Alta CA
Alta CA
  • Address:
    1420 Market Street
    San Francisco, CA 94102
    Neighborhood:
    Civic Center / Hayes Valley / Van Ness
  • Cuisine:
    American
    Price: $31 to $50

Alta CA

  • Dining Style: Home Style
  • Website: http://www.altaca.co/
  • Phone: 4155902585x
  • Hours of Operation:
    MON-FRI: 11AM-2AM
    SAT & SUN: 5PM-2AM
    Please note, we serve a limited menu from 3PM-5PM and from 10:30PM-1AM.
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: American
  • Executive Chef: Yoni Levy
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Van Ness and Fell
  • Public Transit: Muni lines: F, J, K, L, M, N, 6, 71
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: Star Park (lot) at 101 Hayes Street and Liberty Park (lot) at 116 Hayes Street (Both open 24 hrs)
A word from Alta CA
A neighborhood restaurant and gathering place.
Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Alta CA reviews from OpenTable diners
144 reviews since May 4, 2014
Overall Rating4
  • Food4.3
    Service3.9
  • Ambiance3.8
    Noise LevelModerate
89% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (96)neighborhood gem (63)hot spot (51)vibrant bar scene (49)late-night find (39)notable wine list (38)romantic (24)special occasion (24)great for lunch (20)good for groups (19)great for brunch (4)scenic view (1)kid-friendly (1)great for outdoor dining (1)Show More
  • Lovely setting, sublime food
    GMY68
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    We booked dinner here on the spur of the moment, and had no trouble getting a reservation for the same day (it was a Saturday). We'd heard good things about this place and had eaten (once!) at Coi, when they still had an a la carte menu and you didn't have to spend a year's salary eating there! Alta was fantastic in pretty much every way. The design of the place is impressive, especially the huge wall of bottles and the lovely bar, and it's always fun having an open kitchen. The noise level was just perfect, i.e., quiet background music, excellent sound proofing, really easy to chat with your date or friends. And, best of all, the food was magical. Crisp salad, corn pierogi, oysters with grapes, braised beef, and peach cobbler. Wow!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Try the oxtail
    Xenos
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    I enjoyed almost everything I ate, but the oxtail was a revelation. The first time I tried it I was shocked with how good it was. It was very different from anything I'd ever eaten before, and it was fantastic. The other dishes I tried were the pork trotter, the puffed beef tendon, the warm olives, and the bialys. All of those were fantastic except for the bialys. The bread part of the bialy was very tasty, but the stuffing was overly smoked. It tasted almost like liquid smoke, and it overpowered the bread part. that's a small complaint though, as everything else was great.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Buck the trend
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/28/2014
    Quality food, wine, service, friendly staff and lively art work. With the mid-market area undergoing a massive transformation, this gem of a restaurant will hopefully outlive any trend that may be occurring in that area. Easy access from Muni and BART.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good service. Tasty but rich.
    NotFussy
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    The service was great and we had a good time. The food was really tasty, but too rich for me. If you like really strong flavors, and plenty of salt and butter, then you'll love it.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Gorgeous and tasty food
    TonyT
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    Really well composed plates - both visually and in terns of flavor. Curious that they harp on it being "American" as I found the food to have a very eastern euro or even Jewish soul food flavor - lots of dill, sour cream, smoked fish, pastrami and many other influences. The service is uneven - some outstanding team members and some well meaning amateurs. The wines by the glass are overpriced. They want $13 for a glass of the Unti Petite Frere and that's about what they paid for the bottle. Dessert is problematic as they base everything around soft seve ice cream - yuck! And I do like this restaurant and recommend the food highly.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful - Highly recommend!
