Fat Angel [San Francisco]
I'd heard about this place a couple years ago, and should have listened then. I'm always looking for a place to meet up before or after a show at the Kabuki or New People cinemas, so it was nice to discover that Fat Angel is a short walk away. The scene reminded me of apero spots in Paris like Rouge Passion, where you drop by for a drink and nibble before moving on to your next thing--there was a guy who downed a beer at the bar while holding a leash for a dog that waited outside.
I saw that it was listed on Yelp as a wine bar, but when I was there, pretty much everyone was drinking beer. Intimate space, lots of reclaimed metals and wood, with a small bar and maybe 8 tables. The menu seems best for sharing small bites, with sections for cheese, charcuterie, various types of flavored butter served with Firebrand bread, and a few salads, flatbreads, and a couple homey entrees (like mac & cheese).
We split the walnut, prosciutto and gorgonzola flatbread topped with halved red grapes--nice flavors, cooked perfectly. Also really enjoyed the punchy Molisana salame, flavored with garlic and whole peppercorns. Firebrand is one of my favorite Bay Area breads, so happy to see that here.
Draft wines plus an extensive draft and bottle beer list, with nice options from Evil Twin and Mikkeller. Lots of sours. I'm interested in gueuze lately, so I ordered a Tilquin oude gueuze and enjoyed the lemony notes and wet hay color.
1740 O'Farrell at Fillmore
Revisited after about a year and was very pleased. Met a friend for drinks and a bite before she went to the Fillmore for a show. They have a happy hour, presumably until 7 (couldn't find anything about this on their website), which includes a $1 discount on all draft beer and wine, and $2 off their flatbreads. Friend ordered the mac & cheese, which was one of the better renditions I've had in a while. Comes in a tiny skillet, but has a nice kick and an excellent crunchy topping. Empty before 6 but full by 8. Maybe not a destination, but a perfect neighborhood spot, and also a fantastic pre-show sip & nosh.
Pane - the cool thing about the "reclaimed wood and metal" is that it is all from various churches! If you look above the bar, you will see pipes from an organ and that is where the "angel" name came from.
I really miss living in that neighborhood.... Fat Angel was a favorite hang-out.