Tap 415 restaurant San Francisco

Tap 415 is a nearly year-old restaurant on the fourth floor of the Westfield Mall in San Francisco.

The story: The team behind the SOMA wine bar 25 Lusk decided to focus on beer and decided to create a modern beer garden — inside a mall! General Manager Chad Bourdon and Chef Matthew Dolan last year opened Tap 415, a gastropub on the fourth floor of the Westfield San Francisco Centre.

Why I went: One thing about restaurants at malls, they’re convenient. Especially when you’re watching a movie at the mall, like I did recently with my friend Craig. Afterwards, I suggested an earlier dinner/happy hour at Tap 415, which is an expansive new project dominating the restaurant row that includes M.Y. China and Cuppola. Happy hour is daily from 3 to 6 p.m. so we got there in time to order a beer and a couple of small bites before heading into the full menu.

Sweet shrimp taco with pickled jalapeno, avocado salsa verde ($4.15 each during happy hour)

Sweet shrimp taco with pickled jalapeno, avocado salsa verde ($4.15 each during happy hour)

Lagunitas Little Sumpin Sumpin beer

Glass of Lagunitas Little Sumpin Sumpin beer ($7)

The vibe: Not really a beer garden since it’s indoors, but Tap 415 does have the large communal tables that flood the dining area, and the TV screens showing games give it a sports bar feel. The big space may also be its challenge because it did seem pretty empty for happy hour (but it was a Sunday afternoon).

oyster shooter at Tap 415

The tiny oyster shooter ($5) in a container that looked like ketchup condiment holder. It was bloody Mary with a tiny oyster at the bottom.

The menu: We’ll start with happy hour menu, which offers a featured beer, wine, and cocktail, and then six small bites, many bar classics such as sliders, BBQ chips, onion rings and little dogs. I tried the oyster shooter ($5) that came in a teeny tiny metal container looking almost like a condiment, and Craig and I both had one of the sweet shrimp tacos ($4.15 each) that was fresh and easy to eat. The main menu has a variety of items, ranging from sandwiches to salads to large plates. The style seemed all over the place, ranging from a chicken schnitzel ($20) to roasted porchetta ($24). One note: while the servers were friendly and gave you space to enjoy the food and beer, they didn’t seem to know the menu. When they brought the food over, I would ask about what’s in the dish and many couldn’t explain, often having to go to the kitchen for more details, such as the Cezar kale salad ($6/$12), which had a weird texture that I felt was quinoa but the kitchen said it was the gremolata (but I feel gremolatas shouldn’t be crunchy). Gives you little confidence in the food when even the kitchen can’t fully explain the dishes.

Tap 415 counter

BBQ chips waiting to be picked up at the open kitchen counter.

field greens salad at Tap 415

Craig ordered the field greens salad ($6 for small) with summer squash, roasted corn and ranch dressing.

The booze: About a dozen beer on tap, many of them from local breweries around the 415. Also available are wine by the glass and a selection of cocktails. I started off with a decent beer from the happy hour menu but then I tried a beer that Craig recently discovered and love, and it was the Lagunitas Little Sumpin Sumpin ($7), which actually is quite refreshing with a slight citrus undertone that made it an enjoyable brew on a hot day.

Cezar Kale Salad ($6 for small) with parmesan, parsley and lemon gremolata (and an odd crunchy texture that I'm sure was quinoa).

Cezar Kale Salad ($6 for small) with parmesan, parsley and lemon gremolata (and an odd crunchy texture that I’m sure was quinoa).

My favorite dish: The sweet shrimp taco with pickled jalapeno and avocado salsa verde was a nice, refreshing small bite that is a perfect starter to a meal or a bite to wash down a glass of beer with.

The last bite: While the menu seems ambitious, the execution is efficient but nothing special. There seems to be a lack of oomph on the plate, either missing flavor or excitement in a different flavor combination. Everything is predictable and won’t turn you off, which makes Tap 415 a safe bet for a simple meal with beer.

chicken schnitzel

Chicken schnitzel ($20) with spaetzle, pickle butter sauce, and garlic cucumbers. Craig thought the exterior was crunchy but the chicken a bit tough.

Tap 415 is from the people behind 25 Lusk

Tap 415 is from the people behind 25 Lusk

The rating: 2 out of 4 camera snaps
2-snaps

 

 

The deets: Tap415, 845 Market St., San Francisco (top of Westfield Centre). PH: 415.266.7900. Open daily from 11:30 a.m. (Closes 9 p.m.; Saturday, 9:30 p.m.; and Sunday, 8 p.m.). No reservations, major credit cards accepted. www.tap415.com

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2 Responses to Review of Tap 415 Bar Bites and Happy Hour at Westfield San Francisco Centre

  1. Carolyn Jung says:

    That looks like a fun place to take a load off after you’ve been power-shopping all day. What space did it take over on restaurant row?

    • Ben Ben says:

      I don’t think it took over a former restaurant space. It was always the covered area on the fourth floor that was waiting for tenants since Westfield revamped the mall. It’s across from M.Y. China, and I pretty much remember just seeing those closed off space for the longest time. With Tap 415 in that corner, I think the “Under the Dome” restaurant row is complete.