28 May ALTAeats: A Neighborhood Treat (if you live in the area or are visiting)
After an event at Mission Wines and Spirits in Altadena, a friend who lives in the area suggested that we try a new neighborhood spot that had just opened around the corner. To be honest, I didn’t expect much. Given that the area has a few strip malls and very few restaurants, I was just hoping to have a decent meal. But, was I in for a surprise! ALTAeats is a new neighborhood destination.
ALTAeats is owned by Chef Paul Ragan, who previously worked at Derek’s Bistro in Pasadena. Ragan was trained at the French Culinary Institute in Manhattan and he and his wife and co-owner Angela Visca also used to run a restaurant in Madrid. The classical training, coupled with the years spent in Spain, are reflected in the menu at ALTAeats which offers plates that are meant to be shared.
The meal began with a plate of bread. I don’t normally point out the bread but when it is homemade and served warm out of the oven, it is worth taking note. The crust was crunchy and the inside moist, and coupled with the creamy butter, the bread was finished before we even ordered.
Cauliflower with pine nuts and cumin – the dish has a Mediterranean influence and the cumin adds a nuttiness to the cauliflower
Roasted brussels sprouts with pancetta and piquillo pepper – the meaty pancetta added texture to the brussels sprouts while the piquillos add a hint of sweetness
Scallop trio – Seared, Panko Crust and Curried – the scallops were perfectly seared on the outside and tender on the inside and I can’t say which I liked best of the three. Guess I will have to go back and try them again.
Mussels with basil, tomatoes and fries – we loved the broth and had to ask for more bread for dipping
Hanger steak frites – served over a bed of bourbon-based sauce au poivre, the steak was perfectly cooked and full of flavor
To finish off the meal, we went with the light and refreshing watermelon granita served with balsamic strawberries and mascarpone.
ALTAeats serves dinner six nights per week. They are closed on Tuesdays. The beer and wine is license pending, so be sure to BYOB. Reservations are recommended as it is a small space and fills up quickly.
1860 North Allen Ave.
Altadena, CA 91104