Starlite, star bright, this restaurant and bar does it right.
Starlite Dining and Cocktails, which first opened its hexagon-shaped entryway to the public in 2007, mixes classic sophistication with a modern design while serving delicious, organic and moderately priced cuisine every day from 5 p.m to 2 a.m.
Upon arrival, notice an A-frame sign set up on the sidewalk in front of the restaurant encouraging customers to be considerate of the surrounding area: “Please be quiet when leaving Starlite. Our neighbors are sleeping.”
Located directly in front of a residential area on India Street in San Diego, this polite gesture demonstrates the caring and courteous nature of the restaurant.
Inside the restaurant, dim lighting and instrumental big band music are reminiscent of the popular AMC show “Mad Men,” inducing an instant feeling of relaxation. With a touch of class, sophistication and a retro-romantic nuance, Starlite is the perfect setting for a beautiful night with that special someone or simply for a night of catching up with an old friend.
Catering to a 21-and-older crowd, Starlite offers a generous selection of alcoholic beverages, including mixed drinks such as the Cleopatra, which blends Plymouth gin with Lillet, saffron and golden raisins, or the Blueberry Swizzle, which mixes Montecristo rum with Moscato, blueberries, lemon and mint.
Starlite also prides itself in selecting the best local produce for unique dishes, supporting its mission to “use as many local and/or organic fruits and veggies as possible … This means 90 percent of the produce we buy comes from your neighbors.”
Additionally, it claims “60 percent of the animal based products … come from businesses that don’t engage in typical factory farming methods or are harvested from ‘sustainable’ sources.”
When visiting the restaurant for the first time, the Mixed Fry is a good way to start. This dish consists of an assortment of local vegetables and cheeses including Spring Hill and Mike’s Firehouse fried in a light coating of semolina flour. Fried food may upset some stomachs with its artery-clogging grease, but this appetizer does not leave a guilty conscience or an overly full stomach.
Though the menu changes frequently to keep up with local produce availability and the seasons, delectable dishes such as the popular Crispy Skin Jidori Chicken are always worth a try.
For those who are a bit more daring, an octopus dish grilled with smoked paprika and lemon is an adventurous treat accessible to even the lightest wallet for $10.
To end the evening on a sweet note, Starlite manager Roy Purdy suggests the ice cream sandwich for dessert. Sliced into four individual sections for sharing purposes, this sandwich is a beautiful semblance of vanilla ice cream placed between two warm cookies and encrusted with pistachios. It simply melts in the mouth.
Those who would like to stay up-to-date with Starlite’s latest menu changes, check out its website at starlitesandiego.com, follow it on Twitter @StarliteSD or stop by at 3175 India St.