Week #46 – Masa Azul

I’m a huge fan of Mexican cuisine, so when we were invited to celebrate Katherine’s birthday at Masa Azul, I couldn’t wait to see a new interpretation of some of my favorite things to eat.

First item of business: cocktails! The restaurant’s mixologist Jenny Kessler definitely brings it with her Margarita, and I followed that with a Heart of the Dead (equally tasty).

Everyone at our table had been to Masa Azul before, so we asked for their recommendations for food. We started with guacamole–good and spicy–and I enjoyed the trio of tacos. Of the four choices, I picked the aguacate (tempura avocado), baja shrimp, and carnitas. Others at the table ordered steak, scallops, and chilaquiles, too. (Yum!)

Of the tacos, all were delicious, but the carnitas taco was out of this world. The flavor of that meat guarantees my return to Masa Azul. The cocktails, too, actually.

If you’re looking for high-end Mexican, look no further than Masa Azul.

Masa Azul
2901 W. Diversey
Logan Square

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Did you miss yesterday’s Restaurant Week entry? Read about the tiki party at Three Dots and a Dash!

Week #46 – Three Dots and a Dash

Because I’ve been to a bunch of new restaurants lately, I decided to put them all together in what I like to call Second City Gal Restaurant Week!

First up, my visit to Three Dots and a Dash. I heard a lot about this place and saw enticing pics of tropical drinks on Instagram, and I had to find a way to get here. When my cousin mentioned she wanted to go, too, I knew she’d make it happen for us. We made a night out of it with dinner followed by Three Dots.

Let me tell you, this place is unexpected tropical fun! To get there, you follow a blue-lit alley on Hubbard to a door with a small sign. Prepare to wait if you don’t have a reservation–in the words of Zoolander, this place is “so hot right now.”

Down a blue-lit flight of stairs you’ll go, surrounded by skulls and a giant tiki-type statue. Check in at the host stand, where you’ll be seated either in a small, dark lounge room or the vibrant, loud tiki bar.

We were seated first in the lounge, but switched to the tiki bar to be where the action is! After a mix up with our seating, we were given the Zombie Punch, a sharing drink that gave everyone at the table a kick to start us off.

While we enjoyed the Zombie Punch, I ordered a Jungle Bird, but ended up exchanging it because it was quite strong for this lightweight. Note: some of the rums are aged in whiskey barrels, so they’re much stronger and have a different taste than you might think. Our waitress kindly let me switch that drink for a Pago Pago, which was much more my speed with rum, chartreuse, pineapple, and lime. We ordered another sharing drink, Planter’s Punch, to top it off too!

I have to add a few more details about the drinks. Each cocktail is inspired by a place and time (for example, the Jungle Bird is from Aviary Bar in Kuala Lumpur circa 1978). There are also skulls on the menu by cocktails that are extra strong, so order accordingly! And all souvenir mugs are available for purchase. (You may be tempted…I was!) Check out the drink menu here.

I can’t write this post without talking about the ambiance. It truly feels like you’re on vacation, complete with decor and awesome reggae and tropical music. I couldn’t stop dancing–that’s a good sign! (My family could admit otherwise…)

If you need a vacation, head to Three Dots and a Dash. Aloha!

Three Dots and a Dash
435 North Clark
Near North Side

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