On Mondays my Little Buddy and I attend a Music Together class in Laurel Heights. It’s a great curriculum designed to help develop rythym and a sense of tone. It’s also completely exhausting for me.
That’s because parents are required to dance and sing with complete abandon for the 45 minute class. The director feels that parent participation is very important because the children will model the behavior of the parent. And I agree with her, the parents who approach it with a halfway attitude generally match up with the kids who look like duds on the dance floor. I’m not being judgemental, I sympathize. I’m a high energy person and I personally need at least 2 cups of coffee to dance around like an idiot so that my son will know it is ok to be silly. (Actually a martini would do it too, but our class is little early in the day for that…) I also need lunch and that’s what led me to try Rigolo on California Street, which is just a few blocks from our Music Together class.
According to their website, Rigolo is “Rigolo is the most CHILD-FRIENDLY restaurant in SF.” So I decided to check it out. I parked on California Street and plugged the meter only to find out once I got inside that there is free parking in the lot behind the restaurant. Live and learn….
Rigolo is a casual spot with counter ordering. The menu is quite broad and they have a pretty good kids menu. I ordered Macaroni and Cheese and a bowl of vegetables for my little date. For myself, I went with the Mahi Mahi Sandwich which was described as a “seared Fijian, line-caught filet” on an open faced sandwich. LB and I made our way to the back of the restaurant where there was a play area with lots of toys. LB barely had enough time to check everything out before his food arrived.
I appreciated that LB’s food arrived first. Not only was it great to keep him occupied but it’s always nice to be able to focus on getting him started before my own food arrives. When things arrive at the same time, mine is usually cold by the time I’ve cut his food into small bites. The macaroni and cheese was pretty standard and pretty delicious. I was very pleased that the veggies were steamed to just the right consistency. They were soft enough that he could eat them, but they still retained their flavor.
I can’t say the same about the Mahi Mahi. When the waiter first brought it to me, I thought he’d brought the wrong sandwich. It looked like chicken breast and seared tuna shouldn’t look like chicken. It was also slathered in aioli, probably to compensate for how dry it was. I wouldn’t order it again. I was glad that LB didn’t finish his macaroni and cheese because I did.
Rigolo’s website is right – it is a very child-friendly restaurant. Parking is easy, the speed of service is good. They thoughtfully serve the children first and there are toys. The children’s menu had a good number of choices, a step above the standard pasta with butter and chicken fingers. My meal wasn’t good enough for me to rush back, but it’s a good pick if you’re in the area and want a quick meal for your little one.