BEST MEXICAN RESTAURANT - 2006
What if your corner taqueria (and in the Twin Cities in 2006, surely every corner, even in Shakopee and Orono, now has one) had not just flavor, but high style? What if each plate were composed to look as if it were the many-colored, multi-textured creation of an upscale chef? What if the tomatillo salsa, a Mexican standard for generations, m'ijo, were a little sweeter and a little more vividly green? What if, when it was used to nap a plate of chjilaquiles-sauce-smothered fried tortilla shards often topped, as here, with an egg, it was offset by a small mound of beef braised in a chile sauce so rich and concentrated its color was more chocolate than brick? What if the dish were arrayed here and there across a white rectangle of plate and served up in a techno palace of glass and tile? Accompanied by a thoughtful wine list, a long list of top-shelf margaritas and sangrias, and exotic fruit juices? If your corner taqueria were as stylish as all that you'd have Masa—where homey cooking and familiar flavors are gussied up with elegance, forward-looking design, and margaritas fit for a weekend on the yacht off the Acapulco coast. What's better than high style wed to familiar flavors? Nothing, and that's what makes Masa, downtown Minneapolis's newest Mexican restaurant, number one in our books.