Masala Art DC (Tenleytown)

4.5
1018 reviews
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$30 and under
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Contemporary Indian
'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
What 1018 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.2
service
4.3
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
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DS
Washington DC
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Masala Art is our go-to joint after a concert at National Cathedral. Fast service, excellent food. By excellent I mean Masala Art does not suffer in comparison to Rasika. (We ate at Rasika 4 days previous.)

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IM
Washington DC
22 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 2

The food was fine but the service was atrocious. Won't go back except for carry out.

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T
Washington DC
293 reviews
Dined on March 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

An early dinner with friends prior to an event was perfect. Neither of our friends had been to Masala Art before and they were as impressed as we anticipated. What is there not to love about chicken biryani, saag paneer, perfectly good lentils and more?

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LP
Washington DC
224 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

After a bit of a lull, Masala Art is back better than ever! Every element of our dinner was delicious.

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BA
Washington DC
39 reviews
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

A great neighborhood Indian restaurant with very friendly staff and a diverse menu with choices for every taste

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WH
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Crowded conditions expected on Valentine’s Day. Nevertheless, there were mistakes on the bill

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EK
Washington DC
10 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 2

Great neighbor restaurant, but steps away from metro.

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S
Washington DC
27 reviews
Dined on January 17, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Dining at Masala Art in Tenleytown is an unexpectedly upscale experience in an otherwise unimpressive neighborhood. The food is absolutely scrumptious and the restaurant itself is sumptuously decorated. My dining companion and I shared three dishes: Kastoori Paneer Tikka, Lamb Neelgiri Korma, and Baingan Mirch ka Salan. All were mouth wateringly delicious.

Although the service was professional and efficient, the staff seemed . . . I don't know, unhappy to be there? I did overhear one of them discussing the fact that their business had taken a hit due to the gov't shutdown; so maybe that explains it. Also, the bathrooms (at least the one I used--which has two toilets facing one another. Weird) are not heated, so it's pretty darned nippy in there!

Bottom-line: I would (and will) revisit Masala Art again in a heartbeat, chilly bathroom notwithstanding.

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i
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 2ambience 1

Service was not good, slow but overall everything was very good!

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A
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on January 2, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Great experience; everything was just right: service was attentive, ambiance was relaxed and conducive to talking; and the food was delicious, as usual.

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MM
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on January 2, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Came here for a quiet dinner with my husband. Great food and a comfortable, cozy atmosphere. Conveniently located close to the Tenleytown/AU Metro. Will definitely return.

(Weird toilet situation, but I won't tell you and ruin the surprise. Haha.)

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CS
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Wonderful food, both the vegetarian and meat/seafood dishes. They warn you that the vindaloo is hot - true! We went Christmas night and it was packed. We were seated right at the time of our reservation, but ordering took 30 minutes and the food took another 30 minutes to arrive. But I really want to go back. It was delicious. Nice wine too.

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AU
Washington DC
15 reviews
Dined on December 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Spectacular dinner on Christmas day. Every dish was delicious. The staff seemed briefly overwhelmed by the crowd of diners, but service was professional and cheerful. Highly recommended.

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L
1 review
Dined on December 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing service and meal! The entire atmosphere was wonderful!

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on December 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Spicy, but delicious!

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A
Washington DC
73 reviews
Dined on November 12, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Always reliable, Masala Art is a valued neighborhood asset. You can always count on having a good meal.

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ST
Washington DC
23 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Fantastic service food and ambiance but they do better with their red wine selection and would appreciated if they would return my favorite spicy lamb chop with ginger and better quality of their cardamom ice cream

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D
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 1ambience 4

The food and ambiance were wonderful, but service was non existent. We waited a full 10 minutes after seating and i had to grab someone to get their attention. We were completely ignored and had to ask multiple times for everything. The food was delicious and a nice atmosphere, so perhaps it was just a bad night, but until the service improves, i'm not returning.

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OT
Washington DC
166 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

We had reservations but had to modify them twice because of our guest's schedule. Even so, and even with a crowded restaurant and a line at the hostess station, we were greeted warmly and after only a brief moment, shown to our table.
Three of us ordered three different entrees and all three were delicious.

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BR
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on November 7, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Meal was very satisfactory. I did not like my choice of wine.

