Masala Art DC (Tenleytown)

4.2
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1038 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 1038 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.2based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.1
service
3.9
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Quiet
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
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DC
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on September 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This restaurant is consistently our favorite Indian restaurant in DC. The lamb vindaloo is spicy, with very high quality ingredients. The eggplant dishes are exceptional. The wine list is fairly priced and the selections pair nicely with the menu. We highly recommend this unassuming restaurant with great ambiance and exceptional service.

D
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Wonderful food, gracious service, we will be back!

B
Washington DC
36 reviews
Dined on August 20, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Just before our reservation there was a tremendous wind and rain storm, which plunged Masala’s neighborhood into darkness. Blackout. Always a terrific place, but on this night Mother Nature has other plans.

S
Washington DC
120 reviews
Dined on August 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent food and service. The best Indian restaurant in the DC area.

c
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on August 11, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

We love this place. Great food and convenient location. But it was sweltering on Sunday night. No AC? In DC? Not so wonderful when you’re eating spicy food.

T
Richmond
2 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 3

food and service were good, unfortunate that the Air conditioning was not working

GW
Denver
5 reviews
Dined on July 31, 2019
Overall 5food 2service 5ambience 5

Usually love the food, get the same dishes. Didn't like the flavor of mine AT ALL but we had brought a guest and didn't want to complain in front of him. Turns out it was the same for my husband; on our way home he told me how yuks his was. Will take this off the rotation

G
Washington DC
108 reviews
Dined on July 17, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

The buffet at Masala Art is the best sit down lunch value in Washington, DC, hands down. I'm not sure my bill even came to $40. The buffet is imaginative - it's not just butter chicken and saag paneer. The service wasn't great this time - it took a long time to get our bread and I had to go searching for the server to get our check. Other times I've eaten there that hasn't been the case.

T
Washington DC
305 reviews
Dined on July 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Such a great place to enjoy when visitors are in town. The food is always amazing and it's usually quiet enough to have a conversation. We also enjoyed the leftovers that made the trip home with us.

p
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on July 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Authentic food, quick service and peaceful environment.
Pain poori was really good.

JS
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on June 18, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 3ambience 1

I have long been a fan of Masala Art, but I was stunned at the poor quality of the food we were served on a night when we were more or less the only table that was occupied in the restaurant. Things were bland, some dishes were cold or not very fresh. Only the naan was at the level of quality I had known in the past. I'm not sure I will be back unless I hear a good report.

DC
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on May 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

We had a spectacular meal. Every dish was wonderful.

CB
New England
9 reviews
Dined on April 26, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

This is one of my favorite (top 5) DC-area restaurants. The food is delicious and perfectly prepared, and they do not skimp on the portions. I always leave stuffed and happy.

JS
1 review
Dined on April 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and service. Loved the waiter’s recommendations. Nice neighborhood atmosphere.

C
Washington DC
23 reviews
Dined on April 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It consistently serves dishes of quality taste and authenticity.

LM
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on March 31, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

We went to Masala Art DC on a Sunday evening. After letting the waitress know three times that we were ready to order and watching her nod her head and then go do something else, we got fed up and walked out. Really poor customer service.

DD
Washington DC
26 reviews
Dined on March 28, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Terrific service for a group of us meeting for a special occasion dinner. Nice ambience and very good food. It's worth a repeat visit for sure!

MH
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 2

Food was outstanding...garlic naan was crisp and fresh. The cauliflower appetizer was crunchy, light and flavorful. Our chicken was spicy and just the right amount of heat, and the lamb with mint/cliantro sauce was the highlight of the meal. Great Moscow Mules, too. Our server was slammed with three tables seated simultaneously PLUS a big group in the front, but to his credit, made sure he served each of our tables in order, as quickly as possible. It was loud up front due to the large group, and probably quieter towards the back. The ambiance is mediocre but comfy, but in this case, it was all about the food!

KK
Miami
4 reviews
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Delicious food and different than most Indian restaurants.

J
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on March 19, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Great food and excellent service.

DS
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on March 17, 2019
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.)

IM
Washington DC
23 reviews
Dined on March 15, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 2

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

T
Washington DC
305 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?

LP
Washington DC
235 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.

BA
Washington DC
45 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

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

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

Great neighbor restaurant, but steps away from metro.

S
Washington DC
29 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.

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!

A
Washington DC
6 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.

OT
New York Area
4 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.)

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.

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.

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

Amazing service and meal! The entire atmosphere was wonderful!

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

Spicy, but delicious!

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.

ST
Hawaii
30 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

D
Washington DC
7 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.

OT
Washington DC
184 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.

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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