Food Review: MÄS


MÄS Official Website

This dish from MÄS expresses the attention to simplicity, where the quality of colors and flavors of locally harvested produce is placed before quantity. These priorities cause dishes to be individually unique within the dining experience.

Steam gradually emerges from tender slices of succulent duck lightly covered in an umami sauce, presented with lightly-salted slow-cooked greens. Scents of salt and savory flavors from fresh produce expand through the homey restaurant. Shelves full of books and paintings of the Oregonian countryside surround the tables within the dimly- lit space, with windows providing a view of the streets of downtown Ashland.

These memorable experiences originate from MAS, a small, fixed menu and formal restaurant. The delicious food, home-oriented feel and efficient service make this restaurant a supreme place to dine.

The most important aspect of MAS is the sustainably and locally harvested food sources. Most produce originates from local farms, located on temperate and fertile soils within a 15-mile radius of the Ashland city limits.

The restaurant’s website explains how ingredients also come from the restaurant’s own vegetable beds, along with the Japanese coastlines, creating optimal freshness and nutrient-packed produce.

Sustainable practices result in mouth-watering dishes, including a tender scallop which separates like butter, releasing fresh and thick juices of diverse savory flavors. Creamy white sauce engulfs the lower section of the scallop, while the tope section has a thin layer of golden brown, causing a balance of crunchy and soft textures. The miso soup, which is a light starter dish, has mild salty flavors from juicy seaweed and hand-crafted tofu. This dish elegantly introduces a calming meal with flavors originating from home.

Compared to other formal restaurants, such as The Ring Side or Departure in Portland, M’A’S demonstrates a focus on not only food quality, but attention to detail in decor design that makes the dining experience feel like home. Common items, such as lamps, wood-crafted books shelves and diverse works of art surround a small four-seater table, covered in hand-crafted dishes made with the closest attention to colorful flavor. This decor makes me feel like I am eating a home-crafted meal.

The calming feel of the restaurant also comes from efficient and high-quality service. During the meal, each dish was thoroughly described by the chef in terms of ingredient origin, flavors and how the dishes were made. Having a strong connection to the restaurant’s primary chef enhances people’s knowledge of the food they are consuming, and the chef’s own personal passions when creating the restaurant. Although tasty, the dining experience comes with a hefty price tag, an average of 185 dollars per person. However, the mood of the restaurant’s homey interior makes the trip worthwhile.