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Nearby points of interest

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About Masala Art - Waterfront

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,

1101 4th St SW
Washington, DC 20024
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Dining Style:
Fine Dining

Cuisines:
Contemporary Indian, Indian

Hours of Operation:
Monday to Sunday:
Lunch: 1130am to 230pm (mon to fri)
Dinner: 5pm to 10pm (sun to thu)
5pm to 1030pm (fri - sat)

Brunch: 1130am - 3pm (sat - sun)
Happy hour : 4pm - 7pm (mon to sun - at the bar only)
10pm to close every night -at the bar only



Cross Street:
4th & M street SW

Dress Code:
Business Casual

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(202) 554-1101

Website:
http://www.masalaartdc.com/

Catering:
full service available

Parking Details:
Parking garage just below the restaurant and plenty of street parking available

Public Transit:
Waterfront metro on Green Line.
Diagonally across from the restaurant.

Executive Chef:
Ajay Ramola

Additional:
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Late Night, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Specials

New Year's Eve Special Menus & Offers

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Specials

New Year's Eve Special Menus & Offers

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Details

Offering regular menu till 730pm.
830pm onwards Presenting to you :
New Year's Eve Bollywood Bash. Grand Indian Dinner Buffet. 5 Hrs of Open Premium bar (21+) Party favors and raffle draw. Midnight champagne toast. Area's best Bollywood DJ Parking in the garage below the venue $100 per person

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Masala Art - Waterfront Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.2

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.3

service

4.0

ambience

4.1

value

4.0

Noise

Moderate

88% would recommend it to a friend

Pre/post Theatre (40)
Authentic (30)
Spicy (26)
See All
Good Vegetarian Options (22)
Neighborhood Gem (19)
Creative Cuisine (18)
Fit for Foodies (18)
Casual (13)
Good for a Date (12)
Special Occasion (11)
Waterfront (11)
Healthy (9)
Good for Groups (8)
Quiet Conversation (8)
Vegan (7)
Tasting Menu (6)
Bar Seating (5)
Comfort Food (5)
Fun (5)
Vibrant Bar Scene (5)
Good for Birthdays (4)
Cozy (4)
Hot Spot (4)
Late-night Find (4)
Worth the Drive (4)
Business Meals (4)
Gluten Free Options (3)
Great for Lunch (3)
Quick Bite (3)
Romantic (3)
Good for Anniversaries (2)
Disabled Access (2)
Handcrafted Cocktails (2)
Happy Hour (2)
Notable Wine List (2)
Sunday Lunch (2)
Live Music (1)
Local Ingredients (1)
Tapas (1)
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524 reviews
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vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined 3 days ago

A terrific option for dining if an Arena Stage production is part of the mix, but also worth a meal even if theater isn't in your plans.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Pre/post Theatre, Good for Groups, Fun, Spicy, Handcrafted Cocktails, Good Vegetarian Options
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food4
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Pittsburgh)·Dined 6 days ago

Wonderful food and service! They had live music in the bar area and set the tone for the holiday!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on December 3, 2017

The food is always delicious—everything from samosa to naan to various entrees. The location is great, as in its actually possible to make a reservation with relatively short notice (~2 days out) compared to the new Wharf area, Navy yard waterfront and more inland DC hubs—and it’s also right next to the Waterfront Station. We were seated about 10-15min after we checked in for our reservation at the front desk (we made sure to stay within sight of the host so he didn’t forget about us)! The place was quite busy and slightly understaffed so the service was spotty at times but didn’t significantly impact our meal. Overall, a great stable of the Waterfront/Navy Yard area.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service3
value5

vip
 (Sydney / NSW)·Dined on December 3, 2017

The food is great but the service is terrible. They do carry out so I would highly recommend going that route. Haven't tried that yet but will do so going forward.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service1
value3

 
·Dined on December 2, 2017

The food and service was very good. We were 20 minutes late for our reservation. However, the restaurant held our reservation until we arrived.

Tags: Fit for Foodies
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on December 2, 2017

We've eaten at Masala Art -- Waterfront several times before going to a play at Arena. The food is consistently very good, but the service is consistently very poor. The servers, themselves, are polite, but the people who take orders are brusque to the point of being rude. This past visit, we had no eye contact with our waiter, i.e, he took our orders and left. When he came back to get dessert orders, which one of our party ordered, he didn't ask anyone about coffee/tea. From what we could tell, there were only two waiters in a very crowded dining room. We allowed an hour and 3/4 for dinner, and we barely made our play.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre
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food5
ambience3
service2
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 1, 2017

I have been there several times with a friend who lives nearby. We both like the food, the service, and the ambiance. I wish they would sell their little statue oil lamps. They're fun!