    foodismyfavorite
    Dined on 8/20/2014
    The head chef is incredibly hospitable & talented, wait staff is knowledgeable & attentive, the food was fantastic! We had the bialys with pastrami, some of the best I have tried, obviously a chef's specialty. We had the avocado soup, so creamy I couldn't believe it is vegan. The trout & pickled vegetables with bialy chips, I think the pickled vegetables are another chef developed specialty. We had the steamed salmon, perfectly cooked with an everything-bagel seasoning & a delicious yogurt sauce, not to mention the fermented summer squash decorating the plate. The pork was beautiful, along with fresh clams & fava beans - the sauce was rich & tasty. Finally, we finished with soft serve & digestifs, all homemade & delicious.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Alta Ca
    SharoncsVIP
    Dined on 8/12/2014
    I have been to Alta only for lunch so I have never been able to enjoy the great libations. I have to say the food is really good, but because the menu is fairly limited I am already getting king of bored. Can they add some new dishes or specials? The staff must be bored too. I think that's why it is not often too busy at lunch time. Love the deviled eggs and the ice cream though.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    food was great. service was slow and unattentive. could have use done more staff to complete the whole experience
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Music not suitable, very loud
    Traveler
    Dined on 7/29/2014
    Very loud music, not suitable restaurant music. Impossible to have a conversation. Service, average. Not very friendly or attentive.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Amateurish service needs addressing
    mtf419VIP
    Dined on 7/24/2014
    On the plus side, the food and atmosphere at Alta CA are very good. The open kitchen turns out some very flavorful dishes like beet salad, goat cheese on toast, and buckwheat porridge. Unfortunately, the cocktails and service leave much to be desired. Outside of the kitchen, the staff is rather green and not well versed in fine dining etiquette (in one example of this plates were removed prematurely whilst diners were still chewing). It's a great location, and an otherwise fun experience, so hopefully they invest in additional training for the staff.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • My new favorite!
    AnonymousVIP
    Dined on 7/23/2014
    I LOVE THIS PLACE! My new favorite spot in SF, brought my parents here for my Dad's birthday and everything was excellent. Plus, the frozen yogurt for dessert is awesome :)
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Will definitely go back
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004
    Dined on 7/17/2014
    Been there twice. The first time everything was outstanding, service too. The beef tendon puffs are a must. The second time was good, but our server was slightly surly, and the braised beef was just ok. My friend ordered a glass of wine, tasted it, thought it was off, and had me taste it. It was definitely off - undrinkable. It's ok, it happens. We told our server and her response was "it's unfiltered." It might have been unfiltered, but it was also corked. To her credit, she took it away and removed it from the check. When both patrons say the wine is bad, don't make excuses, just get the customer another glass. The chicken was fantastic, and the pickled devils eggs were great! The soft serve ice cream for dessert is a must.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • great addition to dining scene
    sfeaterVIP
    Dined on 7/5/2014
    A very pleasant surprise in this "up and coming" stretch of Market -- the service was attentive and helpful, the timing was perfect, and the dishes we had were inspired and delicious. This is the kind of place you want as a reliable standby to which you'll return frequently (especially since it has late hours and is a great option for after a movie or performance). There are plenty of bar seats, and the restaurant seating is arranged around the bar and in front of a wall of wine & liquor bottles creating an interesting visual (though they might want to tweak the bottle wall arrangement for seismic safety!) The volume of the music / chatter was also just right (too many restaurants are too loud for conversation).
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, late-night find, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Neighborhood Gem
    oregonduckbradVIP
    Dined on 7/2/2014
    We were *very* pleasantly surprised by our visit. The food was top-notch, the service: very attentive (and extremely knowledgable about the menu and options, working around food allergies), and the atmosphere was fun for the foodie set. We'll DEFINITELY be back again. A few things of note: the deep-fried beef tendons are to die for, the wine list is extensive and notable, and the (full) bar seemed to be hopping. Our server let us know that they were open very late, too--we'll be taking full advantage of this, as we live across the street! A true neighborhood gem!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great spot for theatre dining!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    Very convenient for pre-theatre dining. The food is absolutely delicious! Cannot wait to go again and again!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Not too shabby
    YCL28VIP
    Dined on 6/27/2014
    Great date night spot, although the surrounding area leave something to be desire. Fiancé and I came for our Friday date night. This was a version of modernized more foo foo Jewish deli. The bialys were a delight with flavorful sautéed onion bits. The thinly sliced pastrami was a little disappointing. The Curious George cocktail was a refreshing lovely spin of whisky sour. The best dish of the evening was the pea pierogi with a flavorful sauce. It was not dense and heavy tasting.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Terrible price/quality ratio
    sanfrandan
    Dined on 6/26/2014
    The food was good, the service was fine, but ---- I wouldn't recommend this restaurant to anyone except, perhaps, the Twitterati. The bill for the 2 of us was $85 for 3 small plates and 1 large, one glass of wine and a beer. Frequently restaurant portions are too big --- here, they were on the small size and we left hungry. The prices for wine were ridiculous ---- $11 and up for a single glass AND the pour was quite small. When I asked for bread to accompany the food, the waiter pointed to the Bialys on the menu, which cost $6. I can't remember going to a good restaurant where they charged for bread. The best restaurants seem to have Acme sourdough --- here they had only bialys, which are great for brunch, but at dinner?
