The Monk's Kettle

The Monk's KettleThe Monk's Kettle
BA SCORE
4.38/5
130 Ratings
The Monk's KettleThe Monk's Kettle
PLACE INFO

Type: Bar, Eatery, Beer-to-go

3141 16th St
San Francisco, California, 94103-3334
United States

(415) 865-9523 | map
monkskettle.com

Notes:
No notes at this time.

Added by NikStique on 12-07-2007

PLACE STATS
Reviews:
76
Ratings:
130
pDev:
11.42%
 
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Ratings: 130 |  Reviews: 76
Photo of emerge077
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Rainy weekday afternoon called for refuge at Monk's Kettle. Wasn't crowded, only about half full.

A beer-zealous and enthusiastic bartender was tending the bar, he was very knowledgeable and offered us samples, all the while chatting with a few different folks at the bar. He suggested a "tiny Pliny" 10 oz. pour when I asked about smaller draft sizes. Several interesting draft options, Moonlight Sour Mash Wheat, Pliny the Elder, RR Temptation (unfortunately just delivered, and it hadn't settled yet). Drafts covered a range of prices, from an affordable $5 to an unheard of $15 (ouch).

Atmosphere was clean and modern, tons of assorted glassware behind the bar, with an eclectic row of curious vessels along the top shelf. Lambic pitchers, a copper Utopias bottle, and other curiosities. A row of wooden booths to the left of the bar reserved for dining patrons. There was a group of 6-8 that came in and made a big show over not getting a table for drinks, and left. More seats for the rest of us... It's a tiny place, not really designed for pub crawls of that size.

There was a very spendy "cellar reserve" list with some cellared stuff, nothing worth blowing a wad of cash over though. Food and bottle menu prices were also a bit higher than elsewhere in town, but there was quality to be had. Overall a great beer-focused place that deserves it's esteemed reputation.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

The Monk's Kettle makes up part of a nice little pub crawl, sandwiched between Pi and Gestalt. It's casual and comfortable with nice decor, but nothing that makes you feel you need to dress it up more than shorts and a t-shirt. It's classy but still remains a kind of neighborhood spot. (One note here... although it's called "The Monk's Kettle", it's not a Belgian-style bar in either beer or food).

The bar staff is quite knowledgable and in-tune, which is nice, as opposed to so many places that think they're educating you when they suggest a "HOE-garden" because you've said you like Belgian beers. Being from the east coast I wasn't familiar with many of the locals on tap, and I was given some very accurate descriptions and very good suggestions.

The food is quite good, and has a distinctive "Cali" feel to it featuring such items as a "Sushimi grade Ahi" sandwich, a "Humboldt Grassfed" Beef Burger and a Cornish Game Hen from "Field To Family Farms"... $16.50, $12.00, and $21.00 respectively. It is a bit pricey!

At the bar they offer 24 taps and 200+ bottles. There are Belgians, but the draft list is mainly composed of west coast and English ales. The bottle list does completely round it out, however, and I'd say it's a rather balanced and mostly comprehensive listing.

Overall, seeing as how small San Fran is, and how few beer bars there are, I'd absolutely put this one right up there with Toronado as a must-see (brewpubs not included).

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Photo of woodychandler
4.47/5  rDev +2.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

What a find! A fantastic diamond in the rough of the Mission District. 16th just up from Valencia and right across from Amnesia. Boy, can I pick'em.

It was a small space, but well appointed. The dark wood bar was directly inside to the right. The back bar featured a pair of flanking Japanese/Chinese lions elaborately carved into the equally dark wood. The bar lamp fixtures were reminiscent of the pointed straw hats commonly worn in SE Asia. Come to think of it, the booths along the left wall were very evocative of Japan, with the slatted seats and dividers. The kitchen was also right, just aft of the bar and utilized a zigzag pattern that incorporated chalkboards to list available beers, plus requests and quotations. As I entered, our small world grew smaller as Nick from the Chalet greeted me as I headed to the lav. Much better success than what I encountered in MTYCO. Friendly unobtrusive, attentive. The open nature of the kitchen lent itself to the scents of cooking. I twice salivated over whatever was on the grill. Lovely being an unapologetic omnivore. I simply enjoyed letting my eyes slide around the taps and the BT display. These are great times in which we live, bro!

Beer: Twenty-four (24) taps, 14 of which were CA, 5 Belgian, which is simply a quantification. BTs - around 100 different. Impressive!