Tags: Comfort Food, Fit for Foodies, Pre/post Theatre, Authentic, Vegan, Special Occasion, Healthy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
·Dined on November 30, 2017

This is the second time I have taken a friend (different each time) to the Waterfront area Masala Art before a play at Arena Stage. It has worked out perfectly. Even without being told we had a time restraint, the server was fast without rushing us at all. The food was delicious, ample but not so much we couldn't stay awake during the show. The prices are not high considering the quantity and quality of the food.

In a city with some top-notch Indian restaurants, this Masala Art is right up there with the best of them.

Tags: Good Vegetarian Options, Pre/post Theatre, Special Occasion, Creative Cuisine, Authentic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service3
value4

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on November 28, 2017

The food was terrible. If you go, only order a drink or the fries...

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food1
ambience2
service2
value4

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on November 25, 2017

The food at Marsala Art was terrific. Their Gingertini is outstanding. The servers could be a little more attentive to their bar customers, however, overall we had a delightful time. P.S. If you go start in the bare and have the lollipops chicken, it is amazing!

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food4
ambience4
service3
value4

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on November 24, 2017

We arrived early for our reservation so were able to enjoy Happy Hour drinks and apps at the bar. The food is authentic and very fresh. It was a very crowded Friday night but the staff worked hard, no complaints. Also, I was able to change the number of people on my reservation with no problem at all.
Nice looking place too.

Tags: Authentic, Neighborhood Gem, Spicy, Gluten Free Options
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service4
value3

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on November 24, 2017

Service hurried, unfriendly. Waiter took order for beverage and food at same time asking "what do ya want?" Brought check w/o offering dessert. Too many new options at wharf/waterfront to bother again. Very unlike Wisconsin Avenue location where service is far better. Food and ambiance good.

Tags: Casual, Pre/post Theatre
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service1
value2

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on November 18, 2017

Very good! Excellent service and used to theater goers!

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food4
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on November 18, 2017

We chose it because it is a block away from Arena Stage and we like Indian cuisine. The waiter was fabulous but the food overly salty and there was a coating of spice on my shrimp (Tandoori) that I didn't like. The rock salt naan was delish.

Tags: Waterfront, Good Vegetarian Options, Pre/post Theatre
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience4
service4
value3

 
 (Baltimore)·Dined on November 18, 2017

Masala Art has a nice diverse menu of Indian dishes; probably some of the best Indian food we've had anywhere. We've been going there pre-theater and have never been disappointed.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Pre/post Theatre, Fit for Foodies, Spicy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience3
service4
value3

vip
 (Richmond)·Dined on November 15, 2017

Great service, great food, good price...a real find.

Tags: Spicy, Healthy, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on November 15, 2017

A delicious and varied menu from all parts of India and great for a pre-Arena Stage meal. Very convenient to both Area stage and the metro, as well as the underground parking.

Tags: Healthy, Neighborhood Gem, Vibrant Bar Scene, Casual, Happy Hour, Good for Groups, Fit for Foodies, Pre/post Theatre, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service4
value5

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on November 15, 2017

We’ve dined here several times. We love Indian cuisine, but most places serve the same basic items. Masala Art offers a wide range on unique dishes, and they do spicy very well. The service was attentive and did not rush us through a business meal. The noise level rose as more people arrived, but it was not too difficult to talk.

Tags: Special Occasion, Authentic, Creative Cuisine, Pre/post Theatre, Fit for Foodies, Spicy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on November 11, 2017

We were going pre theater which was nearby. We were seated immediately but at a tiny table with no room for the food that we ordered. It took at least 15 or 20 minutes for a waiter to come over to our table though we asked numerous times to place our order..... we had an 8pm curtain at Arena Stage Theater. We arrived st the restaurant at 6:05pm. Our order was finally taken at 6:45. We slowly got some of our food 1/2 hour later. Little by little most of our order appeared. There was barely room on our tiny table to accommodate our meal. We had to move the salt and pepper shakers, the candle holder etc off the table so that we could put our plates down. We had to ask for water, serving spoons and even our Naan which didn't arrive until we were finished with dinner.
Our waiter NEVER came over to our table to see if we wanted or needed anything.
The food was really awful...maybe they're so used to serving tourists who won't return, but we live here, and we will NEVER return. Oh, I had to take utensils and a bread plate from the next table as mine were dirty.

