26/2014
    I had a craving for Indian food so we decided to try someplace new and found Masala Art on OpenTable. The Waterfront location was very easy to get to, as it is less than a block from the metro stop. We both thoroughly enjoyed the food and there was a nice selection of wine. Our server was friendly and very attentive. I think the only downside is that the large windows look out at the neon CVS sign, and the bright lights and street traffic took away from the nice indoor ambiance a bit. Overall, we enjoyed an excellent meal and will likely be back soon.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Good but salty
    samc
    Dined on 10/26/2014
    There was too much salt, especially in the vegetarian dishes such as saag panir. Indian food doesn't need salt for flavor.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Delicious
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    I was very impressed with the restaurant. It was decorated very nice inside with dim lighting. The food was very good and our waiter was awesome.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great When Attending Arena Stage
    CastillaVIP
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    Friend and I had a delicious and pleasant meal at Masala Rt before a show at Arena. I only eat Inidan food occasionally but I found the dishes we ordered to be excellent. The service was very attentive and helpful. Very minor computer problem with the bill the only wronkle in the experience ut dealt with speedily and satisfacorily. It was also wonderful to be be somewhere where you could have a conversation without lip reading!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good food and helpful staff
    jsuszyns
    Dined on 10/24/2014
    We were attending a show at Arena after dinner, and the staff got us in and out with just enough time. They were also helpful in accommodating us when we decided to sit at the bar and get some happy hour appetizers and drinks before settling into our table. Overall a good experience!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lovely place
    foxyladyVIP
    Dined on 10/23/2014
    Good Indian food. Convenient to my neighborhood. Nice to meet other neighbors there. It's blown up on the neighborhood blogs as a lovely place with good food.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great Food in SW Near Arena Stage
    Food42
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    Totally enjoyed the Masala Art indian restaurant near Arena Stage. Food was delicious and service was prompt, friendly and knowledgeable. If you like indian food you will really appreciate the variety of their dishes. As a bonus, you can tailor the level of spice to your taste (mild to hot). There were so many of our favorite dishes to choose from that we couldn't order them all. We know we'll be going back to try more, especially since the restaurant was very quiet and conducive to conversation. We went after the theater on Saturday and appreciated that we were able to park ($11) in the same building (1101 Fourth Street SW) as the restaurant and easily walk to the theater.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • BirthdayGirl
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    Food and service was fantastic! Staff knowledgeable and helpful in selecting dinner
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Indian with a twist
    YohaVIP
    Dined on 10/15/2014
    Food at Masala Art is very high quality - I knew the Tenley restaurant and was impressed with the Waterfront venue. Calming decor, lighting and music make the otherwise simple space very pleasant. The menu includes delicious dishes that include the standards, but also some interesting twists that are definitely worth tasting. The chicken liver on toast starter is fantastic and I understand the red beet curry was also outstanding. The location just steps off the Metro green line is super convenient.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Happy hour
    DPW1VIP
    Dined on 10/15/2014
    Met a friend for happy hour. The food and service were outstanding. Staff made wonderful recommendations.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Larp
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    We really enjoyed our dinner at Masala Art before our show at Arena Stage. The space was immaculate, airy and beautifully appointed. The servers were just slightly overly attentive to our needs. The food was firmly Indian cuisine, but original, perfectly executed, and not bashful about showcasing Indian spice. Our almost all vegetarian dishes really hit the spot and left us pleasantly satisfied for the show.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • New Neighborhood Gem
    eatoutalot
    Dined on 10/9/2014
    We loved this new restaurant for an early dinner before the Arena show. Service was excellent, the decor was intriguing and the food was very good. We will definitely be back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Tasty option for Arena goers
    writeanote
    Dined on 10/7/2014
    We were pleased to see the opening of another dining option for Arena stage goers to enjoy before the show. We arrived at the restaurant during happy hour so we opted to begin our meal at the bar by ordering the recommended chicken tikka appetizer along with our draft beers. Then sitting down in the restaurant, we ordered the marinated fish appetizer, the lamb korma and an eggplant and pepper vegetarian dish. From the bar to the sit-down meal, everything we ate was spicy, flavorful and generously portioned. Given the excellent food, service, and happy hour offerings, we will definitely return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good Discovery
    SRTSS
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    Masala Waterfront is beautifully set up, with tools, statues, figurines, necklaces, and other artwork gracing the walls and spaces between sections of the restaurant. The food was excellent, especially the chole (chickpeas), shammi, and the paneer with pearl onions. The portions were smaller than would have been expected with the prices. Some tables are quite close together so you will likely overhear your neighbors' conversation. The bar looked inviting though we didn't visit. There was ample street parking with a parking garage just down 4th Street SW and the Waterfront Metro (green). We will return and try more off of the menu that caters to veg, non-veg, and sweet lovers.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Delish!
    BitofafoodieVIP
    Dined on 10/1/2014
    My husband and I enjoyed a wonderful meal before a recent night at the theater. at Masala Art's new Waterside location We shared an appetizer (gobhi tak a tin) as well as two entrees -the Alleppie Fish Curry and the Elaichi Goshtn(lamb in a green cordamon sauce). All dishes were excellent and we consider ourselves somewhat Indian foodies. The service was attentive and the only negative was that the first draft DC Brau was flat. All in all a lovely evening.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Date night spot
    DPW1VIP
    Dined on 9/30/2014
    We had a great date night. The food was great. Server made awesome recommendations.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Bonus for Arena subscribers
    BuckeyeGal
    Dined on 9/30/2014
    What a great restaurant. As a vegetarian, I loved having so many choices. Everything was delicious and the service was efficient. 6 PM reservation and made the 7:30 curtain with time to spare.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • As Good as the Original
    otberburVIP
    Dined on 9/28/2014
    We have had many satisfying meals at the original location of Masala Art in Tenleytown and wondered how the new location in Southwest would compare. We were quite pleased. The room is a good deal more spacious and attractively decorated then the Tenleytown location, and the staff is not 100 percent Indian. As for the food: the menu and preparations differ somewhat, and although the food struck as perhaps less aggressively spiced than in Tenleytown, it is still very satisfying and vegetarian options are numerous and excellent. This is a very gratifying addition to a neighborhood not known for quality dining spots.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.