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The Alembic Bar

Not Rated.
The Alembic BarThe Alembic Bar
BA SCORE
89
very good

24 Ratings
Ratings: 24
Reviews: 22
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 9.16%
Taps: 10
Bottles: 30
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

1725 Haight St.
San Francisco, California, 94117
United States
phone: (415) 666-0822

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: clickpush on 10-12-2006)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 24 | Reviews: 22 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Beervana
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

Beervana, Jun 29, 2014
Photo of Clembo1957
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

Clembo1957, Jun 18, 2014
Photo of flexabull
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%

Stopped in here for late Saturday night dinner.

Cool dark and tiny little spot, narrow with a bar, and just a few seats in the back. Big chalkboard listed liquors, wine and beer choices.

Quality was good. Everything they had was craft, but nothing overlay special. I had a Magnolia Proving Ground and a Drakes 1500.

Service was ok. Our bartender and table service was fine, but the hostess was scattered and all over the place, and I'm pretty sure she forgot about us for a while.

Selection was a bit small, I believe they had 6 or 7 taps, but they had decent variety.

Food was fantastic, small plates, but my sweetbreads and veal was excellent. Best meal I've had in some time.

Prices were a bit pricey, but not bad.

Overall, cool little spot with nice cocktails, some good beer choices, and very tasty food.

flexabull, Jan 21, 2013
Photo of RblWthACoz
4/5  rDev +1.8%

I've only visited here during lunch, as every time I pass at night the place is pretty jam packed; and I've passed by there quite a few times, I'll have you know. Cool vibe, lots of different booze to try, good food. Not sure if it's really a place I'd frequent on the regular, but it's a nice spot to go to. Selection could be wider, but what's available covers and interesting spectrum of the beer world. Honestly, if rather just go to Magnolia.

Other nearby spots: Whole Foods (Stanyan St.), Liquid Experience, Val de Cole, Kezar Bar & Grill, Magnolia.

RblWthACoz, Jan 04, 2013
Photo of slander
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%

Apparently, I just blew past the woman at the door who was looking to keep us out due to space restraints. Ben told me as much when he caught up to me at the end of the bar. Trouble shot the situation and quickly ordered a beer on the thinking they wouldn’t eject me then, not easily, anyway (I am the solver of problemos, I am solution oriented). To be fair, I didn’t know the deal on the way in, and I did apologize to her on the way out. Revisited in the light of the next day, ‘cause I was in the ‘hood and could...

It’s a deep, narrow, room with a worn “L” shaped, wood bar off to the left. Upright wood plank base, piping foot rail, and seating for 14 on stools. Barback is glassware in rows and some wines atop a 4 door horizontal cooler holding bottled beer selections and wine. Some cupboardiness alongside, and hidden boozings; the tap tower atop, a few wines, and a coffee machine. 3 long shelves run the length above holding a whole hell of a lot of Whiskey, and things that wish they could be. And 4 square blackboards on a rack run up atop, on a cool pulley system that bring the boards down for easy edit action (as opposed to climbing up on the bar to change out the recently kicked for the on now).

2 hightop roundies up front in the windows, and a looong stretch of bar counter adjacent to the run of the bar. Down past the bar, a handful of 2 seat tables on a length of a shared blue cushion bench, and a corner “L” of the same with 5 tables across the way. To the rear, a tight kitchen space, with a horizontal blackboard above the opening listing prix fixe, dinner & cheese selections and specials.

Worn wood plank floors, black pressed tin ceiling with crown moldings, and yellow mustard, no, maybe more of a spicy brown, ceiling trim and walls. Light from a center skylight, some wall mounted lighting fixtures of metal piecework, drop single filament bulbs tracing the bar, and a single elaborate Quisp lamp to the rear. A few tall vertical prints, a wall shelving piece with books, beakers, test tubes in a mini rack, old bottles, cocktail shakers, and other dusty things, and a large ornate square mirror on the rear wall framed (that bitch is enormous).

10 taps, on nondescript handled stainless steel bar tower on the barback. ½ the taps hold “Gypsy/Tenant Brewer ” event selections (Local Brewing Ocean Beach Porter, Oakland Brewing Impact Crater Imperial Stout, Pacific Brewing Laboratory Nautilus, Dying Vines Brewing Old Brick Bitter, and the High Water Brewing St. Eve’s Belgian Strong Golden Ale, for which there should be a cease & desist a-coming); and the other ½ hold regional California play (Magnolia Kalifornia Kolsch & Proving Ground IPA, Moonlight Death & Taxes, Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye, and the Sutton Cellars Brown Label Dry Vermouth). Started with Moonlight Death & Taxes, due in part to it being awesome, and moved to the Oakland Brewing Impact Crater, which was quite tasty, yes.

And the aforementioned bottled beer selections, looks like just shy of 3 dozen, if you include the “Gypsy/Tenant Brewer” event offerings. The bottled menu is broken out by style or stylings, with roughly 1/3 of them imports, and those mostly of the Belgian variety (Orval runs an, in the range of acceptable, $11). And they do some cocktails here, too, uh huh; the bitters and the like on the bar boxed in front of me.

