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
158 reviews since May 26, 2014
Overall Rating4
  • Food4.2
    Service4
  • Ambiance3.8
    Noise LevelModerate
89% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (105)neighborhood gem (68)hot spot (59)vibrant bar scene (55)late-night find (40)notable wine list (37)romantic (26)special occasion (25)good for groups (22)great for lunch (19)great for brunch (5)kid-friendly (2)scenic view (1)great for outdoor dining (1)Show More
  • 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.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 113 ratings-only reviews submitted since May 26, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.1
    • Food4.3
    • Ambiance3.9
    • Service4
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 73 reviews are from the Alta CA reviews archive.
  • 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
  • Over hyped
    sfdinerVIP
    Dined on 5/9/2014
    One of the worst dining experiences I have had in San Francisco. From the underwhelming interior to the unpleasant staff, it was a disappointing, and frankly unpleasant, experience. I will not go back.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 5/7/2014
    Consistently good experiences here. Much better value for your money than Coi.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • It's about the food
    deek
    Dined on 5/5/2014
    Creative, well executed lunch menu. Portions reasonable and fairly priced. Wine by the glass; a good pour and excellent vintners. Trotters, oxtail and tendon puffs all a must try. Did a great job on the ambiance given what they had to work with.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Cool but disappointing
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 5/3/2014
    The décor is very interesting and fun. Their menu is meant to share, which is a great way to try a variety of different dishes. We were underwhelmed by the food, though. Only one of the more than ten dishes we ordered was memorable. Also, the service was extremely slow. It was worth trying once but I don’t need to return.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Good for Groups, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Alta Ca. - Not perfect yet
    SharoncsVIP
    Dined on 5/2/2014
    I went to Alta Ca. twice in two weeks for lunch. The first meal I had the deviled eggs and the burger ($16!). Both I really liked. I like the atmosphere and the service and it is close to work. Next time I got the eggs again, still good. I ordered the Cod, small portion, came with a tiny bit of veggies. I was starving afterwards. I guess that is how they get you to buy the ice cream. The cod was so undercooked it was like gelatin, I hardly ever send dishes back but the texture was so bad I had to. They barely cooked it up and sent it back to me so I had to choke it down. I know that Cod is not a firm fleshed fish but it was almost inedible. Sticky toffee Ice cream was yummy but served in a paper cup with a wooden spoon!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Oasis in Gritty Mid Market
    finebydesign
    Dined on 5/1/2014
    Though both food and service were barely passable at this new upscale spot, it remains a bright spot in still gritty mid-market. Lunch service was barely operational and the food was only meh, but the restaurant was tranquil and had a naturalistic feel with lots of yellow smoky glass and wood furnishings. Watch your bill though, they gave us one from another table. I will return only because its so close to my office and because there is nothing comparable for blocks.
    Special Features:
    Great for Lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Fantastic!
    EatReal
    Dined on 5/1/2014
    Fantastic food, great service. Truly a great place to enjoy wonderful local food, beautifully prepared and presented. It is not inexpensive, but it is a good value.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, special occasion, Great for Lunch, Vibrant Bar Scene, Notable Wine List
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • NormaH
    TooFat
    Dined on 4/30/2014
    One of the best restaurants I have experienced in SF. We did not want to leave. We had to try everything. Everything affordable and unique.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Good for Groups, special occasion, Late-Night Find, Hot Spot, Vibrant Bar Scene, Notable Wine List
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • great food, mediocre service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2001VIP
    Dined on 4/29/2014
    Food was awesome. Squid, pork, smoked fish all amazing. Server forgot dishes twice and was a ghost. I will go back, because the food is so good.
    Special Features:
    Kid-Friendly, Fit For Foodies, Late-Night Find, Vibrant Bar Scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great food, tech savvy place
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 4/28/2014
    We came to Alta after just hearing about it from a friend. Used the new app Cover to pay for the meal - made it easy and convenient do dine and not have to worry about the check because it was sent right to our phones! The food was amazing: split two apps - including the beef puffs - AMAZING! Also had the trotter - try it if your open minded, its delicious. Dessert was just enough and hit the spot. Great place!
