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May 21, 2013 04:35 AM

Good Sunday brunch which is "like" Masa 14 but that "is not" Masa 14

I love everything about Masa 14 Sunday brunch - except for the noise levels. Which other DC brunch spots have a similar sort of brunch - keep 'em coming small plates and drinks?

I don't even mind the noise levels at Masa 14 when the total party is 4 people. You still have to talk loudly to be heard but they are right next to you or in front of you.

I am, however, planning a brunch with 8 of us, total. And from past experience, no matter how good the food and limitless drinks are, it's an intolerable situation for trying to maintain conversations among all 8 people - even though the table is only 4 across from 4.

The last time we tried that, I simply could not hear people who were just two seats down from me - and I was in a middle seat, not an end seat. Even worse for those on the ends who can't talk (or listen to) half the table.

I was possibly thinking about Oyamel or Estadio, maybe, although I'm not sure if their brunch is like that or not.

I will be with friends who really enjoy a wide varieties of food which is another reason we like Masa 14 - lots to choose from and you can order them all. Bummer about the noise levels. I think it has more to do with the cement floors/tabletop materials than just the people because naturally it's nice to be around that much energy.

Many thanks.

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  1. How about Agora? Similar setup, not sure if noise levels are any better.
    I saw a brunch rundown a few weeks ago, see here. They offer a couple similar suggestions:

    1. I'm not sure if it's an all you can eat situation but I believe it's all you can drink at Distrct Commons and their brunch menu is really nice. It's great for large groups (but obviously make a reservation ahead of time).

      1. If you can go on a Saturday, you might consider The Source's dim sum brunch.

        Similar type of food that Masa 14 offers, and although not limitless if I recall correctly you can select something like 8 dishes for 45/person.

        1. I like The Brixton, but it gets mixed reviews. It's only $20 and you can order absolutely anything on their small plate menu--add $15 for bottomless mimosas or Bloody Marys.

          1 Reply
          1. re: sarinaL

            Pulpo was a little like Masa 14 but I didnt find it as loud. $25 with alcohol.

            I haven't tried Zengo's yet, but their brunch looks interesting.

          2. Zengo and El Centro both do the AYCE brunch plates. Same chef, similar food as Masa.

            2 Replies
            1. re: littlew1ng

              Thank you again everyone, we went to El Centro. To be honest I wasn't as impressed with the food as at Masa 14. Too heavy.

              We were in the basement, which was great for talking, but so dark you literally could not see the food very well. To me, the food mostly tasted the same and I wonder how much of that was not being able to see it - maybe you need to see food as well as smell it to get anything out of it.

              I would not put this high on the list to return. Now that we have a great list of brunch places, though (and thank you so much) we are going to work our way through them. Zengo soon...

              1. re: flygirl

                I haven't been to El Centro but I agree about the food. The drinks are great but I was very underwhelmed by the food I had there (besides the guac). I thought it was lacking in strong flavor. I like Masa 14 MUCH better.