Old Nov 15, 03, 12:15 am
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Anyone care to corroborate this NYT review from earlier this year?


Calling his cooking ''nueva cocina Latina,'' the executive chef John Manion is inspired by Latin America without trying to reproduce its culinary traditions. His golden fried empanada oozes a rich filling of wild mushrooms and goat cheese. Served with walnuts and frisée with balsamic reduction, it could be nueva California. But our helpful Argentine waitress proudly points out to my wife, Carol, and I and two friends that it's still Argentine at heart. Mr. Manion's daily ceviche that night was citrus-marinated marlin and shrimp mixed with grilled pineapple and habanero chili in dark rum and coconut milk, another unusual combination that I relished.

A fine entree of seared yellowfin tuna with yucca fries is mantled with the herbal, garlicky chimichurri that is as ubiquitous in Argentina as ketchup is here. A lovely presentation of similar-size slices of rare lamb loin, fingerling potatoes and baby eggplant is spruced with chili piquillo salsa; luxuriant ancho-chili rubbed chicken breast shines alongside tangy mustard greens and lunas de calabaza, half moon pumpkin-filled dumplings reminiscent of pumpkin ravioli. A zesty Seghesio Sonoma County zinfandel 2000 ($32) suits the food nicely.

For dessert, the inevitably soothing vanilla flan gets a welcome boost from Mandarin orange syrup instead of the usual caramel. But my allegiance goes to the moist cashew buttermilk cake with vanilla-soaked pears.

Mas is very noisy when busy, which is the rule not long after doors open nightly. The loft-look space is dark and stylish, sporting earth-toned sponged walls where they aren't exposed brick. The bar is a major purveyor of Cuban mojitos and Brazilian caipirinhas, but after dinner I savored the spice and citrus flavors of a single-village mescal from Santo Domingo Albarradas.

essxjay is offline  
Old Nov 17, 03, 7:42 am
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by essxjay:
Anyone care to corroborate this NYT review from earlier this year?</font>
No I can't as I have not been, but if you are going, why not get a Mas $25 gift cert for $12.50 at the following site:

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Old Nov 17, 03, 8:18 pm
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Wow Sweet Willie! Thanks for the lead. Wherever do you find all these great deal??
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Old Nov 18, 03, 10:09 am
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I've lived around the corner from Mas since it opened about 5 years ago and it remains an excellent restaurant. If you are not dining on a weekend getting in generally isnt a problem. For a while, though, there were usually 10 or 15 people on Saturdays and Sundays lining up outside at 5:30 waiting for the doors to open.

The menu changes a couple of times every year but some standouts that I've had that I believe are still on the menu are: Pork with white beans in truffle oil (probably my favorite), empanadas (details change but always great), the ceviche is very good, and the butternaut squash entree is about the best vegetarian dish I've ever had. Fish dishes have always been strong as well. Deserts are good too but they took away my favorite a few years ago (They made an unreal tres leches).

If you like the dip served with the bread the recipe appeared in the tribune a few years ago and it's easy to make and very tasty. It's also online at the check please recipe site that Sweet Willie provided. Service is good; many of the waiters are the same since the restaurant opened which is always a good sign.

Unless its pouring rain (like today) there is no need to valet. There is plenty of street parking within the block. Go north on Paulina (just past Mas) or south on Paulina (at the Starbucks) and you'll find some shortly.
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Old Nov 24, 03, 1:55 am
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don't forget about Otra Mas too...
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Old Nov 24, 03, 10:07 am
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by chichow:
don't forget about Otra Mas too...</font>
Which, frankly, was a forgettable experience. So forgettable, in fact, I can barely remember what I had!

Wait was long. Service was poor. Food was so-so. There were a few highlights for sure - including the gazpacho and tilapia. A skirt steak appetizer, however, was inedible. It's a tough piece of meat to begin with - but trying to cut this was impossible!

And let's not talk about the flan.

Overall, a really dissapointing meal especially given how much others rave about it.

At least I didn't have to pay. It was my birthday.

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