California SOUL - The Delightful Comfort Food of Alta Adams - Grand Opening [Thoughts + Pics]


Good point.


Thankfully, I haven’t seen the $20 ones! And, yes, I agree that’s ridiculous.

I actually don’t know if $10 is THAT bad (the one from Flower Child, IIRC, is a pretty decent size). I mean, even guac (admittedly from Bristol Farms, which has a good amount of avocado) costs $9. By the time I get some GOOD crusty bread (like from Milo and Olive) and then take the time to slice and mash (I stink at slicing avo), then $10 might be okay from time to time (IMO).

The salad above is listed for $11, which, depending on the size and amount of avo, seems like a reasonable price to me.


Yep… I remember an episode of Top Chef with Dana Cowin (Food & Wine) as a guest judge. She said she was over the kale salad trend. :roll_eyes: Padma’s head snapped back and she exclaimed “I love kale salad!”. And there it is. Yes, kale is very popular lately, but a trend? It’s a vegetable for crying out loud. It’s healthy ruffage and in a salad with the right dressing and toppings it’s delicious. I also LOVE it with avocado.


It’s become appropriated by the “hipster” culture, and so it is now viewed as such on a macro level. Take La Croix—it was initially a drink moms brought their kids for girls scout meetings or soccer practice in the Midwest. And nobody really liked it. But it was adopted by the “hipsters”, and thus it is now viewed as such, regardless of your history with it, or intent in drinking it.

La Croix source:


I bake my own whole wheat bread so the cost is close to zero. An avocado costs me at most $1.25. I got a case of bottles of Spanish olive oil for $10.00 at Surfas because it was close to the sell by date. I get lemons from my tree. Toasted sesame seeds are inexpensive even at Nijia where I shop for Japanese ingredients. To me, $10.00 is a ludicrous price to pay for avocado toast.


Unpopular onpinion: $10 for avocado toast isn’t terrible if you only want 1-2 servings. A quality avocado is like $2 and some fancy ass bread is $5.

$20 is an invitation for violence tho


Yes, eating at home is cheaper. Restaurants are trying to make a profit.

P.S. Kudos on your baking skills.


Yes, when I eat out I go for food that is above my culinary skill level and/or would take forever to make so many components (dim sum).

I have friends who go out for dishes that are easy to make at home. They say that they enjoy being served and not having to do dishes. I love to cook and don’t mind doing dishes.

Here’s the bread recipe I use. It’s easy and it pairs beautifully with avocado.


Thanks @TheCookie. :slight_smile: I just think there are too many top 10 lists in mainstream media so people are tired of them, and I’m just 1 poster. Maybe I’ll PM you.


Daniel Patterson was the chef of two-Michelin-star Coi. Matthew Kirkley is the chef of three-Michelin-star Coi. I don’t know that Patterson has cooked much in any of his group’s restaurants since he quit Coi


Keith Corbin is the chef, not the chef de cuisine. That’s how DPG does things.


Not anymore - he hasn’t been for almost a year. It’s now Erik Anderson (formerly of The Catbird Seat in Nashville).

FWIW, I think Matthew Kirkley’s menu at COI was more interesting than Daniel Patterson’s ever was.


Anyway he’s the one that got the third star last October.


At the restaurant he was running and directing everything, chef de cuisine in actuality. If this corporation isn’t giving him the actual title that’s sad.


The chef is the boss. Chef de cuisine reports to a chef or executive chef, it’s basically a sous chef at a place were the chef is not very hands on.


Sometimes people from other parts of the country are shocked at how much an avocado can cost out here.


Thanks for the heads up @robert @BradFord. I always figured Coi was to Chef Daniel Patterson like Spago was to Wolfgang Puck: Meaning that Wolfgang Puck still pops in the kitchen at Spago and occasionally even cooks something from time to time (it happened to our friends last year IIRC). But if Chef Patterson is just collecting paychecks from that restaurant now (as part of Daniel Patterson Group company) and nothing more, that’s good to know.


I’m not sure how different the relationships Patterson and Puck have with the chefs who run their groups’ restaurants are. Puck is very much the face of his brand while Patterson stays more in the background. E.g. from Aster’s “about” page you wouldn’t even know that Patterson or DPG were involved.


I was looking forward to dinner here after @Chowseeker1999’s great review. Unfortunately I didn’t love it. Almost everything was too mild/under-seasoned and ironically lacking soul. Service was friendly and attentive but still needs training on the menu.

deviled eggs
Not bad, not great, just okay.

shrimp & grits
Shrimp was okay, grits were bland and under-seasoned. Needed more sauce.

skillet fried chicken
The most disappointing dish of the night. Again it was under-seasoned and unfortunately also overcooked and dry.

candied yam gratin, spiced cashews
Best dish of the night, loved how they sliced the yams to form a layered brick, like a yam mille feuille. I wish the portion was larger.

oxtails & rice
Oxtails were okay but weren’t tender and didn’t have enough gravy like in @Chowseeker1999’s pics.

green beans simmered in spicy tomato sauce

no toto


Hi @PorkyBelly,

Thanks for the report back and bummer about your visit! Thanks for trying out the other dishes we didn’t get to on opening night (and good to know they weren’t worth ordering, unfortunately). I was considering the Shrimp & Grits, but ended up trying other dishes instead.

Yah, your Oxtail & Rice looks way more dry than the dish in my pics! :frowning: I hope it was just a fluke / off-night, or else they’re cutting corners (and maybe making a big batch and serving it multiple nights in a row?), which would be sad.

The Fried Chicken had problems on our visit, but it seems like they didn’t improve it at all for your visit.

I’m glad you liked the Candied Yam Gratin with Spiced Cashews at least (and good to hear it was still tasty on your visit).

We were hoping to go back in the near future, so we’ll see if it’s just opening weekend jitters, or if they were only on point for Grand Opening night (and fallen off a cliff afterwards (which I hope not)). Was Chef Corbin on the line cooking? (Just curious.)