Celebrity chef Tracy de Jardin abruptly closes Los Altos restaurant after six months

On March 24th, acclaimed chef Traci Des Jardins’ upscale Cal-Mex restaurant, El Alto, debuted in Los Altos as the anchor for the highly anticipated new State Street Market food hall. It was her first culinary venture outside of San Francisco and her first adventure in Silicon Valley.

Just six months later, on Saturday, El Alto’s Facebook page announced the restaurant’s abrupt closure.

Chef Traci De Jardins opened El Alto in downtown Los Altos with fellow chef Robert Hurtado. (Photo by Aubrey Pick)

“As of September 23, 2022, El Alto has ceased operations,” said a memo posted mid-afternoon. “Thank you to everyone who has supported the restaurant over the years, especially our guests and staff for their incredible support.”

Des Jardins wrote on Instagram: It has been incredible to operate in Los Altos and I have been overwhelmed by the interest, excitement and welcome to the restaurant. It was a great experience working again with Chef Robert Hartado, and the amazing kitchen and front-of-house staff who worked to bring this concept to life. Loved hearing feedback. All in all, I am very proud and grateful to have been part of this project. ”

There was no explanation for the closure and the restaurant’s website and menu had already been taken down.

El Alto’s opening came three years after Des Jardins. Closing her acclaimed Jardiniere restaurant Back in San Francisco for the first time in 21 years.

During the planning and construction phase of the Peninsula restaurant, the James Beard Award-winning chef described El Alto as a celebration of “the rich history of early California and Mexican ranching and the agricultural roots of the Bay Area.” . Hailing from the Fresno area, where her mother is of Mexican descent, she teamed up with another chef with Mexican roots, Central Coast native Robert Hartado.

El Alto, which serves dinner four nights a week, has an overall four-star rating on Yelp, but this month’s latest reviews are one-star and two-star reviews, and it’s understaffed. and slow service was the downside of the restaurant.

of Opening March 24th was a fun night, diners ranging from fans of Des Jardins since they were at San Francisco’s Rubicon 25 years ago, to a group of young women who had never heard of her but found out about a new restaurant opening in the hall. gathered. Des Jardins was in the kitchen for most of this busy night, but he showed up to deliver plates of food, greet old customers, and take selfies. At the end of the night, she thanked her employees before heading out.

The signature entree, the Confit Liberty Duck Leg, pays homage to Los Altos’ past orchards and is served with complex, spiced apricot moles. Platos Fuerte, or entree, from the first menu, cochinita pibil tacos, his 3 plates of homemade blue corn tortillas with habanero salsa, nixta marcon ‘polenta’ and a platter of pollo al oregano with nopare , to pescado alla mibrasa. Served with Mexican rice and almond salsa. A mibrasa, a Spanish charcoal oven, was also used for grilled vegetables and salsamacha.

This is a developing story. Please come back for updates.

https://www.mercurynews.com/2022/09/24/breaking-after-5-months-in-business-celebrity-chef-traci-des-jardins-abruptly-closes-los-altos-restaurant/ Celebrity chef Tracy de Jardin abruptly closes Los Altos restaurant after six months

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