Masala Art - SW Waterfront

4.4
864 Reviews
$30 and under
Contemporary Indian

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Pre/post Theatre
At long last, I have a good answer for theatergoers hoping to catch dinner near Arena Stage on the Southwest Waterfront. It’s called Masala Art and it’s a spinoff of the Indian restaurant of the same name in Tenleytown.

Since mid-July, when the second restaurant made its debut, loyalists have had rich reasons to dine closer to home. One is chicken tikka, its moist nuggets elevated with basil and lime leaves. Another is a south Indian fish curry that gathers chunks of cobia in a turmeric-tinted coconut milk gravy. (The dark purple rind in the bowl is kokum, a fruit that imparts a pleasant sweet-sour note.) Tender baby eggplant draped in a thick cloak of pureed peanuts, sesame seeds and tamarind makes for a meaty vegetarian meal.
1101 Fourth St. SW. 202-554-1101. masalaartdc.com.
WashingtonPost.com,
What 864 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.4
service
4.4
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
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vipstephenb
Washington DC
66 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall3food2service4ambience3

Service was good but the food was a bit below what I would have expected - dishes were overly salted, especially the eggplant.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
10 reviews
Dined on November 26, 2021
Overall4food5service3ambience3

Birthday celebration fir my husband. Loved the food, not large portions but excellent flavor and the meats were perfectly cooked. Our waitress was very nice and accommodating but the food delivery was a bit slow and twice the food runner offered us food that wasn’t ours.. we would go back though

C
Cheryl
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on November 22, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Masala Art is my favorite neighborhood restaurant. The staff is always friendly and helpful and the Indian food excellent.

VL
vipVLHDC
Washington DC
31 reviews
Dined on November 16, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We went to Masala Art before we went to Arena Stage. The food was great, the people friendly and he atmosphere is great. Highly recommend.

N
Nancy
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on November 12, 2021
Overall3food3service3ambience4

The service was slow. The Sarson Wali Fish Curry uninteresting. The Murg Sag Wala and Mutton ki Nazami…. were tasty but hotter than we were told. The plain Nan was fine. Chutney platter bland. Water was not cold. Not great but limited options for dinner in the neighborhood. A disappointment compared with the lunch buffet in Tenleytown.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Nice server. Quite attentive. Great food.

R
Rayb
Washington DC
17 reviews
Dined on November 7, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent service and generous portions.

J
vipJoann
Washington DC
38 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

As always, an excellent dinner at Masala Art before heading to Arena stage. Tandoor Paneer Shashlik and Chick pea biryani were exceptionally tasty!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We arrived late to celebrate a birthday before going to the nearby Arena Stage - the good time as excellent but what really stood out was how hard the management and wait staff worked to help us with a massively truncated time schedule. Our thanks to all at Marsala Art who worked so hard to rescue our evening.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Great food. Very pleasant server. Some confusion at check-in, as they couldn’t find our Open Table reservation. We showed them our e-mail confirmation, and that worked.

P
Porchlady
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 21, 2021
Overall2food1service3ambience2

I’ve always enjoyed Masala Art at the Tenleytown location but this experience at the location in SW was disappointing. The food was really mediocre, lacking flavor and finesse. Especially disappointing as it was our anniversary. We won’t be back,

EK
vipEKCope
Houston
21 reviews
Dined on October 18, 2021
Overall5food3service5ambience5

Great service. Very kind and patient with a large group.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on October 16, 2021
Overall3food3service2ambience3

Food was good but service was slow and staff was not knowledgeable of menu.

H
Heather
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on October 16, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had an absolutely lovely dinner at Masala Art before going to the Arena Stage.
The food was fantastic (among the best Indian food we have had in the city). The service was rapid and excellent. The restaurant was not crowded and quiet enough for a wonderful conversation at our table. I recommend it highly.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Atlanta
5 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2021
Overall2food2service3ambience4

Food was mediocre. Everything was on the salty side. The shrimp we ordered was not fresh. It was mushy and tasted off. The goat dish was good.

LR
LloydR
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 9, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Very good food, excellent service.

RF
vipRealFoodie
Washington DC
34 reviews
Dined on October 2, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful food, paired exactly to how we explained to Sandeep that we would enjoy it. Staff took super care of us and completely exceeded our expectations. Thanks to Sandeep and the staff at Masala Art for making our dining experience so awesome!

DC
vipDCdiner
Washington DC
31 reviews
Dined on September 21, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food and service. Menu has lots of interesting regional dishes. The paneer in spicy tomato sauce is outstanding!

W
Wildflower202
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined on September 9, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We enjoy coming here for special occasions. The management is so much fun and so nice. The restaurant is spacious and we love the art. Our server had a good sense of humor and was very patient when a few people in our party showed up a bit late. It was great to spend my 50th birthday at such a nice restaurant! Thank you Masala Art!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on August 14, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Sandeep was an amazing host. Enjoyed the meal tremendously.

