Masa Azul

Restaurants, Mexican Logan Square
2 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
(3user reviews)
 (Photograph: Erica Gannett)
Photograph: Erica GannettMasa Azul
MasaAzul.venue.jpg (Photograph: Martha Williams)
Photograph: Martha WilliamsMasa Azul
 (Photograph: Erica Gannett)
Photograph: Erica GannettMasa Azul
 (Photograph: Erica Gannett)
Photograph: Erica GannettMasa Azul

The wait for a table of four on a recent Saturday night at Masa Azul was two hours. My surprise at this was minimal in comparison to the host staff’s, which seemed baffled by the number of people who had called for reservations—and by how long those people were staying at their tables. What was up?

Tequila. As much space on Masa Azul’s menu is devoted to the spirit as to the food, and under partner (and self-professed “tequila geek”) Jason Lerner, the bar turns out a dozen cocktails, from an off-balance Aviation that replaces gin with Don Fulano blanco tequila to the Smoke and Mirrors, a drink that wields mescal like a sledgehammer. These cocktails need some work, but no one will call them weak, and specials like a fruity-smoky Corazon margarita with a mescal float suggest there’s a lot more promising stuff where those cocktails came from.

Like the drinks, the menu of Southwestern-inspired dishes from chef Alvaro Chavez shows more potential than payoff: On the plus side, corn bread–stuffed quail gets a sweet-spicy flavor kick from a honey-jalapeño glaze; pork tenderloin is surprisingly juicy; and the potato cake that accompanies quite a few of the entrées is a cheesy, robust thing you’d have to hate yourself not to enjoy.

Not everything is as easy to like, from the dated protein-starch-vegetable arrangement of the entrées (and the fact that in the case of chili-rubbed trout, the vegetable part was plain, understeamed broccoli) to some lackluster execution, such as fried artichoke hearts whose coating was soft, ceviche whose shrimp were chewy and a peanut-butter pot de crème whose texture was as runny as melted chocolate.

Then again, if you’re drinking an appropriately excessive amount of tequila, chances are you’ll pour that pot de crème on yourself before you complain.

By Julia Kramer


Venue name: Masa Azul
Address: 2901 W Diversey Ave

Cross street: between Francisco Ave and Richmond St
Opening hours: Dinner (closed Mon)
Transport: El stop: Blue to Logan Square. Bus: 52, 76.
Price: Average main course: $20
Do you own this business?
Static map showing venue location

Average User Rating

4.7 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:2
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
1 person listening

Seriously one of Logan Square's most underrated restaurant/mezcal bars!
Amazing cocktails and tasty food to go with them!


Came to this hidden gem off Diversey for drinks and appetizers and was able to walk right in on a Friday night. Extremely attentive bar staff and waitress who was knowledgable about cocktail components and gave on-point recommendations. The Heart of the Dead was a refreshing tequila based fruity and sweeter cocktail, while the Prickly Pear had a hint of mezcal smokiness. Delicious creamy guac and buttery esquites. I would suggest coming early if you want to avoid a wait for dinner because every table was full by the time we left. That being said, as an admitted happy hour loiterer, I never felt rushed out the door - much appreciated!