The Venerable Masa's Is Closing


The dining room at Masa’s; photo from Facebook.

I was very sorry to read in the Scoop that after 30 years in business, ~MASA’S~ will be closing on Saturday February 16th. Chef Gregory Short, who has been at the restaurant since October 2004, is taking a corporate job at Aramark in order to spend more time with his family. Reportedly the Executive Hotel Vintage Court will be reopening a more casual restaurant in the next three to four months.

I’ve had some spectacular meals there from chef Short, Ron Siegel, and Richard Reddington—and the wonderful wine pairings by Alan Murray (and his engaging demeanor) have always left a strong impression. That dining room had such a special atmosphere, which started with Masataka Kobayashi in 1983, and managed to go on in spite of his tragic (unsolved) murder soon after the restaurant opened. The untimely death of the oh-so-talented pastry chef Maggie Leung last year was also so tragic. With so many chefs so hot on the tasting menu path on our local turf, I’m sorry to see that dining room end its run as a fine-dining destination—I can’t help but think they should have found another great chef to carry the torch and create a draw for that room. Thanks for all the memories, Masa’s, and best of luck to chef Short.