Fat Angel is the kind of spot that looks like it grew out of the neighborhood—just not the neighborhood it happens to be in. Tiny and sun-filled with pounded tin ceilings and a beautiful bar, the wine bar is at aesthetic odds with the new, charmless apartment building across O'Farrell and the Popeye's fried chicken around the corner on Fillmore.
Perhaps because the neighborhood is so lacking in establishments of this caliber, the Angel's often packed, particularly during their "Whine After Work" happy hour from 5 to 7 pm. The special showcases wines on tap (of which there are 6) and a fine selection of Belgian beers, all of which are $1 off.
There are three reds and three whites to choose from, but I was immediately drawn to the Viognier ($7), a 2010 Dacalier from Napa. Crisp, clean, and floral, the pours were generous and the taste a perfect compliment for the early evening sunshine.
Of course, what good is a hefty glass of wine without a snack to soak it up?
The bar's three flatbreads are all reduced by $2 as well. We opted for the wild mushroom and truffle oil flatbread ($9), nicely charred and coated with a generous layer of pecorino. Cut into squares and served on a heavy wooden slab, the cracker-crisp flatbread could easily be a meal for one, or a hearty appetizer for two.
As 7:00 pm approached, and passed, the bar showed no sign of emptying. Crowds of friends packed in around small tables, settling into the church pew seating along the walls. As the bottles of wine emptied and the plates were cleaned, it became clear—no matter the neighborhood, Fat Angel is the type of watering hole that was made to feel organic.