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Photo of sholland119
4.25/5  rDev -3%

Photo of TurdFurgison
4/5  rDev -8.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

I stopped here for the first time this week, while in town on business. It's smaller than I expected from the website, and also set up physically more as a bar with tables rather than a restaurant that happens to have a good beer selection. But in general the food was excellent, the kitchen is cranking out some good stuff.

We sat at the bar where there are about 15 seats, but there's also seating for another 20 or so people at tables (which run the length of the bar itself). Not unpleasant, kind of upscale feeling which was odd compared with the neighborhood. The beer selection was very good, about 25 taps (I didn't actually count though), including some good CA beers such as Russian River, Stone, Lost Abbey, Moonlight, and Firestone. Also some good Belgian names (St Bernardus, D'Achouffe, etc) and a choice few UK and German beers. The bottle list is good too but I didn't spend much time with it. One cask ale which was served from a tap in a barrel, no hand pump (just gravity).

The prices were high, higher than Toronados by about $3 per pour. So I probably won't be coming back here just for beer, but the food was excellent so it's not out of the question for dinner.

 1,187 characters

Photo of jaydoc
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of StoutSnob40
4.56/5  rDev +4.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

Photo of dirtylou
4.25/5  rDev -3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4

Hit the Monk's Kettle twice on a recent trip to SF - very busy on a Saturday night (crowd-control) and then dead-silent at noon the next day for lunch. Nice array of taps including Supplication and Blind Pig, a few offerings from Golden Road and a variety of belgians.

The bottle list is pretty strong, but seems more shock-appeal oriented, featuring a variety of vintages and whales with hefty price tags.

All the food looked pretty good, and much utilized beer in its preparation. I went with the spent grain and chickpea burger, which was pretty good.

Cool place - dug the ambiance - in a city with border-line disgusting dive bars comprising the heavy hitters in the craft scene, it was nice to see a place with a little elegance. Very pricey though - too bad

 766 characters

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.78/5  rDev +9.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75

This was the most memorable of the beer bars I visited in San Fran. A small place with a great atmosphere and great (and friendly) service.

The tap list here was excellent. About 20 taps with a great variety of breweries and styles. Tap list included a couple of Almanac beers (which are surprisingly hard to find on tap) as well as Aroma Coma and limited releases from Ballast Point among others.

The food here is AWESOME. Make sure you go here for dinner.

 461 characters

Photo of francisweizen
4/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.38/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

I am sure everyone says this when they walk in: but that's all the seats? The Monk's Kettle is great. It's like La Trappe, but a hard SoMa vibe. Selection is nice. Lots of different stuff from around the globe and around the neighborhood as well. Food was awesome. I loved the unique selection and stepping out there to do different kinds of things. This should be a must visit for anyone into beer. But might I suggest that you visit for lunch as it's going to be packed and difficult to get sat late at night.

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Photo of SimcoeKid
4.43/5  rDev +1.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

Photo of halo3one
4.75/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of markgugs
4.25/5  rDev -3%

Photo of Spaceman_Jer
4.26/5  rDev -2.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4.85/5  rDev +10.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Had to kill a some time Friday night while waiting to meet up with friends. Since I was in the area, I strolled into the Monk's Kettle. What an excellent choice that was!

I've gone by this place many times, and it always seems to be packed. Last night was no different. The crowd was decidedly young and, oddly enough, not bogged down with hipsters - yay!

After seating myself in the corner, a server immediately brought me a beer and food menu. The bottle list ran very deep, and the tap selection was loaded with local rarities. All of the food items sounded good, and they came with beer pairing suggestions. I was very impressed. The prices were steep though, and I decided to order a cup of tomato bisque and a Moonlight Sour Mash Lager, partially because they each sounded good, but mainly because they were the cheapest items on the menu.

My server/waiter was right on top of things, and approached me as soon as I looked ready. Immediately after ordering, he asked if I would like to open a tab. I told him that I was only staying for a single round, so he dropped off the check right then and there. While some may view this as rude, I didn't have much time to waste and appreciated the gesture. He immediately fetched my beer, and five minutes later I had my bisque, too. Service was very responsive and speedy.

The food and beer were absolutely delicious (although the soup came out extremely hot, and I burned my tongue on the first sip). I'd love to come back and try more things on their menu (both beer and food). This is one of the most complete beer bars I've ever been too, and possibly my new favorite in San Francisco. I highly recommend this to anyone in the area!

 1,690 characters

Photo of jdense
3.94/5  rDev -10%
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.

