With a maxim that holds cooking to be an art form in of itself, this 45-seat Indian eatery is serving complex, original dishes that demand to be savored with all the attentiveness of a painting or a film. The owner of the green-walled, trinket-lined Masala has spent decades exploring subcontinental cuisine at Dupont's Heritage India, and his plates certainly pay respect to that authentic brand of Eastern flavor -- but with some personal nuances. The menu offers South-Indian standards like buttery "Chicken Tikka"; and Tandoori-spiced skewer-roasted meats, while less typical fare comes in the form of traditionally griddled Tawa dishes, like "Karwari Mushroom" coated with rice flour and South Indian spice blend, or desserts like lychee and sweet-rose-petal preserve over cardamom ice cream. And in the interest of honoring art worth savoring, every Friday night, guests can enjoy their impressive entrées to the stylings of a live Jazz musician.
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1. Masala Art 4441-B Wisconsin Ave, Washington, DC 20815 (Tenleytown)