The Monk's Kettle
Taps: 24 / Bottles: 180
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: Y
Ratings: 83 | Reviews: 64 | Display Reviews Only:
2.98/5 rDev -32.7%
vibe: 2 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5 | $$$$
Monk's Kettle is a mixed bag. Aesthetically it's pretty nice, lots of dark wood and marble, somewhat Euro looking. It's very small, and also quite popular, which makes things like sitting or even comfortably standing pretty much impossible.
The bar has about 25 taps, which are nicely split between local beers and imports. I see quite a bit of Moonlight and Russian River here, which is hard to complain about. What I can complain about are the prices, which are completely absurd. Expect to pay anywhere from $8 to $12 or more for beers that you can find at other local bars for literally half the price. They do have the occasional value beer, but it's rarely anything special.
The bottle list is pretty decent, and they've got a solid selection of vintage beers, but again, the prices are laughably high. I feel bad for anyone gullible enough to pay their prices.
Food is pretty good - trendy, expensive pub fare, largely organic and local. Nothing amazing, but always good. They also get a nod from me for keeping the kitchens open until 1 AM.
This spot seemed promising when they first opened, but I'm afraid it's been downhill since then. Best avoided, check out The Trappist in Oakland for a similar selection at better prices.
03-18-2008 00:15:55 | More by largadeer
3.06/5 rDev -30.9%
vibe: 2 | quality: 4 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3 | $$$$
The Monk's Kettle is a delightful gastro-pub in the Mission District. With a menu of artisan micro-beer and locally-sourced organo-grub, it's just the place to break bread with my be-whiskered brethren on a warm Wednesday night.
The food: there are so many sumptuous morsels. I can't tell you how many times I've come here to gorge myself on vegan chili and baby arugula. But sometimes I like something simple - the proverbial pretzel to go with my proverbial beer, perhaps? At $8.75 the giant crafted pretzel-bread is pricey, but who am I to argue with sustainable mustard? It's downright rustic.
The beer: something is sure to prick up your palate. The selection is ginormous; many are the afternoons I've spent supping samplers at the bar. A crisp ten dollar bill gets you a crisp glass of Pliny the Elder, a lip-smacking DIPA. Or you could splurge on a goblet of earthy Belgiana - an 8 oz pour of Petrus' Oud Bruin goes for a mere $11.50, and 12 oz of the luscious Maredsous Tripel goes for $13.75. Hold me back. They even have the occasional gravity-keg on the manual-pump.
The service: Monk's Kettle extends its observance of the Slow Food movement to its preparation and even the seating before the meal is served. Some of my fellow locovores gripe about it, but I like to think Monk's is preventing repetitive-strain injuries.
Besides, it gives you time to breathe in that refreshing Mission ambiance.
10-07-2009 19:42:33 | More by alfrantzell
3.63/5 rDev -18.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$$$
Checked this place out on a rainy Thursday night whilst in SF on business. It was quite busy. I was warmly greeted at the door and proceeded to belly up at the bar.
A very good selection of beers with focus being west of the Rockies and Belgium. The things that immediately stuck out to me were Pliny the Elder,Fullers London Porter, Stone Pale, Downtown Brown. For me there was never a doubt: Pliny the Elder. I had 2 pints of Pliny and a Pint of Stone PA. Food was good. I had a burger. Cooked properly, with fries without a long wait.
In general I have to say I like this place and I would recommend it. On the positive side it has a great selection of beers, good food and a pleasant atmosphere. On the negative side, I felt the bar staff came across as slightly indifferent. I couldn't help but feel that if youre not a regular that thay are happy to take your money, but thats about it.
12-04-2010 13:41:25 | More by nmoreilly
3.88/5 rDev -12.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3 | $$
Visiting from Boulder, Colorado it was nice to see the appreciation for Avery brews persists, and it was great to see some more obscure Oskar Blue's brews like Mama's Little Yella Pils, one of my favorite pilsners around.
I stayed away from the great selection of Belgian beers and went with two California ales I didn't recognize. A 'Home Grown Fresh-hopped Ale" from Moonlight Brewing shared the table with a lamb burger and fries. I was not overwhelmed by the beer (subtle, nice hop flavor, but nothing really stood out for me) and was markedly underwhelmed by the lamb burger. The mint in the patty just didn't do it for me, and it was not quite fatty enough to make for a true burger. For desert I tried the Big Eye IPA from Ballast Point Brewing out of San Diego. Maybe I don't get out much, but I had not heard of this brewery even though I do travel to San Diego on occasion. This was quite a hoppy beer, and relatively complex. A nice one to be sure.
Overall, it was great to see such an impressive selection and to find some new California beers. It might be worthwhile trying something on the Entree section of the menu next time just to see what they're really about on the food front.
10-01-2010 18:29:31 | More by BoulderBill
3.9/5 rDev -12%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$$
This has become my one of my mainstays in the city to have a great beer and some good food. The tap list changes at a pretty good pace but not too quickly so you can get a chance to try out something if you see it online a few days earlier. And they get some really good stuff on tap on occasion like a few months ago when I was able to get more than a few glasses of barrel aged TenFidy (which was fantastic).
