Review: Bellota.

It’s hard to keep up with the San Francisco dining scene when there are restaurants openings constantly. The beautiful space next to Airbnb headquarters has finally opened its doors less than a month ago.

Bellota is a Spanish restaurant serving everything from pintxos to tapas to paellas. The ambience is inviting and warm with a stunning open kitchen right in the middle of the room. The chef uses traditional Spanish ingredients but integrates them with a California twist. We tried to order items in almost every category (pintxos, charcuterie, raw bar, tapas, paella, and grilled/plancha) to get a solid overall feel of the menu.

Pintos: Roasted Eggplant and Bell Pepper with Toasted Bread (5/10).

We started off with one of the pintxos (there were several such as marinated olives, nuts, anchovy skewers), the roasted eggplant and bell pepper, which lacked some seasoning.

Kumamoto Oysters with Apple, Cava, and Espelette (7.5-8/10).

The kumamoto oysters, one of my all time favorite types of oysters, were clean and refreshing with green tart apple, cava, and a touch of espelette pepper. However there were a few pieces of shell in the two oysters I had.

Jamón Ibérico with Pan con Tomate (9/10).

Next we had the jamón ibérico, aka the best cured ham in the entire world, no joke (I ate this nonstop during my trip in Madrid). A perfect balance of meaty, salty, and unctuousness.

Croquetas: Clam and Sea Urchin Fritters with Pickled Ramp and Seaweed Powder (8/10).

The croquetas sounded unique and actually were quite delicious. The outside was perfectly crispy with a creamy sea urchin and clam filling accompanied by pickled ramps and seaweed powder.

Albondigas: Yogurt Marinated Chicken Meatballs with Spinach, Migas, and Pomegranate (6.5-7/10).

The albondigas, chicken meatballs, were juicy and tender but overall lacked a bit of seasoning.

Divided Paella: “Fideua” Paella of Rice and Noodles with Squid Ink, Shrimp, Clams, Scallop, Squid, and Asparagus (7.5/10) and Pollo Paella with Roasted Chicken Breast, Chorizo, Brassicas, and Tomato (7/10).

At Bellota, they offer four types of paella and you can chose half and half in order to sample more! The fideua was a paella consisting of rice and noodles with squid ink and various seafood. The pollo paella had roasted chicken breast with chorizo and various vegetables such as padron peppers, cauliflower, and romanesco broccoli. I preferred the fideua as the rice itself had more flavor and seasoning. However, La Marcha’s paellas triumph in flavor and execution over these without a doubt!

Fabada: White Bean and Chorizo Stew with Pork Belly, Marcella, Grilled Octopus, and Charred and Fermented Cabbage (7.5-8/10).

The last savory course was a half order of the fabada, a hearty white bean stew with pork belly, grilled octopus (cooked nicely), and charred and fermented cabbage.

Torrijas: Spiced French Toast with Kumquat and Burnt Cinnamon Ice Cream (8/10).

Churros with Dulce de Leche and Salted Chocolate Sauce (8/10).

We ended the meal with two solid desserts. The torrijas had fluffy pieces of french toast with tart kumquat and a delicious burnt cinnamon ice cream. The churros were perfectly fried and dusted in cinnamon sugar with dulce de leche and salted chocolate dipping sauces.

While I enjoyed some of the dishes at Bellota, I felt that some of the dishes either lacked seasoning or had technical errors. Therefore, my overall rating is a 7/10.

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