George and Lennie

Overall Rating: 7.400

Address: 277 Golden Gate Ave.
Cross Street(s): Btwn Hyde & Leavenworth Sts.
City, State ZIP: San Francisco, CA 94102
Neighborhood: Tenderloin
Phone: None
Hours: M-F 7:30am-4pm; Sa 8am-4pm
Type of Establishment: Espresso Bar
Cafe Rating: 6.80
Barista: 8
Savvy: 8
Ambiance: 7
Presentation: 4
Consistency: N/A
Espresso Machine: La Marzocco
Coffee Rating: 8.00
Aroma: 8
Body: 8
Brightness: 8
Crema: 8
Flavor: 8
Taster's Correction: 0.0
Size: M
Primary Taste: Warming
Coffee Beans: Four Barrel Coffee
Cup Manufacturer: Glass
Price: $3.00
Last Update: 07/22/2016
First Reviewed: 07/22/2016
Notes: Coffee Sales; Outdoor Seating

Opening in Aug 2015 in one of the rougher parts of this softening town, Brett Walker combined his experience as a former Four Barrel Coffee barista with his love of houseplants and large-format prints of his photography in establishing what is very much a personal space. It also happens to serve coffee. On the ground floor beneath new residential apartments (The Lofts at Seven) and nearby UC Hastings and its law students, this caf´┐Ż's name is an homage to his favorite book (John Steinbeck). There's often a selection of eclectic music playing on the turntable, blaring through cheap speakers. Besides Brett's massive plot printer off to the side, the space includes two live-edge cut counters at the front windows with two wooden stools (courtesy of his wife, furniture designer Katie Gong). There's also a short, two-person wood bench out front for sidewalk seating. Inside the chairs are mismatched and, along with the occasional cactus, cover the concrete slab floors. He sells Chemex brewers, filters, and roasted coffee plus baked goods, pour-over coffee, and espresso from a three-group La Marzocco Linea Classic. There's even a chalk menu of drinks and prices that states "Butter Coffee - Yes". He pulls shots of Four Barrel's Friendo Blendo (De La Paz is also served) with a moderately thick, even, medium-to-pale brown crema. Served out of a short jelly jar, it has a distinctive brightness that you can sense at the back of your throat and tastes of spices, some apple, and a little molasses. But this is mostly about the brightness. Some SFers might whine about the lack of WiFi, but this place reminds me of some of the edgier SF coffee bars of the 1990s but with much better coffee.