Public House, Social Kitchen: Great Brews, Shame About the Food

The local food press ― us included ― logs the odd story about beer sommeliers and prix-fixe suds dinners, but really, how many S.F. eateries are committing their beverage programs to craft brews? Today in SF Weekly, food critic Jonathan Kauffman focuses on two recent specimens, Traci Des Jardins' Public House at AT&T Park, and Social Kitchen and Brewery at Ninth and Irving. Both places are serious as a beer geek about what's on tap, but when it comes to the food. Well, maybe if you down enough IPAs, you won't notice the lackluster plates in front of you.

At Public House, Kauffman finds a whiff of cynicism in the offerings at the former Acme Chophouse, as if Des Jardins had decided that, if San Francisco didn't want an earnestly sustainable steakhouse, she'd sling jalapeño poppers and mini corn dogs instead. And across town at Social Kitchen, chef Rob Lam's clunky gray-brown starches are no match for brewmaster Rich Higgins' lithe, sophisticated beers.

Drink in the details at; meantime, enjoy a tasting in our extended excerpt (after the jump).

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