SPQR

Overall Rating: 7.600


Address: 1911 Fillmore St.
Cross Street(s): Btwn Bush & Pine Sts.
City, State ZIP: San Francisco, CA 94115
Neighborhood: Fillmore
Phone: 415.771.7779
Hours: M-F 11:30am-2:30pm, 5:30pm-11pm; Sa-Su 9:30am-2:30pm, 5:30pm-11pm
Type of Establishment: Restaurant
Cafe Rating: 7.80
Barista: 8
Savvy: 8
Ambiance: 7
Presentation: 8
Consistency: Inconsistent
Espresso Machine: La Marzocco
Coffee Rating: 7.40
Aroma: 7
Body: 8
Brightness: 7
Crema: 8
Flavor: 7
Taster's Correction: 0.0
Size: L
Primary Taste: Smoky
Coffee Beans: Blue Bottle Coffee Co.
Cup Manufacturer: Nuova Point
Price: $3.00
Last Update: 06/03/2010
First Reviewed: 02/09/2008
Notes: None

Review
A more casual act from the owners of A-16, this osteria doesn't live up to the pedigree of its older sibling - but it's worthy. Inside there are white walls accented with darker woods, more than a dozen dining tables, bar seating, and chef's table seating. It's decorated with a number of Roman touches (down to the Forza AS Roma flag that once lived above the kitchen entrance). On the plus side, they show their training from Blue Bottle's James Freeman: I caught the kitchen staff actually tuning the grind of the coffee to start the evening's coffee service - something I've witnessed almost nowhere else. Using an older two-group La Marzocco at the bar, they serve espresso with a crema that can vary from a mottled dark and medium brown to an even medium brown. Though it's not terribly thick and it may have some larger bubbles suspended in it (or not), it Canberra an impressive crema for restaurant espresso. But consistency is an issue: shots can run long or short depending on the staff. The resulting cup, while good, lacks much discernable flavor. It has no sweetness, despite all appearances. It lacks any bitterness, but it lacks a lot of flavors normally associated with freshly roasted, properly prepared coffee. It's mostly herbal with some smokiness and a slight medicinal tinge on the finish.