Food & Drink

Cali comfort food in the Castro

When you've already proven yourself a master, it can be a challenge to keep things interesting, which is why old-timey boxers were no stranger to offering to tie a hand behind their back, and you're no stranger to...The Stranger. See how dope drink makers keep on keepin' on, at Starbelly.The undisputed cocktail masters behind Beretta're opening Starbelly, a 100-seat California comfort foodery, and this time have chosen to complement the grub with a crazy grip of beer n' wine cocktails shored up with a brewlist that's off the charts; the comfy interior boasts lots of raw wood and quirky design features like recycled cardboard lamps and a 30ft communal table made from an actual bowling lane that spares you the embarrassment of sitting alone, even if you strike out. The spirit-free cocktail list kicks off with hefty Micheladas spiked with lime, mango, or habanero/tomato, before getting all fruity with madeira cobblers and Spanish calimochos (red vino n' cola), and finishes smooth with Moscato d'Asti on ice and a jumbo beer/lemonade Shandy (that'll leave you calling for schmoore). The 24 deep draft/bottle, certified beer sommelier-approved beer list includes malty, Belgian Buggenhout Malheur 10, Fort Bragg's Rasputin, and Mexicali Cucapa Chupacabras Pale Ale that, when consumed in abundance, will leave you with a hankering for livestock blood and the ability to find your keys by the bright red glow of your eyes.Not to be outdone, the kitchen's helmed by an ex-Bacar/Boccalone chef, and churns out everything from inventive pizzas (e.g., pulled chicken/jalapeno/endive slaw, guanciale/nettles/parmesan), to Mt. Tam Pale Ale-braised lamb cheeks, to house-made charcuterie, making all that's left for you to do is remember to wash your hand.