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Delicious
    SFgourmandVIP
    Dined on 6/21/2014
    Patterson's food at ALTA CA is top notch: sophisticated, but not overly tricky and seriously delicious. The staff is super friendly, but so many people help with each table that some requests (such as more water) got lost in the shuffle. The music was schizophrenic - some tracks had a great groove and others were just too loud and cacophonous. The block on Market is nasty, but that will be short lived. I'll definitely be going back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • good food, service somewhat lacking
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 6/21/2014
    The food was memorable, the wait service was as well, but for less than stellar reasons. unique flavors and creative dishes. Service was somewhat arrogant and lax. Felt like we were annoying the staff by our mere presence on thier turf and they did not seem to be loving their job (did I see her roll her eyes?). Smile - I am paying for service, as well as food - and you might even help generate bigger tips, it's a win/win!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • I was hoping for better...
    BerkeleyFoodieVIP
    Dined on 6/14/2014
    I was looking forward to trying Patterson's approach to cuisine. I would say that the food was well prepared and tasty... but the service was sadly lacking. My friend arrived early and asked for a tea list. The server then came over, asked her if she wanted something to drink and my friend told her that she was waiting for the tea list. The server said "OK" and walked away. The tea list never arrived. When I arrived (I ordered wine in case she worried this was a "cheap meal"), the server recommended that each of us order 2, but preferably 3 dishes. My friend is a very slim petite woman, I am slim-average sized and we could never have eaten 6 dishes. It seemed the server was trying to get us to order a lot of food to run the bill up.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • SO good. Go!
    Nextnextaimee
    Dined on 6/7/2014
    Delicious plates served by attentive warm team. Braised beef and salmon are favorite dishes. Cocktails perfectly compliment the menu. Beautifully designed space. Will make this spot a habit.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Another Daniel Patterson gem
    xWRL
    Dined on 6/6/2014
    The lunch menu offers variety--a few standards like the burger (which we ordered), but a lot of thoughtful items we're not used to seeing like bialys with smoked fish (which we also ordered) and confit chicken. We also had the deviled egg appetizer and chocolate chip cookies for dessert. Each item was a cut above what we were expecting, and this is typical of Daniel Patterson's restaurants, where great thought seems to go into re-imagining and refining dishes until they're perfect. The late lunch vibe is very low key. We had an extraordinary meal, took our time savoring all the goodness, and had an experience that was relaxing as well as satisfying.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Refined, Delicious Mid Market Spot
    cravensVIP
    Dined on 6/6/2014
    From the outside, the space is nondescript and if you didn't know if was there, you could walk right by. Inside, the space is funky, warm, and clever with a solid menu to match. Menu options abound with several well prepared proteins accompanied by nice veg/starch options. The lunch and dinner menus are both well curated and there are a lot of interesting options. Highly recommend the deviled eggs and puffed beef tendon as appetizers. The smoked pork trotter w soft egg and brussel sprouts is my favorite dish I've had so far - great balance of textures and flavors and a nice presentation as well. Highly recommend.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Incredilby...
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004VIP
    Dined on 6/4/2014
    ... Good Tasting Food ... Interesting Cocktails ... Small Portions A couple who doesn't mind coming out hungry after $80 to $100 on food alone might like this tapas place. Given that Twitter is right across the street, maybe there's a baked-in clientele. But take a group of 5 or 6, and you'll scavenge plates for tiny morsels to ensure that all have minimal food to absorb the alcohol consumed. We ordered the shaved asparagus/beet salad. At most it had 1 1/2 stalks of asparagus on the plate, maybe 8 almonds, and about 4 beet halves (beets used were smaller than golf balls). TWO of these would be a minimalist's delight. Mushroom porridge (tasty) was probably 3/4 cup of food if not spread out. And, no bread. But flavors/prep were exc.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Try the Beef Tendons! Unbelievable!
