Overall Rating: 6.000

Address: 101 2nd St., Ste. 100
Cross Street(s): On Mission St.
City, State ZIP: San Francisco, CA 94101
Neighborhood: SOMA
Phone: 415.777.0277
Hours: M-Th 11:30am-10pm; F 11:30am-11pm; Sa 5am-11pm; Su 5am-10pm
Type of Establishment: Restaurant (Chain)
Cafe Rating: 6.20
Barista: 5
Savvy: 6
Ambiance: 7
Presentation: 7
Consistency: Inconsistent
Espresso Machine: Unknown
Coffee Rating: 5.80
Aroma: 6
Body: 4
Brightness: 6
Crema: 7
Flavor: 6
Taster's Correction: 0.0
Size: L
Primary Taste: Pungent
Coffee Beans: Superior
Cup Manufacturer: Steelite
Price: $3.99
Last Update: 04/09/2008
First Reviewed: 09/04/2003
Notes: None

Part of a national, upscale, Hawaiian/Pacific Rim restaurant chain. White tablecloth dining in a semi-formal, albeit lifeless, environment. Good, overrated food presented as art. They originally served Kona coffee - keeping with the Hawaiian theme - until realizing most commercial blends are less than 20% Kona. They transitioned to Illy for a few years, and the espresso wasn't too bad: a creamy, thick, medium brown crema, a decent body, and a fuller, more complex flavor than many Illy-based espressos. However, they have since returned to a Kona blend - now using inferior, freeze-dried, pre-ground coffee from Superior. Simultaneously, they switched their Nuova Simonelli to a superautomatic "hunk of junk" (an employee's term for the machine's manufacturer) with two embedded containers for stale regular and decaf espresso. Yet despite this, their espresso manages to be palatable by some unseen miracle. Forget the Virgin Mary's face in a pizza: what happens here is truly worthy of religious (though not coffee) pilgrimmage. The shot is filled relatively high with a thick, frothy crema that almost looks frozen. It's a medium, mottled brown. Flavorwise, it has a rougher herbal taste - though rather diluted. It's shocking that this isn't one of the worst espressos in the city. Accompanied by a puzzling lemon rind.