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food2
ambience1
service1
value1

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on November 11, 2017

Fabulous dinner pre-theater. Food delicious, staff friendly and knowledgeable. Amazing. Will return.

Tags: Authentic, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on November 11, 2017

Delicious food - extensive menu - excellent service. Black cherry Manhattan was exceptional.

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on November 11, 2017

Went to Masala Art because we were going to Arena Stage to see a show and needed to eat some where close by. The restaurant is steps from the Waterfront metro and a few blocks walk to Arena Stage. Also across the street from Starbucks/Safeway. The restaurant was lovely inside. The lunch buffet was super yummy. The service was good. they kept refilling our water glass, which is always a plus. Overall, we really enjoyed it. Would love to come back for dinner some time.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Spicy
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food5
ambience5
service4
value4

 
·Dined on November 11, 2017

Food was mixed- somethings were good some were average. Service was decent. Nice decor but there was a group of loud people at the bar - in particular one loud women that really detracted from the experience.

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food3
ambience3
service4
value3

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on November 9, 2017

A friend double checked with the waiter that his fish dish would be spicy and when delivered ed it was NOT spicy at all and a huge disappointment. I asked the waiter for suggestions for NOT spicy food and he recommended the samosas for an appetizer. They turned out to be VERY spicy. The waiter seemed disinterested. The manager corrected my friends meal which he appreciated.

We have eaten here previously and had much better price fixe choices and service. The Diet Pepsi did not have enough syrup either. I ordered chocolate chip ice cream for dessert and found that both that and another selection were unavailable and cardomom ice cream was the only flavor available. We were very disappointed with our dinner.

Tags: Authentic, Waterfront
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience4
service2
value4

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on November 3, 2017

Masala Art doesn't disappoint! Everything was delicious and fresh and was served quickly. I had never been on a Friday, and i don't know if this is a regular thing or not, but we weren't prepared for was the (loud) live music. It was a jazz saxophonist, and he was wonderful. We just weren't prepared for the loud music.

Tags: Good for a Date, Creative Cuisine, Waterfront, Vibrant Bar Scene, Romantic, Good for Birthdays, Cozy, Neighborhood Gem, Good Vegetarian Options, Casual, Pre/post Theatre, Handcrafted Cocktails, Live Music
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on November 2, 2017

We eat at Masala Art ahead of seeing plays at Arena Theatre, and the food is always delicious and the service usually excellent.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Creative Cuisine, Special Occasion, Waterfront
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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on November 2, 2017

Masala Art is a pleasant Indian establishment. The food is well prepared and tasty, conventional but good. The menu features a good selection of vegetarian dishes.

Tags: Spicy
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food3
ambience3
service3
value3

 
·Dined on November 1, 2017

PASS ON THIS RESTAURANT: HORRIBLE SERVICE AND POSSIBLE SANITARY AND OTHER PROBLEMS. It seems that I had the misfortune of having the same server as the last reviewer and there were issues with the mediocre food.

My partner and I had a TERRIBLE experience here recently. Our dining nightmare started with a RUDE WAITER, a male of around 45 years old (Indian ethnicity, hair slicked over with excessively applied gel -- styling ambitions run amok. ). He had an unfriendly look and demeanor the whole time and acted as if he resented having to serve there. When we were selecting beverages, I asked if I could have a list, and he indicated there wasn't one. Then he mentioned a lower quality substitute. I said no, do you have this one, and he just said no and mentioned two other lower quality options. He didn't want to bother and go get a list, even though they had them stacked up about 50 feet away. I had to go and look at what they had; they did actually have what I had requested, sitting right there at the bar. When he brought the beverage, it was awful, and something tasted funny in it -- like a sharp hint of artificial lemon; I wonder how carefully the glass had been rinsed and was concerned about accidental and possibly unsafe mixing of substances that could be in the kitchen or bar area. Beyond this, it was very poorly mixed; I asked him to correct, but when he brought it back, it was the same. When they were winding down the buffet, the waiter just came by and in his unfriendly manner just stated, "We're closing" and abruptly left. THIS IS THE WORST SERVICE I'VE EVER RECEIVED, AND SOMETHING TASTED "OFF" IN THE BEVERAGE AND FOOD.

