Orson

Overall Rating: 4.450


Address: 508 4th St.
Cross Street(s): Bryant St.
City, State ZIP: San Francisco, CA 94107
Neighborhood: SOMA
Phone: 415.777.1508
Hours: M-Tu 5pm-10pm; W-Sa 6pm-11pm
Type of Establishment: Restaurant
Cafe Rating: 5.00
Barista: 3
Savvy: 2
Ambiance: 8
Presentation: 7
Consistency: N/A
Espresso Machine: Brasilia
Coffee Rating: 3.90
Aroma: 3
Body: 3
Brightness: 6
Crema: 3
Flavor: 6
Taster's Correction: -1.5
Size: M
Primary Taste: Warming
Coffee Beans: Equator Estate Coffees
Cup Manufacturer: Nuova Point
Price: $2.00
Last Update: 08/02/2008
First Reviewed: 08/02/2008
Notes: None

Review
This somewhat controversial restaurant is a little too hip for some people - from its two stories of industrial décor, odd and layered-on-thick gay and metrosexual wait staff, intimidating bar scene in the middle of the place, and a complicated menu that will take anyone a while to get their head around. The food here is quite creative, however - which is refreshing from the great-but-monotonous "Church of Alice Waters" formula at fine dining establishments in SF. But what starts as a great and interesting meal finishes rather poorly here: it crashes at dessert and burns at coffee. Desserts, which you'd think would be a strong point from the creator of SF's Citizen Cake, are a weak point. As for the coffee experience, it's below pedestrian. Using a two-group Brasilia in the kitchen, they produce moderately sized espresso shots with the faintest hint of a lighter brown crema that evaporates almost instantly. And if the coffee they use for their espresso looks stale by the signs of the crema, the taste backs it up: flat, lifeless, and mostly a mild pepper drip coffee flavor and body. For 50˘ more, you can oddly get drop coffee which undoubtedly only differs by the size of the cup. The coffee comes from Equator Estate Coffees, who once again signs a deal with a cuisine-aspirational restaurant who produces unacceptably poor espresso with their beans. Served in classic brown Nuova Point cups.