How about having some food with your salt – vegetables over cooked – greens and everything else is horribly over salted and disgusting. They overcharge for a tiny hunk of bread – that we had to ask a few times for. Pasta was soggy -and when asked for vegan had absolutely no flavor – obviously they never were prepared to make it without cheese. We should’ve sent everything back and left – worst meal ever!!! Avoid!!! We had to ask them to turn the music down so conversation can be had —and they kind of had an attitude about as if we were asking them to turn the music down at a nightclub & it was 5:30pm! Service is the worst!! And it was not cheap – you can eat at a great restaurant for what it cost to get grossed out here!
Chicken entree was delicious as was my cocktail. We were surprised that they were “out” of bread at 5:30 on a Thursday. Sundae dessert just ok. Location worked well for pre-SFJAZZ dinner but we had better meals elsewhere while visiting SF.
When we arrived for our 5:30 reservation there were very few people in the restaurant and the noise level was only too loud due to the piped in music. We asked our server if he would turn down the music, when he graciously did. But that lasted only a few minutes. by 6:00 the place was packed and it seemed the more people came in the louder the music got. It was so bad the 4 of us had to shout to hear each other.
The food was very good. Shared a delicious beet salad between two of us. Other appetizers at our table were the soup and the green salad, all very good. After an extremely long wait the entrees of 2 chicken orders and 2 sole orders arrived. They were also very good. Dessert was a chocolate toffee sundae and strawberry shortcake. Again, both were very good.
Overall, Alta was very good for its food. Service was a little slow, due to what appeared to me to be our server having to cover too many tables. Also, the kitchen was slow to prepare our entrees. Negatives were the noise and the slow service.
Great cocktails, well-prepared farm-to-table cuisine, and friendly, attentive service.
Alta California was just satisfactory. The prices (particularly for wine) are rather high for what you get. The noise level makes conversations almost impossible. WHAT IS this "service charge" currently added to restaurant bills PLUS taxes??
chicken was smoky with a crispy skin, a smattering of veggies and some nutty faro. Sole was uninteresting but good enough. Little gems salad was lettuce only with dressing so sour it was hard to swallow. Conversation was nearly impossible because the music was crazy loud— good, but crazy loud. We asked if they could turn it down a notch, but they declined. Mediocre, uninterested service. At $220 for 2 the place should have knocked our socks off.
All very nice, service from maitre d', waitresses nice. My only complaint was that I booked ahead for special pre-theatre with my children (I was coming from abroad, 1 child was coming from LA, 1 from SFC) for Thanksgiving weekend, going to opera, so special event, and we got sat in the back corner, tight, dark, with open shelves to working kitchen, noisy, when there was a 4-seater table by the front window. By the time I tried to get a change, the brighter, more spacious table had walk-in customers, and the larger brighter table apparently had reservations. So went back to our cramped place. Disappointed and pretty annoyed with that, but the servers handled it well, and given we had 1 hour for meal before picking up opera tickets, they were VERY quick with the food, which was VERY good. So low points for that table (they need to space out better) but high points for the staff, food, ambiance, and proximity to the performing arts!
The drinks were much better than the food- they were pretty delicious even. Citrus st and refreshing. Not sure what all the hype about this place was about.. The burger was awful, chicken was OK, but too smoky for my taste. 3 desserts were a different combo of the same ice-cream which wasn't that great. The best part of the meal was bread...
Too expensive for what it was. Quality was average but at an exorbitant cost.
Service was superb as well as ambience. Cocktails were delicious. Just really a let down with the food.
I had wanted to try this restaurant for awhile now. The ambiance and decor is great and the bar was lively (it was a Friday night). The service was fair as the server could have been a tad more upbeat and friendly. The food itself was pretty good (we had the beef and the pasta). What did bother me was restaurant automatically adds $18% tip to every bill. I almost always tip 20%, unless the service really was bad, but I don't like being forced to pay it. How about this, just incorporate the tip into the price of your items and pay your staff better? When did a "tip" become mandatory? Secondly, the wine we ordered was $53 and she charged us $80. She went back and checked and sure enough, a new bill was produced. I probably won't be coming back here again since there are so many other options out there.
The food here was decent but the service was pretty spotty. We noticed the restaurant automatically charges a tip and then the tips are pooled for the staff to split. We wonder if that could explain the service quality? Not a lot of incentive to do a good job.
We love this place before a concert or performance at the Civic Ctr. They understand how to move the dinner along, the plates are great for sharing & not too expensive, it's not fussy food but very well designed. it's a little hard to find on Market St. because there's not a big sign but it's cozy inside. We love their appetizers especially. And the soft serve ice cream--which all of their dessert revolve around.
