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Nov 8, 2012 10:11 AM

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.

Fat Angel
1740 O'Farrell at Fillmore

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  1. 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.

    1 Reply
    1. re: CarrieWas218

      WHAT. I had no idea! Thanks for that tidbit.

    2. I've heard a rumor that Fat Angel's owner is contemplating opening another place because FA has become too popular for his regulars to hang out any more. Any inkling of that?

      2 Replies
        1. re: NoeMan

          Thanks, and that made me remember where I heard the early rumor. Checked back and this specific project/concept seems to not have panned out but others are under consideration.

          (P.S. NoeMan, please don't be so scarce.)

      1. I had a remarkable brew on tap here yesterday:
        T.R.E.A.T. Midnight Sun Imperial Chocolate Pumpkin Porter from Anchorage, Alaska
        I loved the complexity of flavors, and pleasant surroundings
        it's a seasonal brew, so if curious about tasting it, i suggest you go there soon.

        1. 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.

          1. I really like this place. The selection of draft beers is always interesting ( and updated on ), and it's close enough to the Kabuki / New People Theater that it's an ideal place to meet for drinks before a film. Or a place to stop in while waiting to be seated at State Bird Provisions.

            At 8pm on a Saturday, our group of four was able to immediately get seating outside. The wait inside was more than 30 minutes.

            The Firebrand pretzel continues to be an excellent pairing with beer.

            The mac and cheese and chicken pot pie were excellent renditions. I didn't think much of the sliders or the mushroom flatbread.