Overall Rating: 6.650

NOTE: This location is CLOSED (no longer in business).

Address: 1550 Church St.
Cross Street(s): Duncan St.
City, State ZIP: San Francisco, CA 94131
Neighborhood: Noe Valley
Phone: 415.641.4500
Hours: W-M 5pm-10pm
Type of Establishment: Restaurant
Cafe Rating: 6.50
Barista: 6
Savvy: 6
Ambiance: 7
Presentation: 7
Consistency: Inconsistent
Espresso Machine: La Spaziale
Coffee Rating: 6.80
Aroma: 6
Body: 7
Brightness: 6
Crema: 7
Flavor: 7
Taster's Correction: 1.0
Size: L
Primary Taste: Pungent
Coffee Beans: Mr. Espresso
Cup Manufacturer: Buffalo
Price: $3.50
Last Update: 06/02/2013
First Reviewed: 08/31/2003
Notes: Outdoor Seating

Higher-end Noe Valley Italian restaurant (even if its name roughly translates to McDonald's "I'm lovin' it!" slogan) with warm lighting, good food, and a wide variety of Italian wines by the glass. Chef Chris Costentino still manages to show up despite all his recent food TV appearances. Baristas don't grind to order, but there's good turnover and they pour directly into the cups. In 2009 they replaced their single-group M27 Pasquini with a more generic single-group La Spaziale. It still gets overworked to produce espresso with a medium to light brown crema, sometimes striped and sometimes perfectly even, of varying thickness. In 2005 they switched from Peaberry's Coffee & Tea to Graffeo beans, and their espresso improved along with the switch. In 2009 they switched to Mr. Espresso beans (along with the machine change) with similar results. Originally the body was reliably thin, with the cup filled to the rim. They can still get carried away with the size of the pour, so ask for a "short" one - it will be far better. What was once a decent, light pepper-like flavor that hardly differed from good drip coffee is now more pungent and herbal with better balance and character. Still, the shots here can run a bit thin-bodied. [CLOSED: Replaced in 2013 by failed lunch concept, Porcellino, which also closed in 2014.]