Kudos to Nancy Wilhelm! This consummate restaurateur has finally opened her dream establishment with a concept that she has been refining in her imagination for years.
Starfish is a gorgeous transformation of the former Taz restaurant in the South Laguna's Albertson's shopping center. The décor and cuisine is Asian coastal, with street satays from Indonesia to Thai curries, Vietnamese spring rolls, Hawaiian poke, Japanese shiro miso salmon and Chinese Sichuan eggplant, all created by chef Jarvis Yuan.
The dimly lit, high-ceilinged room is constructed around a large central bar where you may drink and dine while sitting on high stools under the soft lighting of the hanging Asian style lanterns. Under a mirrored wall, accented by a seascape, is a high turquoise banquette running the length of the room with tall tables and stools. The other side of the room is a brick wall punctuated by large windows fretted with a geometric wood design. Adding to the atmosphere of a Vietnamese back street at night are hanging bird cage lanterns. There is also a separate smaller dining room in the rear with decorative scrolls. The overall ambiance is exotic, warm and comfortable.