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Monday, April 24, 2017

Happy Hour at Masa in Naples (Closed)

Masa Restaurant, Naples, FL
Masa is a restaurant in Naples, FL serving contemporary Mexican cuisine. It has been in operation since 2012. What is contemporary Mexican cuisine you may ask? This is food that retains it's classic foundation and flavors but is perhaps sourced from local ingredients and/or is an interpretation of the original. I had been there for happy hour a number of years ago and hearing they were closing soon, decided to revisit. Masa is part of the D'Amico and Partners restaurant group with different brandings in Naples and Minneapolis.

Masa's interior space reflects their cuisine with a meld of touches from South Beach accenting traditional Mexican design. The seating for happy hour can be anywhere in the restaurant. Seating for happy hour is particularly nice outside on the Eastern side of the building where shade abounds.

My dining companion and I sampled a number of food items from their happy hour menu which consists of 7 dishes for $6.00 each.

Chips and tomatillo (green) in addition to chile de arbor (red) salsas were brought to the table before ordering. This is complementary during the late afternoon/early evening part of happy hour and was good.

We started off with an order of shrimp ceviche each. This was a very generous portion, with almost 1/2 lb. of shrimp, tomatoes, onion, cilantro microgreens, marigold petals, lime juice and habanero oil. It was also delicious and highly recommended.

We also split an order of the sopitos de puerco. Sweet potato masa tortilla was the base of this dish, which progressed with avocado, roasted pork, morita chili sauce and a blizzard of grated cotija cheese to finish the dish. Morita peppers are smoked jalapeno peppers but smoked for less time than their cousin peppers, chipotle. They have a bit more sweetness than chipotle peppers, and are not as hot. The smokiness of the sauce melded perfectly with the protein and avocado/sweet potato base of this dish. Another very generous portion and quite delicious.

We finished with a sampling of their happy hour taco offerings. One portion is two tacos, and can be either 2 steak or chicken tacos or one of each. The tinga tacos were good, with pulled chicken in a chipotle/sour cream (crema) sauce, romaine, radish, onion topped with cotija cheese all inside hard corn tortillas. The asada tacos were excellent, with grilled sirloin, guacamole, radish, onion cilantro and serrano chili salsa all in a soft corn tortilla. Both taco portions were large with the asada tacos really being standouts in terms of taste.

All of this food came to $30.00, an amazing value. The portions are large and the food ranges from very good to delicious. The also have beverage specials whether it be beer, wine or margaritas. I have been told their margarita de diabolita is a standout. For all of you die hard fans of the latter beverage, I have heard they will be serving it at Cafe Lurcat, another D'Amico and Partners brand in Naples.

Time is running out because as of the day after Cinco de Mayo this year, Masa is closing and there will be no mas Masa. As with their margarita drink, I hope they will continue to serve some of these small plates at their other restaurant brands. Masa's happy hour is easily one of the top five in the area at the moment and I hope readers will go here to try their offerings while they still can. Masa, you will be missed.

We'll miss you Masa!
That's that for another post on forks.

9123 Strada Place # 7135
Naples, FL 34108

Valet parking; all major credit cards accepted; kid's meals at regular prices; happy hour from 3-6 PM daily and from 11 PM-close Friday and Saturday.

Shrimp Ceviche
Chips and salsa

Sopitos de puerco

Tinga tacos
Asada tacos

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