Masa and a Pops note
Friend and I got the 3 course Cinco de Mayo special at Masa in the south end last nite which they're running all month. Choice of 3 apps, 3 entrees and 2 desserts for $30.05. Place was bustling at 7:30 on a Tues. but the middle tables were empty which is where we sat. Bar area was very loud. Friend got a margarita and I tried a citrus mojito. Didn't taste much citrus tho. Bread basket comes with spreads of a maple flavored thing, spicy bean dip and one other. She had soup and I had a very nice caesar. I got the pork for an entree and it was a much larger serving than her monkfish. More like a braised dish, not much need for a knife. Very tasty but the chipotle mashed potatoes weren't so noticeable, both in size and taste. My bite of monkfish was fine. We both got banana bread pudding for dessert but it was just okay. Very sturdy consistency, just nothing special. Neither was the service, our waitress kind of forgot about us but it wasn't horrible. So not the best meal ever but a good price for sure and there are many things on the regular menu I'd like to try.
As i walked by Pops, I noticed it was closed. The note in the window said they're fixing the exhaust and will be open again on Thurs. (I think). So yay, that hopefully won't be a problem when I finally visit that restaurant.
I was also at Masa last night, though sitting at the bar. Had never been there before, and we had a really great time! Service was on-top-of things, even though we had 3-4 servers stopping by periodically. Right away ordered a combo platter and one of the big pitchers of sangria with tequila-- wasn't quite expecting the "scorpion bowl" style of pitcher, but it was fun. The combo plate was hit or miss, but way more hits than misses, and a huge bargain for what you're getting. (In general, the hot "tapas" were more flavorful than the cold. FYI, The tapas are definitely different than as is written on the website.) We followed up with another combo platter, and then a third, which was definitely enough food for the three of us.
We ordered 2 "small pitchers" (@ $5 each) of sangria, as well. When a DC accidentally spilled her glass (after we'd all already poured from one), they brought over a brand new carafe right away-- classy move!
I've often felt the same about Masa -- totally fine, and it can be a nice change of pace from the bistro-y fare in that neighborhood, but it's not amazing. Especially in terms of the quality of service. I do like heading there after a show at the Calderwood/BCA for tapas-y things and drinks, though.
Glad to hear the update about Pops. I had a simply wonderful meal there, but it was just as they opened for the evening, and so didn't get that overwhelming exhaust stink that others have spoken of. A few weeks ago I stopped in around 7p to pick up a to-go order and finally understood what everyone was complaining about. Gah.