Awful horrible no good food!! (Sorry to paraphrase a kids book.) Overpriced, frozen packaged food, longer menu than is humanely possible for a crew of talented chefs, but for the poor short order cook, a disaster. Vegetables reheated from frozen packages, fried appetizers bought from a box, the WORST FOOD EVER!! Oh my poor dad who thought he was treating us to a nice dinner - he was so disappointed and mortified. The decor was cheap disco 80s, the bar is close to the dining room and folks were drunk and loud.
Yes, that prime rib is a killer, literally. In fact, the last time I ate at their old Oakland location, I ordered "prime" rib, and it was so tasteless/tough that I refused to pay for it, which caused the owner to go all foo-foo on me and demand that we leave the restaurant. So, I'm not surprised that the
new place is carrying on with the Pier 29 grand tradition of total mediocrity, bordering on a rip-off.
I too miss the old Whale's "Tale," when Wayne Clough and Dale
Dodd briefly ran the place during the early 1990s. There
were moments of culinary brilliance, like a perfectly grilled
moist, tender, well carmelized 2-inch-thick pork chop, (more like a roast,) some stellar homemade ravioli. a remarkable cilantro-lime aioli with the fried calamari, and a
particularly nice osso buco with firm but braise-rich white
beans with rosemary. Plus, Wayne and Dale were a hoot.
I imagine that Pier 29 will be ensconced here in perpetuity,
further amplifying Alameda's bad rap as a culinary wasteland.