The owners may want to work immediately on correcting things if they want to provide dining experiences to compete in a growing SW restaurant base.

Further, we both felt ill after leaving the restaurant and were about POSSIBLE SANITARY AND OTHER PROBLEMS. For the time being, my advice is to STAY AWAY FROM THIS RESTAURANT.

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food1
ambience1
service1
value1

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on October 28, 2017

Very poor service by waiter who seemed indifferent and unable to get our meals delivered although was told we had theatre deadline. Food average. Half empty on a Sat night. They need to step up their game in order to compete with new restaurants at Wharf. This was our fourth visit and maybe last.

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food3
ambience3
service1
value2

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on October 27, 2017

They do a great job of getting you out in time for Arena Stage shows. Great value pre-fixe pre-theater menu. Standard Indian food.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre
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food4
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on October 24, 2017

Great Service; perfect Pre-fixe Pre-Theater Dinner Specials (and show your Arena Stage tickets and get 1/2 off a bottle of wine!). Vegetarian selections and curry sauces are excellent. Convenient to the Waterfront DC MetroRail and The Wharf/DC Waterfront. With proximity to the Arena Stage, you never know who you will run into going from this restaurant, north around the park, and west to the theater. After our meal we ran into Hal Linden who is featured in the current play, The Price.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Spicy, Pre/post Theatre, Vegan, Neighborhood Gem, Authentic, Late-night Find, Good Vegetarian Options
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on October 18, 2017

Perhaps I am just tired of Indian food, but nothing was really that tasty with the exception of the rock salt/cilantro Naan. The lamb biryani was bland and the eggplant dish was simply mushy and tasteless. Service is attentive and helpful.

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food3
ambience4
service3
value3

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on October 15, 2017

We ordered drinks, appetizers and entrees. First thing out was one appetizer. A while later the drinks. Asked about the other appetizer and were told that he assumed she wanted two main courses. Check was wrong too. If this is typical, the new Wharf places are going to do them in.

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food4
ambience4
service1
value3

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on October 15, 2017

Our second visit and as good as our first. This Indian food is top rate as is the service. They have a wonderful three course option for $35. If you order this, any bottle of wine is 1/2 price. The sauces for all the dishes were fabulous.

Tags: Casual, Good Vegetarian Options, Fit for Foodies, Pre/post Theatre, Authentic, Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Las Vegas)·Dined on October 14, 2017

NEVER A DISAPPOINTMENT IN WHATEVER YOU CHOOSE...... Always fresh and a diverse take on the entire Indian Cultural cuisine. Our favorite local go-to!

Tags: Good for a Date, Creative Cuisine, Waterfront, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Baltimore)·Dined on October 9, 2017

Went to Masala Art because of its proximity to the Navy Yard. Staff was friendly and attentive. The food was excellent and served in huge portions. I'm going to try it again during a busier time, but overall, it was a very pleasurable experience.

Tags: Good for a Date, Spicy, Great for Lunch, Sunday Lunch, Cozy
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
·Dined on October 8, 2017

Meeting with family

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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on October 7, 2017

This is our favorite pre-Arena Stage venue. The food is excellent and authentic Indian Cuisine. Our server was excellent and a bit overworked. He mad it work, no matter. The spicey garlic Naan was outstanding as were the chicken croquettes. We both had superb lamb curry. Art Masala is a REAL find!

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Tasting Menu, Fun, Disabled Access, Casual, Spicy, Creative Cuisine, Pre/post Theatre
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on October 5, 2017

They brought gluten free bread without us asking when we ordered gluten free entrees. The food and service were superb!

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Worth the Drive, Good for Birthdays, Bar Seating, Spicy, Special Occasion, Gluten Free Options
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on October 1, 2017

Lovely space for delicious Indian food. It is possible to hear one's dinner companion in this airy set of rooms. The food is tasty and easily shared. My friend and I shared Saag Paneer and a creamy chicken dish (?) with Tandoor Roti. Each came with rice and were just enough with an arresting combination of flavors.

Tags: Waterfront, Good Vegetarian Options, Pre/post Theatre
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food4
ambience4
service4
value3

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