Everything about this place screams old Hollywood, from the posters on the walls to the movies always being shown, the owner Gem studied film here in San Francisco, go figure.
Gem and his wife Cigdem are originally from Istanbul, Turkey, so the food reflects their roots. It’s really a neighborhood hang, with great coffee and lovely lunch items, a real find in this usually sleepy area. Orsen’s Belly is community based with seventy-five percent of its customers living within a few blacks away.
They play jazz, while the movie on the wall has the sound turned off. The day I was there they were playing one of my favorite movies, Babette’s Feast from 1987. The décor is industrial with red, green and black metal chairs, wood floors, and many movie posters on the walls.
This coming Friday will be their 7 month anniversary, and business is doing really good. They also host a lot of fun events that they host.
Here’s what I tried:
Turkish breakfast – feta, organic hard boiled eggs, black olives, cucumber, tomatoes, honey, jam, pita bread. Having been to Turkey I knew just what this was supposed to be and its even better then I remember.
Smoked salmon, house made goat cheese yogurt sauce, cucumber, tomato, and chives. You get lots of salmon and the cheese yogurt sauce is just delightful.
Haigs hummus, spinach, cherry tomato, radish, olive oil, and French Brittany fleur de sel, just the basics but they work so well together.
Tuna melt with Swiss cheese, the tuna is not too dressed, and the Swiss cheese works so well, I loved this lunch item.
Veggie Cobb, with romaine, avocado, organic hard-boiled egg, feta, agave-roasted chickpeas, vegetarian Worcestershire dressing. The chickpeas really make this salad wonderful, and so does the very flavorful dressing, for a healthier lunch choice this is the one.
Organic tomato soup, rich and creamy but at the same time no too heavy, a wonderful full-bodied soup.
Chardonnay, Cannonball, 2013, a nice buttery wine, and will go great with the smoked salmon.
Sauvignon Blanc, Spy Valley, Marlborough, 2015, I liked this wine with the Turkish breakfast, it went especially well with the sweet honey.
Zinfandel Manifesto Lodi 2014, this wine for me worked with the tomato soup, a perfect combo.
Le Petite Pemere, Sonoma 2014, I liked this wine with the Humus, it brought out a more robust flavor in the humus that is normally tasted.
No nonsense, just great food, and it doesn’t hurt that it has a very whimsical atmosphere. In a nutshell, when you’re in the Upper Richmond area of San Francisco try Orson’s Belly.
1737 Balboa Ave.,
San Francisco, CA, 94121