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J
Washington DC
17 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We have dined at Masala Art for years - this meal really stood out as exceptional. As good as the cooking has been in the past, it was better this time. Some new dishes and many old dishes that have been reinvented. They have also upgraded the cocktail menu.

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AG
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on September 11, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 3

This was my first time at the restaurant. Almost everything was exceptional. The ambiance, the service (once I was seated) and the food, which was beyond delicious.

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CC
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on August 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I've been to Masala Art several times recently and it never fails to delight. The ambiance is warm, the service accommodating, and the food absolutely delicious. Tandoori salmon in particular is a standout. I'm lucky that it is within walking distance but I'd go out of my way to dine here.

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N
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on August 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Always a gret meal. As good as the fancier places downtown.

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F
Washington DC
11 reviews
Dined on August 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 5

Love this place! Service was a bit slow the night we went only two people working the tables and felt like we were a bit forgotten. Beyond that the food is amazing with lots of options for everyone!

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GW
Calgary
7 reviews
Dined on August 18, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Visiting from Texas, daughter is joining American University and we took time off the busy move-in experience for some Indian Cuisine. Our first time in Washington DC, so we were curious what the Indian cuisine here would be like.

The appetizer (Chicken 65) were 4 pieces (bit dry and chewy meat) in a spicy tomato-onion sauce which I liked, but a bit spicy for my daughter and both of us felt disappointed with the lack of tenderness and small portions served.

The Murg Makhani (Butter Chicken) sauce was a bit runny and the meat was mostly dark meat, our preference being white meat. The portion was just right for us both with Naan, Tandoori Roti and Rice.

We are used to big portions dishes out in Texas, so bit disappointed with the Micro-scoop of the Cardamom ice cream which was delicious along with the Gulab Jamun.

Overall good ambience and friendly staff.

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P
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on August 4, 2018
Overall 1food 3service 4ambience 4

We were a table of 4 and they charged us an automatic 20% gratuity. I asked if this was for every transaction and the manager said "yes, everyone is being charged this gratuity". I like to give 20% gratuity for excellent service, 14% for average and 16% for good service. This service was far from good. Anyway, charging everyone a forced gratuity is out right unfair.

The food option are great, although our food was soo salty, that we couldn't enjoy the meal. This may have been a mistake (i assume) and we chose not to even bring it up.

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JJ
Washington DC
25 reviews
Dined on August 2, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We are so lucky to have Masala Art as a neighborhood restaurant!

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BL
Washington DC
21 reviews
Dined on July 31, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

Very nice meal in a quiet setting that lent itself to good conversation. Service was unhurried and inelegant, but this allowed us to catch up with old friends without feeling rushed. Food was also quite good.

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D
Washington DC
38 reviews
Dined on July 30, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 4

One of the servers didn't show up so one person was seating people, explaining the menu, taking orders, and making the drinks. Someone from the kitchen did bring out the food. But given that the restaurant was half full, it was a long wait. Otherwise the food was delicious as always.

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J
San Francisco
60 reviews
Dined on June 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

One of my favorite places. We loved sharing appetizers and a bottle of wine.

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SB
Washington DC
10 reviews
Dined on June 23, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Food was good as usual, but the service lacked a little finesse. Our entrees were brought to us while we were only halfway through our appetizers. Still a good meal, though.

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RJ
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on June 22, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 2

This was a disappointing return to an old favorite. The service was extremely slow and inattentive. The food was dry or greasy in comparison to previous visits. This may have been an off night but I don't think I will be returning again soon.

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DM
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on June 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was excellent. By far the best Indian in Washington DC. Service was great.

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LW
1 review
Dined on May 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

We have always found the food, service, and atmosphere here to be excellent. This place stands out.

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s
Washington DC
154 reviews
Dined on May 20, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Masala Art is our go-to joint after a concert of the Cathedral Choral Society. It does not suffer in comparison to Rasika. And at half the price.

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A
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on May 19, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Love Marsala Art as our very own neighborhood get away restaurant. The food is always excellent and a fantastic value. If you love Indian food, this is the place for you!

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OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on May 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Terrific food

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BK
1 review
Dined on April 28, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Very good quality, value and service despite a busy Saturday evening reservation.

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OT
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on April 26, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 4

They are great and very welcoming of kids

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