Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Starlite, Star Bright

The best part about birthday celebrations is that I get to pick where we go, meaning it's time to visit all of Thatgirl's favorite places!

To celebrate Prez's birthday we headed to her pick, Tower23. To celebrate mine, we headed to Starlite.

Starlite is Thatboy and my favorite place to go for drinks. It has something for everyone. A great wine list, inventive cocktails, and a fantastic selection of local and imported beers. Starlite is the kind of place that's a hidden gem - very much a local secret. You could drive by it without ever knowing it was there. You won't find many tourists here at all. It's the kind of place where if Thatboy and I lived in the neighborhood we would come by every day after work for drinks.

This time around Prez and I brought the boys - they make awful handy designated drivers. Although, in truth, I think the reason had more to do with Zorba's desire to try Starlite. He quickly confided that he had heard so many great things about the place, had driven by a million times, but had never gotten the chance to stop in.

Thatboy loves the selection of beers here, so to start out he had some Liberty Ale, a microbrew from San Francisco. He quickly moved to Trummer Pilsner which he preferred. As for me, I wanted something cool, refreshing and girly. A Velvet Diablo was just what the doctor ordered - Tequila, Velvet Falernum, crème de cassis, lime, and ginger beer (which is the secret ingredient in most of Starlite's drinks). It has quite a kick.

Prez wanted something lighter than tequila, so she ordered up the white sangria - Pinot Grigio, brandy, orange, lemon, sugar, peach bitters. It tasted like juice and she had no problem drinking it as though it were. Zorba doesn't do frou frou girly drinks, so he inquired about the well vodka and was completely impressed that they use Rain. Not that he had ever heard of Rain, but an organic vodka is much preferable over the typical Popov type well he's used to getting. As for us - we're Rain fans. Mostly because it's smooth and the bottle is so pretty.

For rounds 2 and 3 I switched over to the house specialty - the Starlite Mule, which comes in their signature copper cups. Rain Vodka, ginger beer, lime, and Angostura bitters. This also had a kick, probably why they call it a mule.

Our philosophy with Starlite is that you go for the drinks, but stay for the food. Everything is fresh, local, and seasonal. They use high quality organic meats and produce. Each dish tastes fresh and leaves you oooohhhhhing and ahhing. Both of the boys were completely taken in with the leek, bacon, and onion tart.

Prez and I went for the mixed fry which included crispy onion rings, seasonal vegetables, crispy scallops and a herby ranch dressing for dipping. Zorba tried to eat the dressing with a spoon he enjoyed it so much.

Zorba and Prez had just returned from a wedding in Cape Cod and after hearing all their fresh seafood stories, Thatboy decided he needed some oysters. Good thing Starlite had some fresh regional ones from Carlsbad!

After a couple of mules I was drunk enough to require something a little more substantial, so a burger and fries were quickly ordered. Called simply "The Burger" as though there were no other, it consists of an all natural Brandt beef patty, Gruyere cheese and caramelized onions, served on a brioche bun. There's no mucking about with tomatoes, lettuce, or any fancy schmancy toppings, and the burger needs no accompaniments. Instead it's just plain and simply gooooood. Nothing to hide the flavorful beef, the melty cheese, and the sweet onions. The bar back confided in us that it's his favorite burger anywhere. We're tempted to agree. Served with super skinny fries and a homemade pickle it was the perfect way to end the first celebration of the week!


  1. Happy Birthday! Sounds like a fun and yummy celebration!

  2. This looks like a great place! Hope you enjoyed your birthday!

  3. Happy Birthday! What a fun place you chose adn now I have to look into Rain and velvet diablos!

  4. Happy Birthday!! That sounds like a fabulous way to celebrate. :)

  5. super skinny fries are my FAVORITE.

    btw, happy belated birthday :)