My friends Lynn and Karen and I have been meeting the third Wednesday of every month for years. We started out at Victor’s because there was parking (Karen’s need). That was back when there was smoking. Ugh. But they had great popcorn and sometimes free food which, for Victor’s I thought, was pretty good. We’ve branched out over the years and since Lynn retired from the hellhole she was working in we now head north, for her convenience. We like Bravo in Bayshore, I think the bar food is really good and it’s cheap at happy hour (and they have the world’s best waiter) but we were regulars at Alioto’s for quite some time being fans of the deep fried dill pickle, until it inexplicably closed. They had a good wine list, great happy hour food and AWESOME (I use this word too much) onion rings. They were more like those onion hay stacks but they were really good, home made.

Imagine my surprise when I saw it had reopened. So we went there last night. Apparently it had closed for remodeling. I’m not sure what their interior design goal was but, Christ, it was poorly thought out. The walls are dark gray-blue-green, a color that sucks the pink out of your skin and makes you look cadaverous. There is not a soft surface in the place and the noise scatters like ball bearing on concrete.

No more onion rings. No more dill pickles. No more wine list (Seriously?? House cab? I don’t think so, not that I didn’t slug down a half gallon after a while you don’t notice the metallic after taste) and the rest of the food was unremarkable to less-than-remarkable.

I’m not one to not give the place another go at it. John (Alioto, I presume) came over and talked to us. We whined about the onion rings. He said he’d think about it. That’s more than I would have done when I owned I restaurant.