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Monday, April 15, 2024
The Eagle

Masala Art dazzles Tenleytown with creative Indian food

Restaurant review

Nestled in between a Subway and Mattress Warehouse store on Wisconsin Avenue, just a half block from Tenley Circle, Masala Art provides a gourmet Indian dining experience in a comfortable, relaxing atmosphere.

Exquisite blends of spices, known as masala, are prominently used in the restaurant’s north Indian cooking, though their presence can also be found in dishes from Hyderabad in India’s southern region. Subtly illuminated art from throughout India strikes the perfect ambiance to enhance every diner’s meal.

On a Tuesday night, a number of customers filled the elegant, wide-open space. The service is formal, responsive, well informed and succinct about the restaurant’s dishes. Masala Art does not offer outside seating, but its area can hold enough diners as is.

The restaurant creates a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere – almost like a sanctuary – by playing tranquil music. Masala Art also has a well-stocked bar featuring Indian specialty drinks, light-green walls and comfortably cushioned benches and chairs.

The delectable Aloo Tikki Chaat, an appetizer consisting of pan fried potato patties mixed with chickpeas and sweet yogurt, is a hearty mixture of potato, paneer and garlic complemented with cilantro. Fresh chopped tomato and onion in a sauce mixed with a dollop of cream add to the flavor.

Another dish, Murgh Tikka Masala, has boneless chicken delicately mixed in a spicy onion and tomato sauce. The plate is served with fenugreek, a semi-arid crop whose seeds are typically found in Indian cuisine. The combination is delicious for those who can handle the heat.

There is so much to love about Masala Art. The rock salt and cilantro naan has been voted the best naan in D.C. for the past four years according to the restaurant’s owner Atul Bohla.

“95 percent of our menu is gluten-free, and we also have gluten-free bread,” Bohla said.

Additionally, unique items such as chicken with pickled onions and fish with coconut and mint are prepared by chefs who have experience cooking at five-star restaurants in India.

Masala Art is an exceptional Indian restaurant that fits the bill for dining on a special occasion such as parents weekend or a date night.

Delivery from Masala Art is available at night directly from the restaurant. There is no charge for delivery within a two-mile radius, and the minimum order is $25 (before taxes). Carry out and catering services are also available.

Masala Art’s lunch buffet costs $9.95 which includes 3 vegetarian and 2 meat dishes that vary daily, Monday through Friday. Bhola is almost finished with the planning stage for a second location in Southwest D.C.

scene@theeagleonline.com


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