Wednesday, April 08, 2009

My current favorite: Terroni’s



As most of you already know, I absolutely adore Italian food. I always tell people I could live on sushi and Italian food alone (maybe toss in the occasional Sun Chip now and then), and although I’m not 100% certain of that statement, I do find that I never tire of either.



A few months back, a friend introduced me to the pure pleasure that is Terroni’s. I fell in love with the place immediately, being transported to a bustling Italian cafĂ© the minute I walked in. A giant, red sign that reads “CUCINA” overlooks the entire restaurant and the Charming Italian Owner Lady (I don’t know her name so that’s what I call her!) makes you feel right at home. I mean, you’re already in love, right, and you haven’t even heard about the food! Oh, the food………..let me count the ways I love thee………..

Ok, so I’ve yet to try everything on the menu, but seeing as they have no less than 13 pastas and even a larger variety of pizzas, plus their daily meat, poultry and fish specials AND a wonderful selection of appetizers and salads, you can see why. Maybe I’ll take a vacation from work for one week just so I can eat every single thing on the menu. People will say, “Where’d you go for vacation?” and I will say “Terroni’s.” Hmm, at first I was joking but it doesn’t sound like a bad idea. I could just tell everyone that I went to Italy, because I feel like I do every time I’m there. Ahhh….gush.



Last week J and I took my sister C, who had never been. She, too, has a fondess for Italian food and after listening to us hem and haw about the place she was happy to finally experience the joy herself. Even though we got there early (6:30 PM on a Sunday) the place was packed as usual (Terroni’s doesn’t take reservations), so we took a seat at the bar and sipped prosecco until a table opened up.

We got a seat right next to the pizza counter section of the open kitchen, so we could see the lovely balls of dough being tossed and turned into wonderfully thin discs and then slid into the oven. How’s that for food foreplay??



Onto the food!

Grilled calamari salad: J's favorite so we always get this. The squid is perfectly cooked with a slighthly smokey flavor, and the balsamic vinaigrette gives the perfect, acidic balance. YUM.



Arancini: Fried. Risotto. Cones. You really don't need to know anything else but these particular ones come on a bed of just heated-through cherry tomatoes bursting out of their skins. Heavenly.



Swiss chard ravioli: J ordered these for the first time and we were all blown away at how the integrity of the chard was kept intact in the filling. When you bite into one you'll see green (just like the pasta), not a mess of white cheese. Clean, simple and utterly delicious.



Pizza Margherita (sorry for the ultra fuzzy photo!): C ordered this and we all had a slice. Thin and crisp in the right places, slightly chewy in the right places, you can see why this is one of their most popular items.



Linguine Mare: My dish was gorgeous and overflowing with fresh clams, mussels, shrimp and calamari all garnished with the lightest touch of tomato sauce and white wine.



We finished the meal with these little fried donuts filled with Nutella and accompanied by an ice cream I can't really remember. When you have balls of fried dough filled with Nutella around, you pretty much become oblivious to anything else around you.



I hate to sound like a commercial...it's just rare that a restaurant hits every time, even after repeated visits, on every cylinder, and Terroni's does. It's simple but thoughtfully prepared Italian food served by people who really seem to care. That's something to gush about, right?

Hm, maybe I'll take that Terroni's vacation after all.

Terroni's
7605 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 954-0300

6 comments:

senseidan said...

Interesting. I've eaten here a couple times and have found it to be average and drastically over priced. I think I paid $18 for a plate of 5 Raviolis. The wine per glass is priced out of proportion to the food you buy and the service is 50/50. One time a group of friends and I sat outside and our server seemed to forget that we were there, leaving us waiting for half an hour until the 'manager lady' you mentioned came and asked us how we were doing. At that point we were able to express our frustration, not to mention we were sat next to an old couple that was feeding their two dogs off the plates on their table. Now I like dogs but I don't want to think that I'm eating off the same plate as one. The place does have a great vibe, it's popular, crowded and loud. So it does make for a good hang out after work. I'll try the bar next time.

Diana said...

I ate here a while ago and wasn't super impressed, but your review makes me think I may have ordered the wrong things! Or the kitchen has come into its own recently. Everything you have looks great -- that squid salad is definitely calling my name!

Marie said...

Thanks for writing this place up, it's been largely absent on the local blogs. I have been curious for some time now, especially since it's seriously packed all the time!

Oishii Eats said...

NIce shots Anne!!! We have to have you and J over soon. I'll show you some new tricks!

SinoSoul said...

Terroni was our staple the first 6 months it opened. Love their white pie, LOVE their espresso pull, love the squash blossom.

Maybe it's time to go back again...

tourist said...

I agree and also for the wine and sparkling wine too! For example I found a wonderful gancia.it I have never found anywhere...