Scala's Bistro

Overall Rating: 5.850

Address: 432 Powell St.
Cross Street(s): Btwn Sutter & Post Sts.
City, State ZIP: San Francisco, CA 94102
Neighborhood: Union Square
Phone: 415.395.8555
Hours: M-Su 8am-12am
Type of Establishment: Restaurant
Cafe Rating: 6.00
Barista: 4
Savvy: 4
Ambiance: 8
Presentation: 8
Consistency: Inconsistent
Espresso Machine: UNIC
Coffee Rating: 5.70
Aroma: 5
Body: 6
Brightness: 6
Crema: 5
Flavor: 6
Taster's Correction: 0.5
Size: XL
Primary Taste: Pungent
Coffee Beans: Mr. Espresso
Cup Manufacturer: Steelite
Price: $3.50
Last Update: 03/01/2014
First Reviewed: 01/31/2004
Notes: None

Elegant Italian (and quasi-French) dining under ornate tin ceilings with great service. Unfortunately, an excellent meal here declines after the entr´┐Żes, and the espresso is no exception. They used to serve Illy for their coffee service and since switched to Mr. Espresso, but the improvement has only been slight. Operating a two-group UNIC Diva at the bar, they serve espresso with a scant, minimalist crema across the bare surface of the shot. (This is one aspect that almost got worse.) While they do grind to order, the resulting shot is now much larger than its previous modest size. but in place of a watered down Illy flavor of wood and mild spices, it now tastes of something not much more potent than filter drip coffee - even if they claim Europeans like the stuff. In place of the designer Illy IPA cups from Illy coffee with a telltale lemon rind on the side, they now serve it as a modest shot in Steelite cups. Great meal, but classically disappointing espresso. Milk-frothing is dishwater poor: their cappuccino is rather disgraceful.