I have put off writing a review of brunch at Masa 14 for over two months. Quite simply, I put it off because I am afraid that I can’t write a post beautiful enough, long enough, epic enough to capture how beautiful, long, and epic the Masa 14 brunch experience was. I finally have the nerve to try! Here we go.
My GENK ladies and I showed up on Memorial Day weekend, fresh and tanned from a variety of adventures and very happy to see each other. Masa 14 had been our list for a while since the Bitches Who Brunch reviewed it back in 2010. The Latin-Asian fusion restaurant, already a popular DC spot for dinner and drinks, has a $35 all-inclusive brunch deal, which includes unlimited small brunch plates and unlimited brunch cocktails (a delicious selection of bloody marys and mimosas). You can’t really beat that.
We were super excited. We settled right in by ordering a bloody mary (spicy and huge), a bacon bloody mary (which I did not sample but was apparently delicious), and a lychee and classic bellini (also delicious). Then, we looked at the menu. And we looked some more. Then we joked with our server about how we wanted to just order every single dish. Do people do that? We were a little buzzed from the drinks already and feeling silly – yet worried that we would be violating some sacred rule of unlimited brunch if we ordered everything. Fortunately our server was sweet and patient, and we ended up not ordering every single dish. But we came really close – I think the final count was that we ordered every dish except eight.
I cannot give you a play by play of every dish. It would take you as long to read as it took GENK to eat. Which was about two and half glorious hours. We had a cozy booth in the corner, an attentive and patient server, delicious plate after plate after plate of food, and excellent tunes to rock to. There may have been some sitting-dancing. You know what I’m talking about.
So here are the highlights, broken down by category from the brunch menu.
Flatbreads & Salads
- Favorite: Baby Spinach and Arugula Salad. This was unexpected – we thought it would just be a boring old salad. Nope. It had an addictive curry dressing and so much savory flavor. We wanted to order another one but we were so full by the end of the meal.
- Second Favorite (tie): Breakfast Pizza and Chorizo Empanada
- Fruit and Yogurt – don’t underestimate this one. It just couldn’t compete with the other stunners in this course.
- Wild Mushroom Flatbread
- Spiced Tuna Steak Salad
Eggs, Eggs, and More Eggs
- Favorite: Veggie Benedict. This knocked our socks off. It was served on a huge piece of bread, covered in tomato and spinach and spicy sauce, with a nice egg on top. It was nothing like a traditional benedict and it was amazing.
- Second Favorite: Chiliquiles. N, G, or E will have to provide the commentary for this dish since I didn’t partake, but I know it must have been good by the sounds they made as they ate.
- Black Bean Puree – this was a vegetarian runner up. It didn’t make the list because in the end, it was just some pureed black beans. But I thoroughly enjoyed it.
- Skirt Steak
- Chicken Hash
Sandwiches, Sides, and Such
- Favorite: Grits. The clear winner, of course! How could any other dish compete with buttery, cheesy, creamy grits? The most remarkable thing about these grits is that we devoured them despite being very full at the end of our meal. The second most remarkable thing is that I ordered a second dish of grits all for myself. And I ate every last bite.
- Second Favorite: Cauliflower. This one barely slides into second place. It was perfectly cooked and spiced, but we were so full by this point that we hardly gave this dish its rightful due. The other dishes in this set hardly impressed us at all, but again, we were very full.
- Pho Beef
- Pan Dulce
- Bacon Fried Rice
Whew! After all of that, they practically had to roll us out. It was so, so worth it. My first piece of advice to you is to go, and soon! Make sure you make a reservation as it gets packed. Try for the rooftop if you can, especially as summer winds down and it’s less scorching out. Being on the roof would have only increased the joy of our brunch experience. My second piece of advice is to order everything that interests you but only eat those dishes that make your tastebuds sing. Granted, that will be many of the dishes. I think we regretted only having a tiny bit of tummy room left for the dishes at the end. And last, take full advantage of those unlimited mimosas and bloody marys.