Sixth Avenue scenesters (and restaurant critics) who crowded Masa in its first two days of operation this week have to wait to eat at Tacoma's not-your-mama's-Mexican restaurant. Masa is closed for fine-tuning.
"It's just for a couple of days," Masa partner Troy Christian told me this morning. "We have some bugs to work out. We're perfectionists."
Bug No. 1 was the first thing I noticed when I sat down in the dining room: It was pretty dark in places. I had trouble reading the menu in the shadows where I was seated.
"It caused quite a problem in the bar," Christian said. "People couldn't see the menus at all."
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Electricians are working at Masa today.
Christian also mentioned "fine-tune training" the service staff and "getting our game plan for lunch and to-go" meals. On the night I dropped by Masa, there were enough servers, bussers and kitchen hands to fill a town square in a small Mexican village.
I applaud Masa for recognizing when something is wrong (although to me, the lighting matter seemed minor compared to some other less-than-grand opening horrors I've encountered at other new restaurants, but more on that later). I also applaud Masa for not serving chips and salsa (a gringo thing, anyway). But there is one thing I would ask Masa to reconsider for its re-opening: Don't serve flour tortillas and butter in place of chips and salsa. I know tortillas and butter are a tradition on Mexican tables. But that's how this Mexican kid got fat in the first place.
UPDATE: Masa re-opened last week. I've been in twice since then. Read more out Masa in the TNT's GO section on Dec. 22.