Sometimes my love of beer leads me to great places to eat and other times, it leads me to places I’d rather forget. The Thirsty Bear falls into the latter category. We had just come from The 21st Amendment brewpub which we had hit for happy hour and the Bear surely suffered an order effect in comparison. It’s a huge swank place that looks more like a nightclub than a brewpub. It’s certainly done up to the nines and is impressive for its décor. The place was quite busy with lots of beautiful people so probably a good place if you’re in the meat market. ;)
Favorite Dish: They had an impressive line-up of beers and since we had already had a few we opted to try the sampler. The nine beers ranged from Belgian wit-styled Valencia Wheat to the profusely hoppy Hound Street IPA. Most of them like the odd Golden Vanilla were quite bland while the more robust ones like the IPA were a bit one-dimensional and overly bitter. We needed to eat and I had read the tapas at the Bear were great so we ordered up Tortilla Espanola ($5.95) and a Surtido Quesos (cheese sampler) ($7.95). The tortilla was pretty good but certainly on the small side while the cheese sampler was miniscule. The four slithers of cheese on the plate were excellent for sure and I imagine quite expensive but if you calculated it out, we must have paid about $150 a pound for the privilege of trying them! I’d give this place a pass unless you have to try every beer in town or you’re out to find some meat. They did have a cask beer so I'd say, have one of them and get going to the next pub.
Thirsty Bear offers hand-crafted microbrews (made on site) and Spanish fare. The Bear has 9 microbrews on tap, ranging from Golden Vanilla to Kozlov Stout. An extensive list of tapas are offered such as fried calamari with parsley, pork ribs glazed with honey mustard served with cannelini beans, and Spanish red potatoes with
blue cheese aioli. For dinner there is grilled new york steak with tequila lime butter and avocado, or try a paella - saffron rice with shrimp, clams, mussels, squid and halibut.
Favorite Dish: I love to select a few tapas- such as the aceitunas (assorted olives with herbs and garlic) and the Queso de Cabra (baked goat cheese). Favorite beer is Howard Street I.P.A.
Tasty cocktails, beer and tapas in a large, well laid out and comfy restaurant and bar. This bar/restaurant played host to a going away party for VT member scuba_girl, the night before she moved to Boston... People seemed happy with the Spanish cheese and port reduction with grilled grapes, paella, meat balls with two tasty dipping sauces, and most of all, the beer.
Favorite Dish: I especially enjoyed the meatballs. While they sounded good, the almonds fried with sea salt and paprika tasted overcooked and not all that good. The squid in the paella was tender and perfectly cooked, but the one clam I ate tasted a bit like chlorine. Ick.
But everyone liked the beer!
They don't really have much of a happy hour, but they have some of hte best beer I've ever had. . . . like the "Golden Vanilla". . . you'd think it'd be too sweet, but it is perfection, i could drink vats of that stuff. . . . oh, I'm pretty sure that the other beers are tasty too. Aside from beer, this is a Spanish restaurant, that serve tapas, as well as some entrees and paella dishes. A bit on the pricier side of things, but nice place.
Favorite Dish: The paella was good, and the steak tapas although really small, was melt in your mouth goodness.
The Thirsty Bear took its name from a newspaper report of a tale of thievery with violence in Moscow. An escaped circus bear wandered into a city centre bar and, being a mite thirsty began demanding beer from the clientele. Not wishing to tangle with the bear, the drinkers gave up their pints quietly. After several drinks, the bear wandered off and was apprehended by the local constabulary whilst sleeping off the effects of the alcohol on a park bench. this place is really close to MoMA, Yuerba Buena Center for the Arts, The Metreon, and Moscone Center
Thirsty Bear manages to combine being one of San Francisco's best brew pubs with being one of its best Spanish restaurants. Now there's a pairing you don't find every day. It is Another great beer destination, close to downtown. IPA and Stout are especially good, and the food is excellent - different from the usual pub fare, but in a good way. Place can get really crowded after work!
Favorite Dish: Food at the Thirsty Bear can mean anything from munching away at olives and bread while you drink to a full-scale Spanish meal. A quick look at the menu is sufficient to tell you that these guys know what they are doing. How many restaurants do you know that serve three different types of paella? Fish, by the way, is a common feature of the menu, and the restaurant's star dish is the Kokotxas Donostiarra starter: sautéed fish cheeks in garlic and sherry.
paellas of the day are delicious, seared ahi tuna served on greens are excellent!, gambas al ajillo (chili, garlic shrimp) - spicy and good, braised short rib - boneless, tender and flavorful on mashed potatoes, and sauteed organic spinach with pinenuts, wonderful, tapas at $ 8 an order.
Microbrewed beer Alongside the IPA, ESB and Brown Ale are a wheat beer, a pilsner, a stout and a vanilla flavoured beer, they also have $3 for 22 oz Draft during happy hour. Thirsty Bear also offers a couple of seasonal speciality beers. Check the web site to see what is available.
Attire: Casual Dress, Smart Casual
Hours: Mon-Thu 11:30 a.m.-10:00 p.m.
Fri 11:30 a.m.-12:00 a.m.
Sat 12:00 p.m.-12:00 a.m.
Sun 5:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m.
If you are visiting MoMA or the Yuerba Buena Center for the Arts, then the Thirsty Bear is a good spot for lunch, or even dinner. Serving Spanish cuisine and brewing their own beer, the food is good and so is the brew. They also do shows on the weekends and at different times, so check the website for their schedule.
Favorite Dish: The beer ;-)
Great blend of bar/resturant/hang out to make a great first stop for the night. Located next to downtown, its within reach of any place in SF. Located across the street from gold club.....(hmmm)
Favorite Dish: Lubina a la Vasca (roasted seabass over fennel and tomato)... more importantly, this is a Spanish style brew pub, tapas and beer. Can get a bit pricey though.