Can you really or should you ignore race, and culture when it comes to food? Particularly African American Soul Food? Do stereotypes dictate what you can expect from a particular restaurant at first glance? Do some Caucasian eaters really like bland food? My superficial and pseudo-racist answer is yes.
I struggled to find parking at Alta West Adams, and that bugged me. Valet is $9, which in hindsight, I should have done to save myself the walk, and stress of looking for a street spot. When I entered Alta West Adams, the patrons in the dining room were majority Caucasian, which took me by surprise because I was told Alta was a black-owned soul food place with a twist. My date and I were there to celebrate her friend’s birthday, and we were escorted outside to meet our party. The decor of Alta’s is very similar to Yardbird in in Beverly Hills. I would not be surprised if the two share owners or business associates. Two “soul food-esqe restaurants in close proximity,” sounds basically like some white guy’s bad interpretation of soul food. Before anyone jumps down my throat for this seemingly racist post, I want to acknowledge that white people make incredible “soul food,” but then again, none of those white people live outside of the South. I love you, Paula; more butter please.
My disdain for Alta West Adams is not because the food sucks, my disdain is because the restaurant insist upon itself. Black people accept Eminem in hip-hop because he is good at hip-hop, and has the utmost respect for the culture. I hate Alta [and Yardbird] because neither of them have any respect for the culture that is soul food. Their food is a white person’s interpretation of what southern cuisine would be if you let a hippy Californian fucked it up. From the moment you step in to the door of Alta you immediately know, as my niggas would say, “this gone be some bullshit,” and bullshit is what it was.
I ordered the pork chop (which comes a la carte, as does the rest of the menu), the sweet potato something or other, and the mac and cheese. All of it was meh. The mac and cheese had some white bechamel sauce shit atop it, the pork chop was covered in some pico de gallo tomatoes crap, and it was under cooked and tough. The sweet potato, yam, thingy whatever the fuck was OK. Just OK.
Needless to say, I will never go to Alta again, and you should not either. White people, eat better, seriously. Salt in moderation is okay.
P.S. The #Oxtails and rice dish was really good. The oxtails that is, not the rice! The rice was on par with the rest of the bullshit they serve.