Hip and cool, yet casual and friendly, Masu fits right in as the newest kid on the Northeast block. On a warm Thursday night, tables of all ages, groups and occasions fill the dining room. Splashes of lime brighten the serious tones of the dark wood tables and chairs, and strange Asian dolls (surely there’s a more technical name) adorning the walls bring a playfulness to the setting. Even the smooth wooden chopsticks resting on cool green stones complement the simple chic vibe.
Though we stuck to wine, the drink menu had an intriguing list of creative cocktails, artisan beers and foreign sodas. The food menu was just as varied and smartly divided into categories including appetizers, sushi and rolls, and noodle dishes. The section under Robata, a type of Japanese grill, offered skewers of grilled veggies and meats ranging from quail eggs wrapped in bacon (delish!) to fresh sweet corn on the cob to barbecued rib meat.
Alongside several of the three-bite Robata items, we picked four sushi rolls. The Dyanmite and Spicy Tuna are our typical go-tos, to which we added the Spicy Iwana (arctic char with marinated vegetables) and BLT (crispy salmon instead of bacon among wrapped lettuce, tomato, spicy mayo and basil). The Spicy Iwana wasn’t as hot as its name suggests, but we had plenty of wasabi to get the kick we wanted. Masu’s BLT served up the biggest delight, perfectly pairing the taste of an American favorite with all the elegance of Asian cuisine.
Masu sets itself apart by combining a unique ambiance and varied menu with its well-prepared fare. While delicious, we can’t claim that this is the best sushi we’ve ever had – it hardly seemed different from other upscale raw bars in town. But you won’t hear us dogging the Masu experience – we wish this Northeast newcomer a long-lived stay in the neighborhood.
RATING (out of 5 ♠♠♠♠♠)
Menu Selection: ♠♠♠1/2
Food Taste & Presentation: ♠♠♠
COMPLETE EXPERIENCE: ♠♠♠1/2
Total bill, including tip: $69