Central Kitchen

Overall Rating: 7.400

Address: 3000 20th St.
Cross Street(s): Btwn Alabama & Florida Sts.
City, State ZIP: San Francisco, CA 94110
Neighborhood: Mission
Phone: 415.826.7004
Hours: M-Th 5:30pm-10pm; F-Sa 5:30pm-11pm; Su 10:30am-9pm
Type of Establishment: Restaurant
Cafe Rating: 7.00
Barista: 8
Savvy: 8
Ambiance: 7
Presentation: 5
Consistency: Inconsistent
Espresso Machine: Faema
Coffee Rating: 7.80
Aroma: 8
Body: 8
Brightness: 8
Crema: 7
Flavor: 8
Taster's Correction: 0.0
Size: M
Primary Taste: Pungent
Coffee Beans: Mr. Espresso
Cup Manufacturer: England Ceramic
Price: $3.00
Last Update: 09/21/2014
First Reviewed: 01/25/2014
Notes: None

This part of the Mission District has attracted some creative restaurants in recent years, and this somewhat follows the trend. Opening in May 2012 as a new outlet for the disproportionately popular Flour + Water team nearby, it's in an industrial, loft-like space as part of the broader "food court"-like development shared with Southern Exposure visual arts non-profit. Inside it is, well, dark - with a couple sections of several dining tables each. The food is relatively creative for a city restaurant scene that creaks under the weight of "local, organic" everything. Their espresso comes from a classic, two-group, chrome Faema E61 machine at the back. While they use Sightglass beans for some of their brewed coffee and deceptively advertise it exclusively as such, they use Mr. Espresso's Neapolitan blend for their espresso shots (i.e., it lacks the typical attention-seeking acid bomb flavor profile of Sightglass coffee). And it's a mostly good thing: it has a potent aroma and comes with an inconsistent crema that can have dark and light brown halves or a thinner, hollowed-out center. They serve it properly short with a modest body. And while it is not a full spectrum of flavor, but it is one that's oriented towards herbal pungency. Surpisingly decent for restaurant espresso. Served in England ceramic cups with no saucer.