Sigh. I really, really want to love 21A. It's fresh beer, perfectly acceptable food and only a block away... yet, there's something unsatisfying about it.
It's not the beer. Overall, the house made beer is better than average... if a little pricy ($4.75 per pint)... and they offer cask ale once a week. It's not the food either - the asian-style ribs I had as a snack were actually quite good, though I didn't understand why they served them with field greens. It's also not the staff- the bartenders there are friendly, efficient and overall pleasant to be around. They also started to serve guest beers from local breweries like Drakes and Speakeasy - a real plus.
I think that the problem is that everything just doesn't fit together properly. The bar is small, the restaurant space is industrial (but not in a chic sort of way), and you just don't know if they want to be a restaurant that serves its own beer or a bar that wants to serve food. There's nothing wrong about it, but there's something not quite right either.
Don't get me wrong - I've met Nico (one of the owners) and watched this place for years, and I love having this place in the neighborhood. Even if it's not inviting... and the beer and food is expensive... and it closes earlier than I want on the weekends and...