Favorite Dishes #56: Bar Masa's Spicy Dancing Shrimp

Bar Masa's tempura Dancing Shrimp towers with tiger prawns and lotus root fried in cottonseed oil.EXPAND
Bar Masa's tempura Dancing Shrimp towers with tiger prawns and lotus root fried in cottonseed oil.
Adam Robb

Bar Masa (10 Columbus Circle, 4th floor; 212-823-9800) is not known for being a bargain destination. It's known as Time Warner Center's sole clandestine passage, walled in enough beaming igneous to make you forget its location is in a shopping mall. But among the menu's sumptuous miso-cod bento boxes and toro rolls for the ruling class, there are guilty pleasures to be had out of proportion to their prices; there are Spicy Dancing Shrimp.

For less than the price of a champagne cocktail, Masa's next-door kitchen fires a towering basket of hulking tiger prawns and delicate lotus root in cottonseed oil, reimagining the bread and butter of a Joe's Crab Shack with a dusting of ichimi pepper and dip of spicy mayo. It doesn't melt on your tongue like a sliver of unagi, but sears your palate with a burst of heat. It's deep-fried bar food, honest American mall food, hiding there in plain sight, and while your girlfriend's scoring V.I.P. points at Sephora, you can too.

The Village Voice is counting down to our Best of New York City issue in October. We're combing the city every day, one dish at a time, to guide you to the most delicious food in NYC. These are our 100 Favorite Dishes for 2015, in no particular order, save for the top 10.
Here's our countdown up to now:
#100: Laminated Blueberry Brioche at Dominique Ansel Kitchen
#99: Egg Shop's Golden Bucket Fried Chicken
#98: Ramen Lab's Torigara Shoyu
#97: Cannoli at Ferdinando's
#96: Breakfast Sandwich at Dimes
#95: Banana Royal at Eddie's Sweet Shop
#94: Fletcher's Burnt Ends
#93: Almayass's Mante
#92: Empellon Taqueria's Fish Taco
#91: El Rey's Sardine Tostada
#90: General Tso's Pig's Head at the Cannibal
#89: The Vegetarian at Meat Hook Sandwich Shop
#88: The 21 Club's Creamy Chicken Hash
#87: Deep-Fried Olives at Via Carota
#86: Pougi at Loi Estiatorio
#85: Shelsky's Hot Pastrami Sandwich
#85: Pearl & Ash's Smoked Bread with Chicken Butter
#84: Gluten-Free Pizza at Rossopomodoro
#83: Perry St's Chocolate Pudding With Candied Violets
#82: Whit's End's 'Fuckin' Bluefish Dip'
#81: Morgenstern's Salt and Pepper Pine Nut Ice Cream
#80: Levain Bakery's Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookie
#79: Delmar Pizzeria's Pizza
#78: Cafe Cluny's Avocado Toast
#77: Brooklyn Star's Cinnamon Bun
#76: Pork Belly Cotton Candy at Carnem
#75: Ippudo's Pork Buns
#74: Mission Chinese Food's Oil-Cured Anchovies
#73: Johnnycakes at LoLo's Seafood Shack
#72: The Starving Artists Steak at Belle Reve
#71: The Spotted Pig's Gnudi
#70: Xi'an Famous Foods' Tiger Vegetable Salad
#69: Crème Brûlée Truffle at Kee's Chocolates
#68: Pok Pok's Muu Paa Kham Wong
#67: Cacio e Pepe at Upland
#66: Pulpo at Toro
#65: Junior's Something Different
#64: Duck Carnitas at Cosme
#63: Banana Miso Ice Cream Sandwich at Neta
#62: Breads Bakery's Chocolate Babka
#61: Braised Lamb Neck at the Gorbals
#60: Dough's Passionfruit Doughnut
#59: Uncle Jesse Bao at Baohaus
#58: Patatas Bravas at El Colmado
#57: Lupulo's Razor Clams

Use Current Location

Related Location

Bar Masa

10 Columbus Circle
New York, NY 10023



Sponsor Content


All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >