Monday, March 28, 2011

starbelly offers good comfort food

During this last bit of rainy cold weather all my friends and I wanted was a cozy space where we could order a variety of small plates of good comfort food at great prices.  Well, Starbelly, located at 3583 16th was just the ticket. 

This happening spot is perfect mix of casual and hip; crowded diners relax around a mix of separate and communal tables (communal table made from a bowling alley lane), non fussy table top, industrial chairs, and a heated patio that will be great when the weather eases up but is not really an option on a rainy night. Starbelly uses local farms and changes the menu often to reflect what is fresh and seasonal and is part of not just a few great new restaurants opening in the last year in and around the Castro.

Start with snacks that run just $5.00 each. The house cut fries are just as imagined--double fried with the skins on, not too thin, not too thick and a selection of 3 sauces to dip in.  The kalamata olive tapenade was perfectly made with a nice lemon taste that was a surprising addition and grilled flatbread very similar to pita.  Our favorite was a small plate of house made chicken liver pate ($10.00) with toasted, buttered pain (just the way I like to serve it at home), sweet onion marmalade and whole grain mustard.  The pate was perfectly flavored and the texture was incredible. Items to try in the future--a selection of cheeses and salumi.

Another star (at Starbelly) is the pizza.  We enjoyed the bacon, jalapeno, arugula with green goddess dressing ($13.00).  How about that for taking the boredom out of pepperoni!  One I didn't try but I will be back for is is the fall squash, sage, black garlic, goat cheese and toasted pepitas, also $13.00.

Although we had a variety of small plates that evening, Starbelly also offered a few large plates that night  such as tri-tip, a Prather Ranch burger and grilled Hawaiian hebi to name a few.  Don't rule out a future visit to Starbelly for brunch, too.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

nyoman gunarsa exhibition of watercolor paintings at the indonesian consulate

Garreta Lamore says a few words about Nyoman Gunarsa
If you get a chance, stop by the Consulate General of The Republic of Indonesia, 1111 Columbus, San Francisco for a watercolor exhibition by the Balinese artist Nyoman Gunarsa. I was there for the opening reception on February 24th where Nyoman said a few words and drew some pastel sketches of guests.

Nyoman, born in Indonesia, is known as one of the living masters, painting with a fluid and unique style that is a cross of modernity filled with images of classic tales and traditional dance.  Nyoman, who has a doctorate in education, has been featured in exhibitions all over the world, and because I happen to be lucky enough to be a friend of artist Garretta Lamore (Crescent City, CA.) whom, while living in Indonesia years ago became and remains a great friend of Nyoman, I have been invited to three of his exhibitions in the United States, beginning with a show in Oakland in 1991, the Piazza Art Gallery in Sausalito in 2002 and now at the Consulate.

 A selection of his work will be on view at the Consulate from February 25th through March 6th.  This is all being presented in support of the incredible exhibition at the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, Bali: Art, Ritual, Performance.  See the 131 pieces of Balinese art at the Asian Art Museum from February 25 to September 11, 2011.