A 16

Overall Rating: 7.800


Address: 2355 Chestnut St.
Cross Street(s): Btwn Scott & Divisadero Sts.
City, State ZIP: San Francisco, CA 94123
Neighborhood: Marina
Phone: 415.771.2216
Hours: Su-M 10:30am-10pm; W-Th 10:30am-10pm; F-Sa 11:30am-11pm
Type of Establishment: Restaurant
Cafe Rating: 8.00
Barista: 7
Savvy: 8
Ambiance: 8
Presentation: 9
Consistency: Inconsistent
Espresso Machine: Nuova Simonelli
Coffee Rating: 7.60
Aroma: 7
Body: 7
Brightness: 8
Crema: 8
Flavor: 8
Taster's Correction: 0.0
Size: M
Primary Taste: Turpeny
Coffee Beans: Blue Bottle Coffee Co.
Cup Manufacturer: Nuova Point
Price: $3.00
Last Update: 08/21/2011
First Reviewed: 04/18/2004
Notes: None

Review
Campania-themed Italian restaurant may be named after a freeway, but it's more of a trendy hipster spot than you'll find in Napoli. Cork floors and walls in the wine bar and a wide open rear kitchen and dining area (they removed the old foosball table). In recent years they upgraded their coffee setup - forgoing their La Pavoni machine and, later, a Faema with dual E61 group heads for a more modern two-group Nuova Simonelli. They also replaced their very Neopolitan Kimbo coffee with local Blue Bottle Coffee and their Kimbo logo cups with traditional, thick-walled brown Nuova Point cups. (And they also ugpraded the price from $1.75.) They now serve espresso with a thicker, medium brown crema. In replacing their Kimbo coffee, they went from a dry, grainy, grassy flavor to something that's now much more refined and fresh tasting - a more complex blend of thyme, cedar, and some smokiness. Each time we returned since their switch to Blue Bottle beans, they seemed to get better - though the flavor could have a stronger profile to match its other improved attributes. They serve a true macchiato here (instead of something that looks more like a drowning cappuccino), and they use metal French presses for drip coffee. We can only presume that James Freeman of Blue Bottle successfully consults on the side here.