Fun evening dine with a great vibe!
Music too loud. No need in busy space. Tuned it up as crowd got louder so crowd got even louder and on and on.
Good: service, pinot noir by the glass, roasted chicken, strawberry shortcake, coffee
Meh: limited pinot noir selection by the glass, appetizers, sole
Bad: limited menu offerings, high price
My overall rating: 3.5 stars out of 5 stars
Simply horrid on most counts. Terrific servers but that's it!
The ambience at Alta is strange--a thrift store chic playing ironic '70s big hair band hits. We had a reservation but they seated us at a high bar table. They changed it when we asked. Food was excellent, as was service.
The food was good and interestingly spiced, so I'd give them good marks for that. The desserts however, were limited to a list of variations on a soft-serve sundae, and both that we ordered were over dried out cake bases. Not that great. The service was friendly but had some big flaws. During part of the meal, we had a server's behind in our faces and nearly in our drinks. When we were both finished, we sat in front of dirty plates way too long, with multiple staff walking by and not picking them up. It was not a matter of being too busy, they were just that inattentive. Saw one server on her phone steps away from us while we were still waiting to have the table cleared. The reservation required a credit card to hold and the terms stated they would charge $20 a head if we didn't show. That type of hold is misplaced for a restaurant of this caliber. To top it off, the bill arrived with an 18% gratuity already added and the server did not point that out. Like they are hoping people won't notice and inadvertently way over-tip. We normally leave 20-25%, so they low-balled themselves by doing that. Though the food was decent, the serve errors and the "we think we are so great" credit card hold on the reservation plus the unannounced automatic tip all left a bad taste in our mouths. Won't be returning.
The Petrale Sole was excellent.
The brown rice puffs with avocado and espellete was underwhelming as the puffs were too greasy and there was very little avocado.
The candy bar sundae was good.
Great food. We shared 6 courses and all were great. Size of portions has wide range. The cheese plate was laughably small. Outside of this, all was great.
This place is very chic looking and has a cool downtown vibe but it is wildly overpriced! Thanks to it's neighbors Twitter, Uber and NEMA (some of the most expensive real estate in the city) the prices at Alta do not make for a reasonable meal. $17 for the cheapest glass of wine and over $12 for a salad.
We were pleasantly surprised by the food at Alta CA. We made reservations here because it was walking distance to the Orpheum Theatre for our 8 pm show. I had warned Alta CA of our show time when making the reservation and they acknowledged it when we walked in. The service was just a bit slow between dishes, but it all worked out with time to spare to talk to the manager after regarding their pending move to a new hotel at the end of the year.
We started with their deviled eggs. I'm not usually a fan of deviled eggs, but these really changed my mind. Yummy! The TOMATO-BREAD SALAD (cucumber, red onion, feta, wild arugula) was the best. Fresh heirloom tomatoes, yum! We had the STROZZAPRETI (spicy bolognese, peas, smoked maitake, parmesan), which was delicious, although a bit salty. For dessert, we opted for the cookie plate as we thought this was a quick dessert to bring to the table. They must have cooked the cookies upon order as it took awhile to arrive. They were good and went well with our coffee.
I look forward to checking them out in their new location. There isn't many good places for a before show dinner in the Market Street area. This is one!
Ever since they started charging the tip upfront, the service has gone downhill. We eat here a lot over the last year as it is near a theater we frequent. The food has always been great. Prices are a bit up there but this IS San Francisco.
Came here for a meal before going to the theatre, very convenient location. Wonderful wine and terrific food!
Although menu was a bit limited, both the food & service were very good. The only thing that was not ok was the fact that they included 15% service charge on a bill for 4ppl. There was no indication of this from the server and the standard fill-in-tip line was included on the receipt. Rather shady practice... luckily the other couple with us caught this. I was going to tip 20% (well I guess 35%!).
Excellent food and great service. Don't miss the smoked trout on toast and the beet salad!
Enjoyed our meal and the restaurant, and would return, however they could use another server during peak dinner hours, especially before an 8pm curtain. Our server was covering so many tables, the service couldn't help but be slow.
Loved it! But so loud! Great food! Some of the tastiest we have had recently!
It was an awful experience. We arrived at 21:30 and ordered our meal, which arrived in 5-10 minutes, we then decided to order another thing and the waitress said they were out of that specific dish, she was clearly lying cause when I tried to change she said that actually the kitchen was closed.
No last calls. It was only 10 pm. They were practically pushing us out. if they do not want to serve people at 10 they should never take 9:30 or 9:45 reservations. Rude and uneducated. Deeply regret. Waste of time and money.
Service was extremely slow.. not good for before theatre. Got there at 615 and literally ran out at 750 not having any dessert.. took way too long..