Opted for a light bite, being the Shishito peppers, oh, non-crazily painful peppers of salty goodness. The perfect snack, seriously. I had been thinking ‘duck’, ‘cause it was on the specials board, but the peppers proved to be the necessary fix.

The tunes have been great. Caught some Buffalo Springfield (early Stephen as that goes, oh yeah, Neil, too), and then “Tears from heaven” comes on, and as I’m thinking “damn, I hate this fucking song”, the bar guy barks “No!” and she changes it (Thanks, man). Was jammin’ last night, not so much today (Thursday afternoon, at 3), but I’m liking it more so now. Good scene, and I could hang, but we’re two and out; got to go collect Ben from the evils of work.

slander, May 15, 2012
Photo of emerge077
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%

Stopped in for a weekday lunch, not crowded at all. Perfect atmosphere, couldn't ask for a better bar on Haight.

Open ceiling, mustard walls, framed vertical prints of abstract industrial textures. Worn in wood floors and tables. Handsome rustic bar to the left, with a cluster of padded booth seating to the rear. Curio shelves to the right behind the bar with plenty of archaic cocktail curios. It's a small and popular place, therefore can't accommodate large groups, not an unreasonable or exclusive policy. Like Monk's Kettle, seating is reserved for dining if it's busy.

Drafts listed on the chalkboard, small but effective list. Magnolia Kölsch, Drake's 1500, Ovila Saison, and several others. Bottle list covered the stylistic basics. Odonata Saison was "on special" for too much money... a 375mL saison for $26?. Whiskey and spirits selection was extensive, with a creative cocktail list also.

Service was attentive and not pretentious. Everything was delivered in a timely manner. Restrooms were clean, with actual cloth hand towels (same as Magnolia).

Food was delicious, the beef tongue sliders were a memorable savory bite, something i'd have again in a heartbeat. The seasonal grilled nectarine and burrata salad was tasty too.

Overall worth a stop if on Haight, during an off peak time. Amoeba, Magnolia, and plenty of other interesting spots nearby.

emerge077, Oct 08, 2011
Photo of NorCalgrowler
3.79/5  rDev -3.6%

Another stop on my birthday tour last year - also on the SF 100 Eats things to try in SF. The Old Fashioned which was way above par. All drinks that were ordered were all over the top inclduing those for my picky wife. The food also looked good witha very eclectic and creative menu. This is much more of a restaurant than a bar. Would definitely go back for a bite but might choose a weekday. But it is a bit $$$ for the Haight district. Bar is narrow and crowded so be warned. It is tough to get a seat at the bar or at a table in the bar area. Selection of spirits fantastic

NorCalgrowler, May 05, 2011
Photo of t0rin0
3.6/5  rDev -8.4%

Visited May 2010 (from notes).

Stopped in on a lunch break while working in the city. Got lucky and found a parking spot right on Haight. The bartender was nice but a bit busy to pay a lot of attention to me. I also wasn't pretending to be into some obscure punk band like so much of that part of town, not sure if that had anything to do with it.

I really came to the place because I heard about all the whacky foods they had and I wanted to try some strange parts of strange animals. But I didnt see any of that on the menu. Maybe my friend just mixed up the names of two bars, who knows. I was also told that they had this amazing bottle list. Again, not the case. So I settled for a fish sandwich (rock fish or something like that) and a glass of a Magnolia beer that I hadn't seen before (Dark Star Mild).

The place was pretty quiet despite having a decent number of patrons in it. Prices were a bit steep, but possibly on par for the trendy part of SF. What ever, been there, done that.

t0rin0, May 03, 2011
Photo of Chelsea1905
3.26/5  rDev -17%

Stopped in and had a proving ground IPA. To be honest this isn't a beer bar. However, the staff were great, and the cocktails mixed very well.

Cool lighting, nice old feel to the lighting and lay out- long and skinny bar. Food looked and smelled great.

Nice bar, but not worth reviewing as a beer bar, because it isn't. When I was there they only had about 4 beers on tap!!! However if you are in the area, and want a drink, then stop in.

The prices are a bit high too, but the music was good and my wife and I could talk to one another without feeling we had to shout to one another, and yet still felt like we were not intruding/being eavesdropped on

Chelsea1905, Apr 21, 2011
Photo of bcm119
3.6/5  rDev -8.4%

A hip upper Haight cocktail and liquor bar, from the owner of Magnolia, with Magnolia beers on tap. Although they have some beer, it's probably better to take advantage of their tequila or Scotch selection.

Long, narrow space with a nicely aged wooden bar. Large chalkboard above the bar with their entire list of drinks; beer list on the far right and it is mostly Magnolia. Maybe 6 beers total. They'd run out of Proving Ground IPA when I visited last, my favorite Magnolia beer, so I ended up drinking a few pints of Blue Bell Bitter.

They have some high-end looking food, but I've never eaten here.

This place reminds me of d.b.a. in NYC, but it's smaller, with less beer on tap, and a douchier crowd. If you're into beer there's not much reason to come here. Magnolia has all the same beers on tap a half block away, and the atmosphere has less of a douche factor.

bcm119, Jul 25, 2010
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The Alembic Bar in San Francisco, CA
89 out of 100 based on 24 ratings.