1420 Market St
San Francisco, CA 94102
Dining date: 11/28/14
Alta CA opened late last year, the latest from chef-restaurateur Daniel Patterson (Coi, Plum, Haven). The restaurant is one of the more notable SF openings in the past 12 months and has generally garnered praise for its Californian cuisine. My parents had dined here earlier in the year for lunch and found it unmemorable, but this would be their first time for dinner (and my first overall).
The menu is shared plates-based, ranging from $5 for deviled eggs to $26 for black cod. Between our party of three, we were able to sample seven of them with dessert as well.
My mom really likes rieslings.
BEEF TENDON PUFFS
We enjoyed the great crunch of these puffs with a very subtle beef flavor. Great texture.
PASTRAMI WITH MUSTARD
Super thin slices of pastrami were good, flavorful and moist although rather lean. Mustard brought some heat and depth to the peppery slices.
SUGAR PIE PUMPKIN PIEROGI potato, sage
Best dish of the night. These were soft, creamy, luscious pierogi with comforting fall flavors.
BLACK COD everything crumbs, squash, yogurt
Silky black cod was also good with crispy edges, its rich flesh offset by tart yogurt and crisp vegetable slices.
SLOW COOKED PORK SHOULDER clams, escarole, crushed potatoes
The pork was fairly tender, bathed in a sauce with tender potatoes. The clams were too mild in flavor though and got lost in the mix.
SMOKED PORK TROTTER slow egg, brussels sprouts, mustard
Smoky as the pastrami, the trotter was balanced by plenty of greens and a creamy egg yolk.
CHICKEN SCHNITZEL beets, endive, sunchoke
As this dish came to the table, our server explained it was much larger than usual. Indeed the schnitzel was huge, almost bigger than the plate. And it was excellent, very moist with a lot of herb flavor (presumably in a brine). Pickled vegetables and radishes provided some acid to counter the fried goodness.
MINT CHIP vanilla, cocoa nibs, chocolate shell
For dessert, Alta CA offers a handful of soft serves. This mint chip was as advertised with fresh mint flavor, crunchy cocoa nibs, and a crispy outer chocolate shell. I was hoping for a little more ambition from the dessert menu but this was satisfying.
The meal at Alta CA was a good one. Highlights were definitely the pierogi and chicken schnitzel but all of the dishes were pretty good.