 891 characters

Photo of LittleDon
4.63/5  rDev +5.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Came here on a Monday night a sat at the bar with colleagues from SF. The place was busy, but there didn't appear to be much of a wait, if any. The beertender's had apparently sampled most of the stuff on tap and offered helpful suggestions when asked. Several plates were split among the four of us. All were well prepared and tasty. I will definitely go back next time I'm in town. Decent selection, good food, knowledgeable and friendly staff. The place is small, though. There are, perhaps, 15 or 20 four tops and about a dozen bar seats. I'll make sure to get there early in the week and/or evening, as I believe this place gets packed.

Update - 1/18/11
While the beer and service remains top notch, the menu has changed considerably. I shared four dishes last night and was not impressed (trotters, beef cheeks, confit, and rabbit). All were mediocre at best, lacking the subtlety and finesse you'd expect from upscale dining. The trotters were the best albeit a bit on the heavy side. The beef was well cooked, but accompanied by sauce that combined cloyingly sweet corn with hot-hot horseradish. The rabbit and confit were bland and boring. The only thing upscale was the prices.

 1,188 characters

Photo of Rollzroyce21
4/5  rDev -8.7%

Photo of mactrail
3.48/5  rDev -20.5%
vibe: 1.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.25

I will grant that this is a place with plenty of interesting beers that seem to be chosen more for weirdness and rarity, which will please many. For those who pursue the top 500 list, you can get a nip of Fantome Saison, Sucaba, and Abyss if you're willing to pay the price. I objected to the $8.75 pirce for the 10 oz American Pale ale from Santa Cruz, but you can get a whole pint of Firestone DBA for the same price, so you can say it's just San Francisco.

The other nice thing is the wall of glassware between the tall carved back bar endpieces. But the noise is so deafening with people yelling over the sound system. It's so cramped and uncomfortable, no matter how good it looks, I drink my one beer and get out. The food is also lovely and they seemed to be selling a lot of the $17 burgers. The fried chicken wins the beauty award. You can see the food menu as well as current beers online, which is also a plus if you're looking for a reason to visit on any given day. But go when it's warm enough to sit at the few sidewalk tables-- though the time I noticed empty seats was a damp, chilly evening.

 1,110 characters

Photo of cherche
4.54/5  rDev +3.7%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

Photo of JamLand
4.68/5  rDev +6.8%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

A cool, cafe feel to the place. A place to grab a great pint and some great food. The service was very friendly. Amazing selection while we there, including '10 and '11 Abyss. I can't verify much variety with the food because everyone I was with ordered the burger, which was excellent. Plenty of street parking in the area, if you rent a car while visiting SF.

 361 characters

Photo of jgasparine
4.55/5  rDev +3.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Atmosphere- This place is gorgeous; reminiscent of an old European tavern. Lots of wood, warm and aged. The bar is long and narrow, and the booths can accommodate 4 people comfortably. Thus, for a small group, this bar is perfect. I imagine, however, that the floorplan is not ideal for a large group of friends. On my visit, I was there with 3 others, and for us, it was perfect. We were surrounded by all things beer and it was wonderful.

Quality- Everything was clean; glassware, draught lines, etc. The place reeked of quality. Not in the sterile hospital way; but more like a business owner is passionate about what he/she does.

Service- Despite the place being packed, our service was exceptionally prompt and friendly. Food came out surprisingly quick, as did the beers. The servers didn't seem to have any issue running samples from the bar to our table either. This was hands-down some of the best service I have ever had in a beer bar.

Selection- While they don't have the largest selection (by count), their selection of beer was clearly well-thought-out. The beer menu was just packed with gems, and covered the gamut of styles. Despite the small selection, I still managed to feel like I was in beer heaven!

Food- The food was fantastic. Honestly, I can't even remember what we had, but we did enjoy several dishes, and I recall raving about it.... I guess this is telling as to how "good" of a night it was!

Value- This place is somewhat expensive. But as a tourist, it was certainly worth the money. Would definitely go back if in San Francisco again!

 1,571 characters

Photo of frasergrove
4.41/5  rDev +0.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Tiny corner spot near 16/Mission in SF. Some outside seating, some funky bar seating as well as booths inside. The beer selection (while pricy) is great...same goes for the food. Nice people there and a good vibe...but your wallet may hurt if you stay for too many!

 265 characters

Photo of brywhite
4.36/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.75

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The Monk's Kettle in San Francisco, CA
Place rating: 4.38 out of 5 with 130 ratings
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