A 16

Overall Rating: 5.600

Address: 2355 Chestnut St.
Cross Street(s): Btwn Scott & Divisadero Sts.
City, State ZIP: San Francisco, CA 94123
Neighborhood: Marina
Phone: 415.771.2216
Hours: Su-M 10:30am-10pm; W-Th 10:30am-10pm; F-Sa 11:30am-11pm
Type of Establishment: Restaurant
Cafe Rating: 6.00
Barista: 4
Savvy: 5
Ambiance: 7
Presentation: 8
Consistency: Inconsistent
Espresso Machine: Nuova Simonelli
Coffee Rating: 5.20
Aroma: 6
Body: 3
Brightness: 6
Crema: 6
Flavor: 6
Taster's Correction: -1.0
Size: XL
Primary Taste: Turpeny
Coffee Beans: Flying Goat Coffee
Cup Manufacturer: Nuova Point
Price: $3.50
Last Update: 05/16/2014
First Reviewed: 04/18/2004
Notes: None

Campania-themed Italian restaurant may be named after a freeway, but it's more of a trendy hipster spot than you'll find in Napoli. Cork floors and walls in the wine bar and a wide open rear kitchen and dining area (they removed the old foosball table). In recent years they upgraded their coffee setup - forgoing their La Pavoni machine and, later, a Faema with dual E61 group heads for a more modern two-group Nuova Simonelli. They also replaced their very Neopolitan Kimbo coffee with local Blue Bottle Coffee and their Kimbo logo cups with traditional, thick-walled brown Nuova Point cups - and for a while the quality improved. They served espresso with a thicker, medium brown crema and went from a dry, grainy, grassy flavor to something that's was much more refined and fresh tasting - a more complex blend of thyme, cedar, and some smokiness. But then for whatever reasons, they changed their coffee program. They switched to Flying Goat Coffee - who is clearly a great roaster. But perhaps coincidentally - or because of their lack of James Freeman backing their training and barista support - they completely nosedived in quality: large volume shots that are watery and filled to the brim compared to their conservative pours of the past. And weak on flavor, as if they were serving more of a drip coffee. Why, why, why? For all the authentic pizza, wine, and dishes they try to serve from Campania, the espresso now here would insult any Neapolitan (even the food seems to be resting on its laurels lately). Served with a bit of brittle on the side of the cup.