The place can get pretty crowded so if you come with a group (any more than 2 people) it's going to be a pretty long wait if not impossible to get a table. There are some times in the afternoon when it's not as busy but more and more there's a crowd at all times. (Update edit: Increasingly so crowded that it's impossible to get a table or even into the bar as they are at capacity - ahh.. the joys of the overcrowded, over-hyped mission).
As mentioned before the wait staff is pretty cool (in spite of the crowds) and usually can offer some input on various beers that are either on tap or from the bottle list. And the bottle list has been steadily improving and usually has some outstanding stuff but for a price (it's usually a 2x markup from City Beer Store or other quality retailers).
Overall this place is really what a beer / restaurant should be. There's no attitudes and the atmosphere is laid back. Definitely Toronado could learn a few things on how to run a business as well as customer service but I don't think that will happen any time soon (or at all).
Keep up the good work MK!
08-24-2009 04:06:20 | More by JoeySchlitz
3.9/5 rDev -12%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$$$
Let me start by saying that if money is no object, this is an excellent place. The beer selection is great and the food is amazing. You can find great limited beers like The Bruery Papier and Russian River Supplication way after they're gone from all local stores. Unfortunately for most of us who aren't Bill Gates, the Google founders, a big-time professional athlete, or an evil, greedy investment banking executive, money is a thing. Well, that is, until we go to Monk's Kettle. After that, the thing in our wallets that was originally a bunch of money will have completely disappeared.
This place is really, really, ridiculously expensive and marks up beer like most nice restaurants do with wine. I just think that 2.5x or higher wine mark-ups are insane and people are crazy to pay them, and I enjoy the fact that great beer can still be had with a great meal for a reasonable price. Not at Monk's Kettle. You're going to be paying (and I read directly from their beer list) $35 for an AleSmith Speedway Stout (usually $12), $11.25 for a Duvel (usually $3.50), and $28 for a Lost Abbey Judgment Day (usually $10).
However, if you can take the wallet hit and want to impress someone with great food paired with world class beer, this is the place. I had some really excellent food there. There simply aren't many things better than great beer and great food. Last time I went, I had a charcuterie plate, a creamy bowl of tomato soup, and a pulled pork sandwich, along with a La Trappe Isid'Or, a Ballast Point Sculpin IPA, and an '05 North Coast Old Stock Ale (reasonably priced surprisingly!). All were incredible.
Monk's Kettle can really wow you, but you're going to have to hand over the majority of your paycheck for the pleasure. Oh yeah, and it gets crowded and they don't typically take reservations. Go before 6:30 for a weekend dinner unless you want to wait hours for a table. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm heading to Monk's Kettle to shell out $85 for a beer dinner. D'oh! *Final note: I should also add Jermaine Dupri and Jay-Z to the list of people who don't think money is a thing, since they had a song specifically called, "Money Ain't a Thing."
12-11-2009 18:36:02 | More by nickd717
3.94/5 rDev -11.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$$$
Visited 4.3.10 early pm during SFO beer tour.
Very small establishment, less than 10 tables and about 12 seats at bar with 6-8 seats on ledge next to open kitchen. 24 taps, very high quality, but prices are quite expensive, $7.75 for Pliny, and $11.25 for Lucifer after paying $8 at Le Trappe the night before. Extensive bottled list, once again very high quality and very very expensive, $12.75 for HOTD Fred and Adam, not much value in the beer offerings. Nice looking Belgian-style menu, once again high priced, but it looked quite tasty. I don't know if they are trying to be like Le Trappe, but the vibe isn't as cool. Really nice help, and I had a nice conversation with a well-traveled Scandinavian gentlemen. If looking for quality beer and above average food, albeit at a very high price, this is someplace to visit, though there isn't much value to this up and coming beer bistro.
04-03-2010 23:54:53 | More by jdense
4/5 rDev -9.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$$$
This place is good. A nice small bar area and few tables with some nice pics on the bay area up on the wall. Quality of the beer s I tried was pretty good and I did not get a chance to try the food. Still, this place was pretty cool. About 16 drafts and quite a few bottles as well. Nothing I have not had before, but that is kinda bar for the course these days. They did have $21 1 oz samples of utopias which is kinda cool even though the markup is hardcore on the drafts and bottles. Seriously for 16th and mission the prices here are HIGH. The service was decent but kinda slow, but than again this place is brand new, so I will give them the benefit of the doubt, and give them some time.
02-09-2008 05:40:17 | More by francisweizen
4/5 rDev -9.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$$
The place opened up in December of 07 but they seem to have settled in quite nice already. It is a small place but it is definitely cozy and packed with quality. The tap and bottle selection is well thought out and is all top choice. Each bottled beer on the menu had a quip about the style and a recommended pairing was provided on the food menu for each plate. The bartender and staff were extremely friendly and knowledgeable. Proper glass where was provided for each beer, my Houblan Chouffe coming in the specific glass brought that extra little touch I always enjoy. Some beers were pricy some were very reasonable but the quality of the place in its entirety made it worth it. The food was pretty darn good as well, everything being very, very fresh. I have used the word quality a whole bunch of times in this review but I think that pretty much sums up the place, a high quality beer bar with an extremely well thought out selection with great service. A repeat place without a doubt and worth going your way out of to visit. Just two blocks walk from the bart 16th exit in The Mission so get off your lazy ass and check it out.
02-04-2008 21:32:58 | More by chelovek
The Monk's Kettle in San Francisco, CA
97 out of 100 based on 83 ratings.