“My three pillars are phenomenal food, phenomenal service, phenomenal jazz,” owner and chef Harold Howard said.
Howard said that difference between good food, excellent food and phenomenal food is the quality of ingredients used. He makes all entrees at MaSani to order from scratch.
“I believe in cooking with local fresh ingredients and seasoning with lots of herbs,” the Marietta resident said.
The self-taught cook describes his menu as “unique” because it is inspired by his travels to places such as Thailand where he lived for three years, Mexico, France and Panama. Howard makes typical Southern dishes extraordinary by incorporating distinct flavors from other countries into the cuisine.
“It’s your traditional foods on a different level,” Howard said, noting MaSani specializes in seafood and poultry. “And it’s Southern comfort food. There’s nothing better than Southern comfort food.”
MaSani’s signature dish, smothered pork chops, exemplifies the menu. Pan-seared rather than fried, the dish is fused with French flavors and the gravy is made from scratch.
“Although all the gravies (on each smothered pork chop order) are made the same way and with the same ingredients, no two gravies are alike,” he explained. “I cook everything to order.”
Howard, a former mortgage broker who has been cooking for more than 20 years, started his restaurant with the encouragement of friends. He quickly proved his raw talent for the business — garnering the attention of foodies such as former Marietta Mayor Bill Dunaway (also former owner of the 1848 House restaurant) who said, “This is the best restaurant that has come in Marietta in the past 10 years!”
Howard explained, “Everyone is always shocked. They ask me, ‘How did you learn the presentation? How did you learn these flavors?’” he said. “I’ve always loved food.
“If you come in, I know you’ll love it,” he said. “You’ll say, ‘I know I just ate that, but it couldn’t be that good.’”
Catering is also available and there is live jazz each Saturday starting at 7 p.m. MaSani is located at 915 Cobb Parkway North in Marietta, 2 miles north of the Big Chicken across the street from Coca-Cola plant and 1 mile south of Barrett Parkway.
Visit MaSani on Wednesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. — or until the last customer leaves. Saturday dinner is from 6:30 to 10 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. The restaurant is closed Monday and Tuesday. For more information, visit www.masanicatering.com or (678) 598-2121.