The Socialight used to be a lighting store with a beautiful collection of lamps, leading to the new restaurant’s catchy name.

The space, located on a prime corner in downtown Campbell, has undergone a drastic transformation to become a bar and restaurant. Exposed bulb chandeliers run the length of the dining area, but the storefront’s tall windows have replaced colorful lamps with a showcase of wine racks that double as barriers between booths.

The service was accommodating when we finally got our waiter’s attention, and we started on appetizers that came in larger portions than expected. The seared duck breast nachos ($12) were a delightful hit with pepper jack and crema on housemade multi-colored tortilla chips. Duck and cheese may not sound appetizing, but the nachos made for a satisfying combination.

The Socialight advertises food with a global influence, like the Filipino style adobo pork riblets ($11) served over crispy rice noodles and peas. This dish was enjoyable with a good helping of tender pork riblets. It did feel slightly generic with the crispy rice noodles and what tasted like Thai sweet chili sauce from the bottle. The lamb sliders ($12) with harissa chili paste, feta, and tzatziki fared similarly, as it was too bland and tasted more of tzatziki than the other seasonings.

By this point, we were already full thanks to the large portion of appetizers, but we ventured onward to a few lunch entrees.

The BBB is often misread as BBQ; it really stands for beef, bison, burger ($15) and has short rib, bison and ground chuck in the patty. Served with sharp cheddar, onion relish, lettuce, tomato and grilled red onions, it tasted more like beef than a bison mix. The patty was cooked medium rare but lacked flavor aside from the cheese and onion relish.

For an extra $2, I substituted my fries with a hefty serving of spinach salad in a light vinaigrette. The salad could have used other ingredients to add variety, though the dressing was nice. The Reuben sandwich ($13) had tender corned beef slices layered with pastrami, sauerkraut and Swiss on marbled rye bread with Russian dressing. It was well-made and all the elements of the classic sandwich were highlighted. With a side of crunchy fries, the dish rounded out a filling meal.

Socialight’s lunch menu does not quite align with their goal to serve incredible food from all over the world. It does execute well on a selection of New American fare. Prices are standard for this location and type of cuisine.

The service was inexplicably slow in the beginning, as we waited to be seated while employees hovered at the back of the bar. Menus were also a long time coming. Some of the food like the burger and lamb sliders could be enhanced with more seasoning or sauces, but the restaurant is fairly new, so there is a chance to iron out the kinks.

With more dishes like the duck nachos and Reuben sandwich, The Socialight is on the right path to providing a tasty dining experience in a bright environment.

The Socialight
368 E. Campbell Ave., Campbell
$$, American (New)