    CosmoGirl
    Dined on 6/3/2014
    Food, cocktails, service, cleanliness, atmosphere- Fantastic! Only complaints are: Very loud (was packed!) and they had music booming, too. Chairs were hard wood so not very comfortable.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • JoeScott
    Dined on 5/31/2014
    Love the fact that my Van Ness/Market neighborhood has another great restaurant offering terrific food and excellent service at a reasonable price.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Love this place!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010VIP
    Dined on 5/30/2014
    Would def come back. Wonderful food, great service.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Surpased my expectations
    desilicious
    Dined on 5/29/2014
    After hearing Daniel Patterson interviewed, I was anxious to try one of his restaurants, and I was so glad we did. It was every bit as good as I expected. The food was inventive and delicious, and the cocktails superb. We had just enough service and suggestion to keep our evening special - well done!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Pleasantly surprised
    Enjoymyfood
    Dined on 5/29/2014
    The food was very fresh, delicious, beautifully presented and innovative. It made a memorable experience for our friends from Canada; they couldn't stop talking about their dinner.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • ATLA
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 5/28/2014
    Had a lovely experience with my company.... The food and the service service was wonderful.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Just fair....
    SFinvestmentbankerVIP
    Dined on 5/27/2014
    Had dinner with two others and ordered a number of items. The beef puffs were really weird. I just could not get past the greasy texture. Also, according to our waiter - everything is "delicious". Hmm, not really. I had the beef and another person had the chicken. Tasted the same. Same spices used. The vegetarian option was gross. And don't get the olives unless you like them heated. Again, very strange. I had a green light - could not drink it. I love cilantro, but this was just strange tasting. The highlight is the soft serve ice cream. Served with a paper spoon, but good anyway. Not enough of that - and not enough for the price. All in all, I would not go back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Love this place
    Chants
    Dined on 5/25/2014
    Very simple menu variety-wise but with very unique dishes. Like the ambience and design of the place. Service is great
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A wonderful date night location
    Mauser319
    Dined on 5/24/2014
    My wife and I visited Alta CA to celebrate the last night of our honeymoon in San Francisco. The menu was a lot of fun-- the place is modeled on kind of a tapas concept, where all the dishes are easy to share. Their house cocktails were fantastic as well. Our server was Stefan, and he really made the experience what it was. At every turn he helped guide us to some great selections, and his bright and positive attitude was infectious. After we mentioned offhand that we were on honeymoon, he even surprised us with celebratory prosecco at the beginning of our meal and brought a delicious port over with our check. He made us feel at ease and welcome, which is no small feat in such a busy, obviously popular spot. Thank you Stefan and Alta CA!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • The loud music distracts from food.
    TinaC
    Dined on 5/23/2014
    The food was great. Ambiance cool, lighting good, but music was way too loud (for the record I am 39 yrs, w no hearing issues). We asked to have it turned down twice. I could tell the kitchen guys/ girls took great pride in their food. The asparagus and beet salad was crisp and refreshing, the cod was delicious. Eventhough the desert menu is limited, the soft serve ice cream and (amazing!) chocolate chip cookies are a fun idea. Had one of the most amazing cups of coffee. The service was ok. I didn't really see any staff smile. The food runner pretty much just put the food on the table in a rushed fashion. I would try to go back, but the loud rock music made me feel like I was in spin class. It distracted me from savoring great food.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Friendly place for foodies
    tomrus
    Dined on 5/22/2014
    Limited but interesting menu. Very friendly service. Ideal for a non staid pre symphony dinner.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • interesting twists
    msalzman
    Dined on 5/20/2014
    We came at 5pm. Were seated promptly, because the place was largely empty, and we were left by ourselves for a considerable duration, and I had to summon help to take our first drink order. The wine prices are too high, averaging $12 for skimpy servings of wine. The wines are very good. The food concepts are a mix of avant garde and home style cooking. The food was generally tasty and well prepared. Portions were reasonable. Later in the evening the service picked up and was much better.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Good Food, Service Needs Help
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 5/17/2014
    I hate it when the overall dining experience is marred by the attitude of the server but the curt, unfriendly attitude made interaction unpleasant. The food is interesting and very tasty so hopefully the service staff (at least the woman that waited on us) will be better in the future.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Very good, bit greasy
    SFFOODIE
    Dined on 5/16/2014
    Would go back, but not easy to find unfried food on the menu. Great ginger beer.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • dining feedback
    justlike2eat
    Dined on 5/10/2014
    excellent food and service. the wine list was eclectic and our server was very knowledgable. Patrick the host was OUTSTANDING!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Food delish
    OpenTable Diner Since 2000
    Dined on 5/10/2014
    Food was great, service was a bit rushed, they kept clearing dishes or attempting to, before we were finished
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate