Restaurant Review: The Star
Source: The Star on Grand Facebook page
The Star is a diamond in the rough, a hidden gem amongst the many nail salons and other businesses on Grand Avenue. Their specialty is pizza, but they also have salads and sandwiches. The restaurant is housed in a rustic space with exposed brick walls and a very open feel. The natural wood tables contrast nicely with the pristine glass bottles of water and nice place settings, creating a casual, yet upscale ambiance. When walking into The Star at around 7, it was mostly full, but we didn’t have to wait long for a table. After around 10 minutes, we were seated at a table near the middle of the restaurant. Our server came over promptly and was very nice.
We ordered three pizzas, garlic bread, and a salad. There are only two sizes of pizzas—small and large. The small has 6 slices and the large has 8, plenty for 2 or 4 people to share. The garlic bread came first, hot out of the oven—a warm loaf of sourdough with butter and olive oil on the side that you assembled yourself. Next to the bread was a bowl of whole roasted, sweet garlic cloves for spread. Though untraditional garlic bread (soft, not toasted), all of the elements worked very well together and created a perfect appetizer while we waited for the prize: the pizza.
After the garlic bread came the salad. We ordered the Goddess salad, containing baby romaine, chives, toasted almonds, and a creamy pesto dressing. It was dressed well, just coating the leaves, but not overpowering them. The toasted almonds on top added a perfect crunch. Carly Wilson, a frequent patron of The Star, says, “The Goddess salad is incredible. So good, in fact, I would have guessed that it came from Mount Olympus itself.” What a shining review!
Now, for the main attraction: the pizza. The Star shines with its ability to cater to those with dietary restrictions, such as “gluten frEEks.” We ordered two of the Broadway Terrace pizza, one gluten-free, and one regular. This white pizza features chicken, feta, mozzarella, red onions, pesto, and is topped with garlic-infused olive oil. It’s a thin crust pizza that is great when fresh, but gets soggy very quickly. All of the elements combine to create such a great pizza that you won’t even miss the tomato sauce. The gluten free version, sampled by a true gluten frEEk, deserves only praise. It was one of the best gluten-free pizzas I’ve ever had, with crust that could pass for the real thing.
With such good service, a great atmosphere, and something for everyone, The Star is an underappreciated local neighborhood spot amidst a galaxy of average restaurants.
3425 Grand Ave, Oakland, CA 94610