Opening in May 2004, this is something of an unusual find for the Lower Mission/Excelsior area. (A rule of thumb for the San Francisco “local” test should be to identify where you can find the Excelsior.)
This café is a calm and relaxing environment with quiet patrons. There are collages of photographs on the walls, and most everything is painted in bright pastel colors. Inside there’s a leather sofa, unique tables and chairs, and a piano, plus the odd rack for selling Mexican spices.
I’m not too impressed with the barista, who didn’t know what beans they used despite a sign posting Uncommon Grounds on the counter. Using a two-group Faema, they pull a very large shot espresso with a very modest, pale crema that just completely covers the surface. The resulting cup is light on impact, but it is smooth and has a mellow flavor of spice and herbs — as if you’d expect anything but, given the décor. It could have been much worse.
They also feature live music on Thursday nights 7:30 p.m.-10 p.m.
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