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Pickles: Send out the Clowns (and Send in the Burgers)

The clowns have left the building. On our last visit to this Columbus Avenue burger joint—which was soon after the Myth folks took over and changed its name from Clown Alley to Pickles—the burgers were terrific, but some of those creepy clowns still lurked about the place. Now, restaurant designer Michael Brennan has done his magic and, along with adding upholstered booths and a gas fireplace, has banished the Ronalds. 

The burgers are still great, though the smaller of the two "regular" sizes will be enough for anyone smaller than a linebacker. (That would be the five-ounce Clown burger—guess they're not all gone. The Pickles burger is eight ounces—order at your own risk.) This is one place where, if you ask for it rare, it will arrive bloody...luckily, the beef's from Prather Ranch, not some scary industrial any-burger purveyor, so go crazy. The sliders (three to an order) are possibly a bit too big for true slider-dom, but the buns are slathered with aioli, which put us in a forgiving mood. As did the delicious deviled eggs. Our only plea: Where are the malted milk shakes? 

42 Columbus Ave., 415-421-2540. Open for lunch only right now, but next month—according to the Chron—it'll be open till 3 a.m.

P.S. Burger expert Tim's addenda on the sliders: a bit too much bun, could have used some pickles (ironically) to contrast the aioli but the meat was good and properly cooked. We think he'll be back.