Masa Japanese Restaurant: 2nd Floor Japanese Eats
Masa Japanese Restaurant is located on the corner of Hemlock and West Broadway on the 2nd floor, overlooking the small mini mall below. I fondly remember having our first Japanese restaurant date at a now defunct Japanese restaurant in the same location many moons ago.
There’s a good variety of dishes on the menu so we decided to go with the Teriyaki Course lunch special ($12.95) and added an order of Gomaae ($3.50), 3-in-1 Agedashi Tofu ($5.95), and Assorted Sashimi ($19.95). One of the weird things is that they brought out the Teriyaki Course lunch special piecemeal… and not all at the same time. The lunch special comes with miso soup, sunomono, prawn skewer, and 3 side dishes consisting of pickled radish and seaweed. The miso soup and 3 side dishes were the first to arrive at the table and then, over time, additional parts of the meal showed up like the sunomono and then the prawn skewer. The actual entrée was the very last thing to arrive much later on. I would have preferred if the lunch course was brought out all together (or at least close to the same time).
The Agedashi Tofu came to the table in between the lunch course and consisted of 3 different preparations: Original Deep Fried Tofu with traditional sauce, Diavolo with hot sauce, and Hawaiian with fruit. The Diavolo (I thought they misspelled this and meant “diablo” which is Spanish for “devil” but apparently “diavolo” is Italian for the same word) seemed to be topped with a Korean-style hot sauce and the Hawaiian was topped with small mango pieces. Overall, I thought the deep-fried tofu needed a bit of work because the exterior of the tofu was too chewy instead of being lightly crisp.
The Spinach Gomaae with sesame sauce was the next item to arrive and was pretty good.
The Assorted Sashimi was the next dish to arrive to the table and consisted of 4pc salmon, 4pc tuna, 2pc wild salmon, 2pc hokkigai, 2pc tako, and 2pc of either tai or madai (not really sure). Aside from the octopus, which was a bit too chewy, the rest of the sashimi seemed pretty good.
The chicken teriyaki finally arrived at the table and was served on top of a bed of shredded cabbage and carrots with a scoop of rice. While the chicken lacked a crispy skin, the chicken itself wasn’t too bad. The sweet teriyaki sauce was slathered over the chicken pieces and went well with the plain white rice.
Overall, most of the food dishes were okay but nothing to “wow” you.
1418 W Broadway