We don’t really see the logic in putting massive, designed to the max, and clearly very expensive restaurants in the bottom of big tech buildings. The people that work upstairs get all the free Soylent and Kind bars they need at the office, so why would they venture to the lobby to pay for pasta or pork chops?
Bellota in the Airbnb building is here to prove us wrong. It’s worth an elevator excursion, a car ride, a Scoot rental - whatever means necessary to take in the beautiful space and stellar Spanish food. Also, do they give you decent wine upstairs? Probably not.
The food at Bellota is great across the board. From the vegetable sides to the paellas to the heartier entrees to the traditional Spanish tapas, we haven’t had a single thing that we wouldn’t order again. There’s also a pinxto cart that rolls around and sells you olives and almonds and other little snacks while you’re waiting for everything else to arrive. If, like us, you enjoy snacks, you will enjoy this cart.
The menu itself is extensive, so ideally hit Bellota with a group and try as many things as possible. Everything is shareable, and they do some interesting things like let you order a half-order of two different paellas in one pan to try both. You should definitely get at least one of those paellas, and add on one of the hearth options, like lamb, as well.
What else does Bellota have going for it? The servers are attentive and know what they’re talking about, the space is nicely designed. The wine list is almost all Spanish wines that are quite good, and the waiters will give you honest recommendations without just trying to sell you the most expensive bottle. Or maybe we just look poor.
All that said, being in the Airbnb office does leave a couple of things to be desired. The location is in a pretty random part of SOMA that you definitely aren’t just passing through on a whim. And using the bathroom requires you to exit the dark restaurant into the blindingly white lobby and wander through the vacuous space to the public corporate restroom. Definitely a vibe killer.
But once you’re back inside Bellota, wine in one hand, a spoonful of paella in the other, and your eyes on some pan con tomate, it’s pretty easy to forget you’re currently located in the bottom of a corporate fortress.
A $30 plate of very pricey, but very delicious jamon iberico with tomato jam/sauce and toasty bread. Basically, make your own pan con tomate and be very happy.
Fresh and exceptionally good snap peas. They’re shredded up with a cheesy dressing that is really good.
Also known as beets. Farro and chives and raisins are mixed in as well and it’s fantastic. Yay vegetables.
We’re really into the vegetable dishes here. The roasted broccoli mixed with bitter kumquats (the fruit you didn’t know existed) and a rich yogurt is unusual and quite awesome.
Praise the rice gods - this is excellent. There’s lots of chicken and spicy chorizo, plus peppers and roasted cauliflower bring this next level. While we debated a lot over our favorite paella, this one wins. Double meat is hard to top.
Pork shoulder and jamon iberico and some veggies are involved in this paella. Nice and crispy on the bottom, and very good. Second place to the pollo.
Our favorite from the wood-fired section - the perfectly cooked lamb comes with creamy roasted eggplant. If you’re with a big group, definitely go for the bigger portion to avoid a fight to the death.