Masu Sushi

Masu Sushi’s namesake is a cedar box believed to be the ideal vessel from which to drink fine sake. Personally, I have found the masu to be the ideal vessel from which to dribble fine, or even mediocre, sake onto my good green J Crew sweater in front of a cute date who is trying not to look disgusted. Thus, I far prefer the restaurant Masu to an actual masu.

When I say bite-size I mean it, no cumbersome baseball sized pieces of sushi here, in keeping with the delicate, glamorous surroundings, so you won’t look like you’re chewing your seaweed cud when trying to impress a hot date who already thinks you’re uncouth.

Masu, the restaurant version, is a stylish downtown den of flickering candelight, flowing white drapes and sushi goodness, and just walking inside will make you feel prettier and more sophisticated, even if you are really just a silly girl who spills sake on herself while trying to drink it out of a ceremonial cedar box. Masu has looks and personality–the service is warm, inviting, and efficient, and the sushi is as equally gorgeous as the space. The sashimi and nigiri are gleamingly fresh and expertly prepared, and the sushi rolls are tasty bite-sized works of art.

When I say bite-size I mean it, no cumbersome baseball sized pieces of sushi here, in keeping with the delicate, glamorous surroundings, so you won’t look like you’re chewing your seaweed cud when trying to impress a hot date who already thinks you’re uncouth.

sake-illustrationIf you’re in the mood for an entrée, you may fancy the seared diver scallops on a truffled sushi rice risotto cake with spring asparagus, or the incredibly tender and flavorful grilled beef striploin with potato croquettes and sauteed spring garlic tips. Drink options abound, so if you want to avoid the perils of dribbly sake boxes altogether (although sake aficionados will be very pleased with the selection), get one of Masu’s creative cocktails or a refreshing glass of wine.

Be sure to check out the bathroom whether you spill on your sweater or not—the hand dryers are magic.

Details

Cuisine: Japanese

Atmosphere: A graceful, polished space with a sophisticated feel and a very relaxed vibe

Outdoor seating: No

Best Seat: The layout and generous proximity of tables from one another makes any table a sure bet. The sushi bar is a great spot to sit and converse with the chefs.

Noise Level: Normal to Energetic

Dress Code: Dress up or dress down, nobody cares, and at night it’s too dark to see the rip in your jeans’ crotch anyway Dress up or dress down, nobody cares, and at night it’s too dark to see the rip in your jeans’ crotch anyway.

Bring the Kids: No

Bathrooms: Yes, through the hallway to the left of the sushi bar, be sure to check out the magic dryers

Parking: Parking is metered (Mon-Sat 8am-7pm, Sun 1-7pm) and although there are a handful of spots in front of the building, you’d better wear your lucky underpants to get one. Otherwise drive around and around looking for a spot, or limit your stay to 1.5 hours and buy a bottle of cava for after dinner, and thus utilize the free parking-with-a-$10 purchase across the street at Whole Foods.

Cocktails: Yes, a selection of specialty cocktails $7-$8

Beer: Yes

Wine: Yes, a simple but well-chosen selection

Corkage: $15 per 750mL

Coffee: No

Tea: Varies

Ideal Meal: Kaiso salad with five types of seaweed (healthy!), Japanista roll, Roasted Draper Valley chicken over cha soba noodles

Vegetarian Friendly: Yes

Vegan Friendly: Yes

Good for the following occasions: Romantic Date, Out With Friends, Impress a Client

Group/Private Party Details: Masu caters lunches and is open for private party lunches. Call for more info.

Reservations: Yes, call or reserve online at OpenTable.com

Take-Out: Yes

Delivery: No

Wi-Fi: Yes, and it’s free