GG
GrillyGirl
1 review
Dined on August 8, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The menu was slightly abbreviated to accommodate the impacts of the pandemic, there were plenty of suggestions for substitutes. Our food was impeccably prepared and delicious. We enjoyed the service and found the Covid protocols adequately in place. We would love to go back again soon!

CK
CKGbolie
1 review
Dined on July 30, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Great! Totally good time and delicious food! The service was excellent and they aided in having a surprise dessert presented for my partner.😁

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on July 3, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience4

I’ve had better Indian food…this wasn’t the best but it was pretty good!! The staff was great!

TF
TemitayoF
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on June 20, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience3

Father’s Day

TR
vipTimothyR
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on June 18, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic food - the channa masala was rich and tasty, and the butter chicken was so good too. My parents had not had Indian food before, and while trepidatious at first, they loved everything that they tried, and in fact want to go back tomorrow! I particularly like the laal maans (very spicy goat curry).

OT
OpenTable Diner
Baltimore
4 reviews
Dined on June 11, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The owner was very attentive and accommodating.He was really nice. The food was outstanding and prices were great for a DC restaurant.

KK
KimK
Washington DC
16 reviews
Dined on June 11, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great tasting food, good service, and good price.

BG
vipBirthdayGirl
Washington DC
17 reviews
Dined on June 9, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Food is always great with large portions!

GJ
GJDC
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on June 8, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

For excellent Indian food in Southwest, Masala Art has never disappointed. I've enjoyed takeout during the pandemic, and this was the first time to dine in with a couple of friends post-vaccination. Cocktails were unique and a great start, along with a very tasty appetizer of the broccoli and pea patties. Each of our vegetarian entrees was excellent, served with a generous side of rice. The roti was also exactly what you'd expect from a good Indian restaurant. The only challenge was for the single server who was staffing both the dining room and take-out service, so service was on the slow side. But I expect this will be back to normal as things continue to open up. No, Masala Art doesn't have the views (or the prices) of the Wharf restaurants, but the food is excellent and that's what it's about. The restaurant is close to Metro and Arena Stage, and it's an easy walk to the Wharf, Nationals Park, and the Mall, so what's not to like?

DM
DeepM
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on May 22, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience4

The food was great and decently priced. They were also very generous in allowing us to move to a bigger table. There was some miscommunication in our order, but the waiter was very happy to accommodate us with what we wanted to eat.

b
vipbeyou73
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on May 22, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Highly recommend Masala Art - SW. All around great dining experience.

BS
BrendaS
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on March 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was excellent, and service without a halt! It's always a good place to go before a show at Arena.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on March 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Good food . Great service. Live music from the bar area was a little loud. Other than that, a great evening.

AH
vipAndrewH
New York Area
23 reviews
Dined on February 29, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience5

Truly some of the tastiest and refreshing Indian food I have ever had. And the naan was to dies for!

QE
vipQED1
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on February 26, 2020
Overall3food4service1ambience4

Second time in a row that we couldn’t get food in time to eat it and wrong food item brought to us. In the past we never had trouble here so we’re confused as to what’s happening. We didn’t recognize the staff. Has there been a turnover in personnel or ownership?

C
vipCanada
Washington DC
16 reviews
Dined on February 22, 2020
Overall1food1service1ambience4

We having been coming to Marsala Art ever since they opened the 4th Street location. We go before plays at Arena Stage on Sunday night. This time we had tickets for Saturday night. Made a reservation for 6:30. When we arrived it was very busy. Did not get seated for 12 minutes. We quickly made our food decision and orders around 6:50. At 7:20 no food. Spoke to our waiter and he said he would check. At 7:30 with still no food and waiter not getting back to us we left. What I don't understand is a restaurant allowing itself getting so overwhelmed you cannot handle customer's orders. Don't allow reservations to be made after as many as the kitchen can handle. We will not let this one incident stop us from going back but if it happens again will have to rethink.

k
vipkarensdogs
Washington DC
39 reviews
Dined on February 22, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience3

It was very busy at dinner time. Our server was so overwhelmed, he forgot to order one dish. Another dish came out without the main ingredient, the shrimp.

FX
FX22032
Washington DC
16 reviews
Dined on February 22, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Pre-theater (Arena Stage) lunch buffet on Saturday. Perfect! And Masala Art discounts by 10% for Arena patrons!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 21, 2020
Overall3food3service2ambience5

Food was mediocre and the server was in a hurry.

LL
LibraryLady
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on February 20, 2020
Overall4food4service3ambience4

Contrary to other visits, entrees took over 30 minutes to arrive though the restaurant and the waiter had been told that we were going to Arena Stage. The food when it arrived was good and all enjoyed what they had ordered. We had to hurry to get to Arena Stage to meet the 4th person in our group and to pick up our tickets.

FAQs

Masala Art - SW Waterfront does offer delivery in partnership with Uber Eats. Masala Art - SW Waterfront also offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (202) 554-1101.

Masala Art - SW Waterfront is rated 4.4 stars by 864 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.

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