This café is part of the Segafredo Zanetti chain, and it has been located in the deepest bowels of a downtown SF shopping mall, the San Francisco Centre, for a number of years. It’s less of an espresso bar than its neighborhood sisters (e.g., the Segafredo Zanetti at Powell) and more of a counter café serving sandwiches, pastries, and coffee to hungry mall-walkers. Located at the bottom of a tall atrium, it still carries the Segafredo-branded red & black tables and chairs. However, their bland, overpriced, and reheated food makes your high school cafeteria seem like a step up.
Their more modern, three-group La San Marco machine still shows the dent from when a jumper leapt from the escalator onto it — twice — and lived, back in June 2003. With this machine, they produce a very dark brown crema that rapidly thins. Its over-roasted, burnt, and somewhat bitter flavor is primarily ashy — although it does have a full mouthfeel and a more pleasant aftertaste. S.F.’s Coffeemax services their machine and could do much better.
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