The guy on my right, a nerdy fella in an indie-rock T-shirt, was recovering from a "rave." I said, "Dang, do they even have raves anymore? Isn't that like saying you were out at a disco all night?" He gave me a grim look and informed me that not only are there still raves, there are also still discos.

"No there aren't," I replied, confident in my own truth on the matter and frankly not in the mood to quibble.

"Yes there are," he responded, searching for an example that he could use as proof of this assertion. Finally he hit on something. "In Ibiza, they have discotecas," he said firmly.

"Yeah, but that's just Spanish for 'club,'" I replied.

My lord, we were in a full-scale argument, and about absolutely nothing. I loved it. Luckily, Bruce Willis kept interrupting us and telling me about the $800 meal he had eaten the night before. He also gave me some of his pizza.

Since this particular column is supposed to be a straightforward bar review, though, at this point I should talk about the bartenders. They vary in size, shape, and gender. A few have more of a "too cool for school" 'tude than others, but none is so rude as to not take great care in making your drink. And some of these guys really know their boozeology. One bartender not only knew that Martinez was supposedly the birthplace of the martini (though we agreed that "gin on the rocks, strained" was probably "invented" much earlier than that), he also knew the lengthy history of the Moscow Mule (it was introduced when a ginger beer company attempted synergy with a fledging vodka company known as Smirnoff). Another bartender, who is actually my favorite employee at Beretta, knew all about the tequila to be had at Tommy's Mexican Restaurant on Geary, one of the best places for that spirit in the country.

So, in short, you might have to wait a millennium for your drink at Beretta. But in the meantime you can have a good conversation about, say, the roots of tonic water (it comes from the bark of a fever tree, the wood of which is poisonous).

Oh, and will I be back? Yep.

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