Alta CA opened about a month and a half ago in the mid-Market area of what is soon to become Twitter-sphere. It is the fifth restaurant under the Daniel Patterson Group (DPG), led by the four-star Chef/Owner of Coi, following the East-Bay footsteps of Haven, Plum and Plum Bar. Catering to techno-centric workers and serving as a neighborhood restaurant, Alta CA is open all day from lunch through late night eats and cocktails. DPG hired Chef Yoni Levy to create the seasonal all day menu featuring innovative snacks, larger items and a killer burger. A Bay Area native from San Jose, Levy has an extensive cooking career, starting with the Lark Creek Group, then making his way east to Boston, a stint at Chicago’s Blackbird, then at Flora where he served as Chef de Cuisine for a couple of years prior to landing the top toque position at Alta CA.
They feature ice cream and shakes to drink by day and a full bar serving artisanal cocktails, created by Bar Manager Ashley Miller, for evening and late-night crowds. As we were there for dinner, we started with a classic Rye Manhattan and a Negroni (Gin, Sweet Vermouth, Gran Classico). We had wanted the barrel-aged Negroni, but they were out of stock that evening, so we opted for the non-barrel aged version:
We like our chicharrones, so the Beef Tendon Puffs really appealed to us. This might be the latest trend, as tendon puffs can also be found at Hi-Lo BBQ (version 2.0+) and at Alembic. The offal puffs are the perfect cocktail snack with just the right amount of crisp and saltiness.
We also ate Yoni’s Pastrami with Mustard where the delicious well-marbled “deli” meat is served almost charcuterie-style, thinly sliced with a mustard dip:
As offal fans, we had to get the Chickpea & Oxtail Fritters served with artichoke hearts and roasted red onion slices. The chickpea fritters (falafels) and the fried cubes containing shredded oxtail meat were quite good, even though the beef was a little over-salted:
We also ordered the Hamburger that comes topped with cheddar cheese and a flat bacon slab. Accompanied by house-made potato chips and pickles, this juicy great burger is worth coming back for:
We ordered it very rare, and it arrived perfectly cooked to our liking:
We ended with another round of excellent cocktails: a Samuel Clemens (Scotch, Pomelo, Apple bitters) and a barrel-aged Boulevardier (Bourbon, Campari, Calisaya). The cocktails were all well-balanced and feature unique ingredients, but they come at a slight premium ($12-14):
A great V-shaped bar centers the restaurant, and the kitchen is separated by an awesome floor-to-ceiling shelving system:
It was easy to get reservations or walk in for a bite to eat when they first opened last December; however, it is now the hot place to go, with prime-time tables (between 7 to 9 pm) requiring two-week advance reservations. We’ll definitely come back to try out more items on their menu, assuming that we overcome the temptation to order the burger that is.