In the quaint Marina District in San Francisco, Belga serves up comforting European favorites.
Belga, a brassiere inspired restaurant, offers German/Belgian dishes as well as some French classics. You can find everything from charcuterie and cheese, soups and salads, numerous house made sausages, various mussel preparations, and large fish/meat dishes.
We started the meal off with two appetizers. The tartine had all my favorite ingredients; a chewy thick slice of bread topped with creamy Burrata cheese, juicy cherry tomatoes, a vibrant chervil pistou, and earthy walnuts. However, it lacked some seasoning to bring all the flavors together. The smoked trout rillettes lacked some flavor (needed more seasoning and smokiness, I preferred the smoked fish rillettes at The Cavalier) but the sharpness of the pickled red onion and freshness of the cucumber helped the dish.
The dry roasted mussels were good with the clarified butter but also was missing something to elevate the taste (perhaps their steamed mussels are better).
The carbonade was the most flavorful dish of the night with unctuous ale braised short ribs with chunks of potatoes, onions, and carrots and meaty bacon lardons.
The vacherin was a crowd pleasing dessert; airy almond meringue topped with stout ice cream, gooey chocolate sauce, crème anglaise, and crunchy caramelized almonds.
The Belgian beer float was definitely unique and would be better suited for someone who really enjoys beer (I’m not much of a drinker).
I felt overall most of the dishes needed a few tweaks so my rating is a 6.5-7/10.