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“Disappointed this time - 2nd visit - not so good as it was a few years ago.” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Masa

Masa
439 Tremont St, Boston, MA 02116-6304 (South End)
617-338-8884
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Ranked #404 of 2,835 Restaurants in Boston
Price range: $20 - $40
Cuisines: American, Southwestern, Mexican, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Bar scene, Large groups, Outdoor seating, Special occasions, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighborhood: South End
Cross street: Arlington and Berkeley
Transit: Arlington T stop green line, or Back Bay station on the Orange Line
Ontario, Canada
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
70 helpful votes 70 helpful votes
“Disappointed this time - 2nd visit - not so good as it was a few years ago.”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 7, 2013

Yes, they still have the biggest selection of tequila you will likely ever see, but upon arrival the host gave us attitude instead of a warm greeting, which we should have taken as our cue to leave. Our server Logan was very nice, and provided great, friendly service.

During this visit perhaps the menu was limited due to it being restaurant week, leaving little choice between appetizers, or the fixed 3-course dinner menus.

We opted not to go for the 3 course dinner, since it was way too much food, and we just wanted something light.

The chimichanga came with partially cooked beef, pink and raw looking inside, even though "well done" was requested when ordering. It was too greasy for my liking, and was not what one expects from a Mexican restaurant - it was a ground beef patty with cheese, wrapped in dough, and deep-fried. It had no sauce, and was flavourless.

The little side servings of salsa verde & rojo also had no flavour - so much for picante.

The tapas and drinks were good though.

With so many other Mexican restaurants in the Boston area, many with better menu options and pricing, we'll not likely return to Masa.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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159 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Boston, Massachusetts
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
“Excellent. Upside surprise!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2013

Our second visit completely eliminated a bit of a doubt from our first visit that Masa is an excellent restaurant. A very nice space with a pleasant feel. Highly creative menu very well executed on our second visit (was just OK on first visit but good enough to motivate us to try again). Attentive, smiling, unobtrusive service ('Rosa,' I believe). We will return for sure and recommend Masa with enthusiasm.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Boston, Massachusetts
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Fantastic Tapas - Outstanding Service at the Bar”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2013

Stopped in here on a Sunday afternoon for my first visit and was very impressed. Upon entering we were immediately greeted by both the manager and the bartender. We sat at the bar; my wife and I each had the tapas sampler plate and found it to be excellent with a very nice variety of quality offerings. The bartender made a wonderfully exotic margarita mulled with hot peppers and fresh herbs. We shared one order of the Tuna Tartar and enjoyed it so much we ordered a second. Erin enthusiatically shared some of her extensive knowledge about tequila and recommended an amazing single village type that was so complex and different than any I've ever had before. I am looking forward to returning to this little gem soon and often.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Wayland, Massachusetts
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
43 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Great Dining in South End”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2013

There are lots of wonderful places to eat in the South End. We had a great experience at Masa, known for its Southwestern cuisine. The ambiance is very-comfortable South End (old building, modern-ish decor). I had the short ribs (which are served on a scallion pancake, with grilled pineapple on spinach). My wife had two appetizers (a succulent scallop dish, plus guac layered with tuna tartar). We couldn't stop yummming. Great presentation, too. Our waiter's food recommendations were right-on, and he recommended wines that perfectly complimented our dishes. His name was "T"; his folks are from Brazil and Italy, and he couldn't have been more attentive. In fact, the staff overall was very friendly and welcoming. If you like margaritas (tequila in general), you'll have a huge selection to choose from. Valet parking was a bit expensive ($16, plus tip), so I'd look for on-street parking first. (I did try!) Note: we've also been to the Masa in Woburn, MA, which was good for all the same reasons, except that one of the dishes, the pork loin, was overcooked. Not saying you shouldn't eat there, but... it happened.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Cleveland, Ohio
Top Contributor
82 reviews 82 reviews
47 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
“a really nice surprise”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2013

My husband and I had just arrived in Boston, and did not have any plans made for dinner that evening. We stayed at Nine Zero, and as part of their Local Tips program one of their staff recommended Masa for their chili rubbed strip steak and jalapeno watermelon margarita. That immediately got my husband's attention! So we made reservations, hopped in a cab and went.

Since it was a little bit early the restaurant was only about half full. The atmosphere was nothing exciting - comfortable and not too noisy. There were tables for small as well as large parties and the space was long/rectangular vs square. Our server was right there asking for drink orders. Drinks and water arrived promptly. I had a nice glass of temperanillo, my husband ordered that margarita - which was quite spicy.

Bread (corn and regular) with several toppings arrived. For appetizers we ordered the shrimp ceviche and the roasted beet salad. Both were quite tasty, although it took me a bit to warm up to the beet salad. Initially it was a little bit bland. But as I ate it the flavors really melded. Maybe it needed to come more to room temperature. Ultimately the beets worked really well with the sugar cane dressing and goat cheese.

For diner we had the sauteed spinach, the chili rubbed rib eye steak and blackened rare ahi tuna with yellow mole. My husband was still nursing that margarita - it was very spicy! The steak came with some ridiculously huge onion rings and garlic whipped potatoes. The tuna was a perfectly sized serving. Two nicely thick rare slices of tuna on top of yukon potatoes and mushrooms. The spinach was very fresh and not mushy at all. I ate every bit of my tuna. Half of my husband's meal had to be boxed!

Since I ate all of my dinner, I got dessert. I'm not normally a fan of flan, but since everything else was so good I decided to give it a try. Their vanilla flan was quite good. Not as good as a creme brulee, but quite good. I also had a banana rum drink that I am not remembering the name of. Tasty!

Masa does have a huge tequila listing, and a fairly extensive cocktail listing as well. Next time we go back (and I'm sure we will next time we are in Boston!) we will have to sample some of those.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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