A Fun Cultural Collision at Masa 14

A popular mainstay to the constantly evolving 14th Street dining scene is Richard Sandoval's Masa 14. Although it's been blessed with deeply satisfying drinks, such as the Caipirinha, as well as a gorgeous rooftop, Masa 14 (1825 14th St. NW) hasn't always had an equally delightful food menu.

However, recently appointed Executive Chef Felipe Milanes has added some consistency to the kitchen's performance, and his summer menu is a lovely marriage of Latin- and Japanese-infused elements to the previous Latin-only menu.

Traditional sushi rolls are creatively energized with textured Latin American ingredients. For instance, the salmon roll with its base of avocado and crab stick gradually builds into the added accoutrements of masago, tamago and bonito flakes. This deliberative exercise in ingredients was very good.

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Other recommendations: the reinvented Tuna Bakuchiku Roll, comprised of gobo, avocado, yuzu kosho and sweet chile; and the Scorpion Roll, with prawn tempura, eel sauce and tobiko (flying fish roe), which carried well the Latin ingredients of avocado and sesame-chipotle mayo.

While the persuasive power of sushi was not lost on me, the two stand-out dishes were the spicy tuna nachos and foie-jitas.

The spicy tuna nachos' wonton, cotija cheese and salsa picante made fora hearty serving of this fun (and-fun-to-eat) dish. I adored the crunchiness of the nacho chip honorably represented by the wonton.

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