Unique Restaurant Series: Starlite San Diego

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San Diego Entertainer’s Unique Restaurant Series has taken us from the mystical Craft & Commerce in Little Italy to North Park’s glamping themed One Door North. Now, let us turn your attention towards Starlite in Mission Hills.

Unique restaurants have a way of transporting us to another world for an hour or so as we wine and dine in the dazzling, intriguing atmosphere of a refreshingly unusual place. These establishments allow us to leave the cares of the real world at the door while we enjoy a good meal in the company of friends and family.

Starlite is the perfect blend of retro decor, luxury, and old fashioned charm. If Don Draper wanted to take a bougie client out for drinks, this is where he’d go. The award winning interior design feels like a scene straight from Mad Men and transports you to the simple elegance of the 1950’s. Starlite is one of San Diego’s most custom interiors with the designers/builders having their hand in all aspects of creating the space. A smoke tinted glass door opens up to an ipe slatted hexagonal hallway which leads directly to Starlite’s sunken white bar. Above the bar hangs a striking chandelier crafted from varied lengths of stainless steel tubing, angled at the ends to reveal the embedded lights to twinkle and reflect in the mirrored ceiling. Natural elements such as stacked stone, walnut paneling, and cork tiles, compliment the gold pendants and luxe black leather booths.

The establishment is known for its classy cocktail bar and its list of hard to find liquors. But the impressive qualities don’t stop at the bar. Starlite’s menu is seasonal, fresh, and ever-changing.

Starlite San Diego offers hand-made cuisine that utilizes the year-round abundant produce available in our temperate climate. Chefs use the freshest ingredients that is found locally in Southern California. As a result, Starlite’s menu changes frequently to accommodate the seasonality of local products. The Executive Chef Amanda Michels believes in “slow food” — natural, local, and sustainably sourced as much as possible.

Starlite’s mission is and always has been to use as many local and/or organic fruits and veggies as possible. 90% of the produce they buy comes from local farms. Starlite also tries to use as much sensibly raised and/or harvested proteins as they can. This means about 60% of the animal-based products (meat, dairy, egg and seafood) served here come from businesses that don’t engage in typical factory farming methods or are harvested from sustainable sources.

The establishment was opened back in 2007 and has won many awards since then. Starlite Lounge won an Orchid Award for its interior design by Bells and Whistles, was voted  Best Trendy Bar by the San Diego A List, and it is one of the highest-rated craft cocktail bars in San Diego, with 4.6 stars on OpenTable. Visitors come not only for the drinks, but for the sleek design and great food.

If you are ever in the mood for a truly unique dining experience in a sleek atmosphere, Starlite should definitely be on your list. It’s an impressive date destination, a good place to grab a cocktail with friends, and a fun spot to enjoy an environmentally conscious meal.

Lauren lives in OB with her French bulldog, Elvis Presley. She loves laughter and the great outdoors. You can contact her at [email protected].

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