Masa 14: Spicy Tuna Nachos

Tuna Nachos

Masa 14 has a bright and shiny new chef de cuisine, Felipe Milanes, and he just rolled out (literally) a whole line of new sushi like the Rainbow Tropico Roll with tuna, hamachi, salmon, avocado and a mango-papaya salsa. But the Best Thing on the Menu isn’t in roll form however…it’s far more representative of the restaurant’s Latin/Asian fusion persona: Spicy Tuna Nachos. Thick, crispy wontons are dressed in their finest sushi attire: Generous chunks of spicy  tuna tartare plus avocado, cotija cheese, and salsa picante.

Foie Jita

The menu at one of the original 14th Street spots has gotten a whole lot more creative under Milanes, who hails from Panama City. For example, he dares to serve Foie Jitas, like the fajitas you used to get at Chili’s on high school first dates but with foie gras, shallots, poblano peppers, red peppers and guava creme. It ALMOST works. The guava crema is divine, but unfortunately overpowered by the red peppers and onions. Lose those and this dish is a 10.

Other can’t misses include the Scorpion Roll and Pork Belly al Carbon. Look for new menu additions to continue to stream in and await the Twitter war that always follows when favorites are taken off the menu to make room (Just ask Taylor Gourmet). Change is hard. Click here for more photos from the meal.

Spicy Tuna nachos not your BTM? Share your favorites in the comments section.

Boundary Road: Bison Hanger Steak

Boundary Road Bison

A stone throw’s from Union Station sits Boundary Road. The menu stays true to the appetizer/entree/dessert formula, eschewing small plates, share plates and other nonsense. What’s even more refreshing is that the most expensive dish is $27 and zero creativity is sacrificed, making it the perfect start to a night hopping around the best H Street NE has to offer.

Chef Brad Walker has a playful menu full of uncommon ingredients like quark and black pepper pierogis, chioggia beets, fregola, porchetta and jagerwurst. He also digs delicious proteins, like The Best Thing on the Menu: New Frontier Bison Hanger Steak with Roasted Cauliflower Puree, Spicy Kale and Sauce Choron. Bison has so much more personality than beef, and it also has less fat, fewer calories and more protein. The creamy cauliflower puree, a creative substitute for buttery mashed potatoes, means a healthy meat and “potatoes” kind of meal.

Boundary Road Foie

A little less on the healthy side is another must-try menu item: The foie gras torchon PB&J with grapefruit Malört marmalade. It’s in the appetizer section, but no judgment here if you draft it for Team Dessert. The dish would be a dash better if the foie was warm, but then it wouldn’t be a torchon. Torchons, after all, are an art. We think Grandpa’s Candy, an Applejack centric cocktail, would pair nicely with this gourmet bite that will have you rethinking your old favorite grade school snack for months.

Sundays are perhaps the most adorable nights to visit Boundary Road. They lower the lights and drop down a projector in order to show films. April promises to bring a lot of rain, so expect movies with this breed of precipitation in the title.

Bison Hanger Steak not your BTM? Share your favorites in the comments section.

Barmini: Foieffel

Barmini cocktail

For a Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory meets Jose Andres kind of night, book some seats at Barmini. You’ll work your way through custom cocktails that incorporate everything from smoke, pumpkin and egg whites to cotton candy and edible flowers. The food at this Latin inspired drink den/speakeasy packs just as much creativity and whimsy.

Barmini Foiewaffle

Though it is nearly impossible to choose, the Best Thing on the Menu is the FoieffelA palm-sized waffle stuffed with the silkiest foie gras we’ve ever experienced. It oozes out at the perfect temperature upon the first bite. Then throw in the fact that it’s topped with chocolate and peanut butter. You’ll wish you came with someone who hates (or is morally opposed) to foie gras, because sharing this bad boy is as painful as a flight cancellation, or baby shower.

Barmini Chicken Skin

A very close second is the fried chicken skin that you dip into a Buffalo-Tzatziki lagoon. It’ll make you forget crackers ever had a purpose. The skin is dotted with rotisserie salt and spices, making it delicious all on its own. But with that sauce. OMGet yourself to Barmini. Special thanks to our bar tendress and cocktail wizard Carlie for making sure we didn’t miss out on this dish. Oh and for the ridic cocktails, especially the sherry-based Adonis.

Click here for more photos.

If our evening at Barmini is any indication of what life is like on the other side of the glass at Minibar, we’re going to start saving up.

Foieffel not your BTM? Post your favorites in the comments section.