    Special Features:
    Romantic, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Market St gentrifier
    Jbru
    Dined on 4/22/2014
    I've been wanting to try Alta CA since it opened. It's the latest place to spruce up the Civic Center/mid-Market area (where I work), and the fanciest so far. It didn't disappoint as a business lunch option. Not too loud for a meeting, great decor but still informal enough for a work day. And the food was great. The tendon puffs are insanely moreish. I had the trotter, which was elegantly presented and accompanied by a piquant mustard and lovely salad.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem, Hot Spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • delish
    ellaschrisVIP
    Dined on 4/16/2014
    Alta was fantastic, it's up there with rich table, state bird,Aq for great cocktails and food.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Neighborhood Gem, Hot Spot, Vibrant Bar Scene, Notable Wine List
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Weekday Lunch
    pingVIP
    Dined on 4/15/2014
    Ambience was comfortable except for the loud music (Is raucous music conducive or culturally appropriate to eating and conversing? NO.) Food was creative and appealingly presented, neither over or underdone. The beef tendon puffs are a welcomed surprise; the bialys with smoked tuna - another uncommonly offered lunch item - and Hen of Wood mushroom with whole wheat was unique and wonderfully textured.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Sitting on a Hi-Chair at Alta CA
    Food4FoodiesVIP
    Dined on 4/15/2014
    Started our meal with non-greasy beef tendon puffs that melts in your mouth. First entrée chosen was the smoked pork trotter with slow egg and brussel sprouts...cooked perfectly and well seasoned. Second entrée ordered was the black cod with broccoli. Cod was undercooked and asked to send back to the kitchen to cook through. The fresh ginger beer was house brewed...refreshing and strong taste of ginger present. Rocky road dessert was selected. It consisted of swirl, marshmallows, walnuts, malt balls...devine. Entrees came out super fast and the portion is small. Kitchen is wide open and rustic with a casual vibe. Service was friendly and pleasant. Neighborhood is up and becoming.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Good for Groups, special occasion, Great for Lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • I really did not enjoy my
    OpenTable Diner Since 2003VIP
    Dined on 4/8/2014
    I really did not enjoy my meal at Alta. The place is extremely expensive probably targeting the Twitter/Square crowd. Not one dish stood out - the asparagus salad was the best thing I ate and still nothing special. The wine was good.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Too bright inside and on a
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009VIP
    Dined on 3/31/2014
    Too bright inside and on a very busy street. Ambience did not match menu and vibe of bar. Service was impeccable, drinks were delicious, and food was unique.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • coming back!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 3/31/2014
    This was a fabulous dining experience. Everything is prepared with such thought, care, and purpose. Memorable food and drink!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Request a table far from the door
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008VIP
    Dined on 3/29/2014
    The food was great and the waiter was very friendly. The only downside is that my seat was right by the door and cold wind blew in my face. The wind was to the point where we had to use glasses of water as paperweights for the menus. I half jokingly asked the waiter for a free drink to make up for the uncomfortable table. He was nice, but merely said "wish I could' instead of making it happen. If it weren't for the cold and wind, Alta would have gotten 5 stars!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A little overrated
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 3/28/2014
    I've been 3 times to this restaurant for convenience sake and found the food mostly terrific. The service was lacking all 3 times. Each time i waited at least 10 minutes to be greeted by the wait person then another 20 minutes to get a cocktail. The first time the first course arrived before the cocktail! and I had to flag down a runner to follow thru. The food was mostly terrific but also all 3 times the music was blasting with hard rock music made it impossible to speak without being annoyed. i don't understand why a restaurant would choose such abrasive ambience. In the end I did return twice more to give it a chance, but was the same each time. The bill each time was quite expensive considering the obstacles.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent dishes, but very
    localdinerVIP
    Dined on 3/28/2014
    Excellent dishes, but very loud, which takes away from the overall experience.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • One & Done
    ThatsItVIP
    Dined on 3/28/2014
    Everything was just ok.Would not ever plan to go back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Service affected experience
    KjschuVIP
    Dined on 3/27/2014
    Creative menu, especially wine list and cocktails. Our server was uninspired which took away from otherwise good experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Food and cocktails were outstanding
    SfLocal
    Dined on 3/20/2014
    Food and cocktails were outstanding. However, for a Daniel Patterson restaurant, service was poor. We sat at the bar, our bartender never once checked in on us to ask if everything was good during out meal. Also, we had reservations, but the host did not let us know how long the wait would be for our table, so we ended up sitting at the bar instead since there were open seats. I thought it was strange that they brought out our soup before the oysters we ordered too. Overall, loved the food, drinks and ambience, but since SF has so many amazing restaurants I would not go out of mh way to go there again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Where's my broccoli?
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 3/19/2014
    And where's the service? Entrees came before our drinks. Two of us got the cod ($20). Food was good but plating was sloppy: one plate had all the good fish slices but hardly any broccoli, and vice versa. Our server didn't check on us during the meal. We had to prompt him about dessert. Pricey for lunch: $35 each with tax and tip for 2entrées, one soup-salad combo, 3 non-alchy drinks and 2 desserts.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • First of many in the Twitterland
    BillOVIP
    Dined on 3/15/2014
    With Twitter and others kicking off a gentrification on Market, we had to visit Alta which is just across the street from Twitter HQ. We parked by the city hall and walked (with a little trepidation) through streets 'til market (a year more of gentrification will help). Alta is one of the new shiny places changing the store fronts on Market. When you walk it, it has that hipster ambiance. Casual but high quality. They made some good design choices to make it friendly yet different. Food was small plates and good quality though a bit pricey for the combination but not surprising. We'd probably go back there again but not right away unless we are going to an event.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great! Could use a little finessing
    megregVIP
    Dined on 3/15/2014
    Overall a swell experience at dinner here on Saturday night. Love the casual city vibe the restaurant has. Couple of things that were a little off. Our service timing felt extremely rushed initially, first course came out almost as soon as our drinks touched down at the table. Also thought that the dishes, whose flavors are complex and interesting, could use a bit more description from the server when that are brought to the table.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • very, very creative
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 3/14/2014
    The menu here was highly creative. The beef tendon puffs were not at all what we expected but were wonderful... more a (not greasy, just rich) pork-rind like item instead of a puff. Choice of hen-o-the-woods mushroom in one dish. Trotters were boned so all you had were the little wonerful bits of meat and none of the work. Chicory salad was dressed with a great light vinagrette with some unusual mild acid (forgot to ask what with all the notable plates coming next). Overall a great time.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, vibrant bar scene, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.