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terroni

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turleyandolly Nov 29, 2007 09:27 AM

I have tried this restaurant twice.It has a lively ambiance with friendly servers.The pasta is cooked to perfection with good, clean flavors.They are not overcooked or oversauced like many Italian restaurants.The wine list is interesting and well priced.I was skeptical when I heard that people from Toronto were opening an Italian restaurant--but this place is terrific.

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  1. r
    rezpeni RE: turleyandolly Dec 6, 2007 11:10 PM

    Tried it tonight for the first time. Grilled calamari appetizer was nicely done and tender with a pleasant smokiness. Pasta was well cooked and appropriately sauced, though my companion noted he could tell they didn't rinse their capers in his dish which in Italy is a no-no. Espresso was excellent, served in very warm cups, probably the highlight of the meal. Here's where the problems start. Service was sloooooow, I mean really slow I think it took over an hour from the time we ordered to get our pastas, and our appetizer took at least 30 mins. The ridiculous part was there was only about 5 other tables of 2 people seated and about 30 staff, I mean there are waiters and cooks everywhere who just seem to be standing around talking doing nothing. Our waiter apologized profusely but it would have been nice if they at least comped our coffee. Also the lady I assume was the hostess gave me a dirty look on the way in and out, seriously would it kill you to smile? I would probably go back at some point and give them another chance because the food was good, but I'm definetely going to give them some time to get it together. Thankfully I won't be going hungry with Mozza, La Buca, Angelini and La Terza around.

    1. notmartha RE: turleyandolly Dec 17, 2007 11:57 AM

      Went this weekend and had a good meal. It's very reminiscent of the meals we had in Italy - very authentic and MUCH better than the overhyped Mozza.

      Had fried zucchini blossoms to start. Light as air batter with the blossom overstuffed with ricotta - served on a bed of sauted sliced zucchini and cherry tomatoes.

      2 pastas - bucatini ala amatriciana and boar ragout with pappardelle. Finally a amatriciana that's decent and that passed my son's taste test here. The pappadelle was done very well - surprisingly firm for fresh noodles. Only nit was maybe a tad too much sauce, but still acceptable.

      The mushroom pizza was paper thin in the Roman style. It's OK, but I never did like the pizza in Rome much. I hate the fact that generally half way though the sauce makes the crust kind of soggy in the middle.

      The tartufo was good, but the strawberry-peach bavaria? cake has a jello-like texture that I did not like.

      Finally, the service was friendly and efficient. Never had to wait for food or for plates to be cleared, but we went around 5:30 Saturday, so maybe the insanity hasn't set in then.

      For some reason they were showing La Strada on the wall. It was kind of interesting and a bit of a diversion.

      Anyway, can't wait to go back and try some more pasta!

      16 Replies
      1. re: notmartha
        cinzia RE: notmartha Dec 17, 2007 04:30 PM

        Ooh, have to disagree about the Mozza comment - went again on Thursday night and still think the Mozza squash blossoms outshine Terroni's any day of the week. Perhaps it was the ridiculous wait for ours but they arrived greasy and relatively tasteless. That being said, I did love our pasta dish and will (and have) returned - just not for the squash blossoms!

        1. re: cinzia
          notmartha RE: cinzia Dec 17, 2007 06:16 PM

          Nope, ours were piping hot. If anything, my hubbie found the filling maybe a tad more seasoned than he liked.

          I had the zucchini blossom at the P. Mozza and I thought that was rather bland.

          Terroni's pasta beats O. Mozza too. At least when I went to Mozza 2 months ago they were WAY oversauced and the ala amatriciana was laughable.

        2. re: notmartha
          j
          jlrobe RE: notmartha Dec 18, 2007 02:45 PM

          "Went this weekend and had a good meal. It's very reminiscent of the meals we had in Italy - very authentic and MUCH better than the overhyped Mozza."

          This isnt the first time I have heard such a lofty claim. I think Mozza is very good italian. Is it worth the wait, no? But it is a great place to go at 11pm for a late night dinner. If Terroni truly is FAR superior, then, that's great news for all Angelenos.

          I will keep my expectations in check because it seems that almost everyone loves to promote their favorite italian place by proclaiming it is vastly superior to Mozza.

          So far places like All Angelo and La botte have been about the same as Mozza in terms of quality AND price. Each place has its advantages and disadvantages. I hate oversauced pasta, and Mozza has never oversauced anything I have eaten. I have not ordered the blossoms from Mozza, but everything I have had at Mozza has been been pleasingly rich and full.

          Terroni sounds like a worthy place, so I will give it a try, but I will assume that it will be worse than Mozza. If I am pleasantly suprised, great!

          1. re: jlrobe
            Woolsey RE: jlrobe Dec 18, 2007 03:31 PM

            Great observation on the "It's better than Mozza!" hype. I think it's a sign of just how remarkable Mozza is in that, within the space of little over a year, it has become the unquestioned touchstone against which almost all Italian restaurants - save, perhaps, Valentino and Miceli's - are judged. Based on that lofty criterion, no Italian restaurant is superior to Mozza.

            1. re: Woolsey
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              turleyandolly RE: Woolsey Dec 18, 2007 06:50 PM

              Miceli's?

              1. re: turleyandolly
                Woolsey RE: turleyandolly Dec 19, 2007 07:22 AM

                By that I mean, Mozza is compared to every contemporary Italian restaurant save the old school, extremely formal multi-course Italian restaurant (e.g., Valentino) and the "red sauce" Italian-American joint (e.g., Miceli's).

              2. re: Woolsey
                m
                manku RE: Woolsey Dec 19, 2007 07:28 AM

                I think it's a sign of the hype, not the quality.

                Last week, I ate at La Terza (for the first time in over a year) and the food BLEW AWAY my experience at Mozza. I was shocked how good it was - better than Angelini.

                Also, the lack of noise and attitude made for a much more pleasant (if not as "exciting") dinner.

                Manku

                1. re: Woolsey
                  d
                  Diana RE: Woolsey Dec 21, 2007 12:27 PM

                  Frankly, i judge nothing in comparison to mozza, unless I'm discussing things that are over hyped and over priced.

                  I don't think everyone does use Mozza as a touchstone.

                  the food is very good, but not worthy of the absolute fanaticism it seems to be garnering.

                2. re: jlrobe
                  notmartha RE: jlrobe Dec 19, 2007 08:13 AM

                  I didn't say Terroni's the BEST Italian in LA, just that it's better than the overhyped Mozza. I can't tell you how disappointed in the Mozza meal we had recently.

                  I found Enoteca Drago better than Mozza's, but Drago's not much hyped.

                  Just pointing out that as far as newly opened Italian restaurant's concern, people should check this place out for the pasta. Hype doesn't mean good food.

                  1. re: notmartha
                    Woolsey RE: notmartha Dec 19, 2007 08:25 AM

                    Hype doesn't mean bad food, either.

                    1. re: notmartha
                      j
                      jlrobe RE: notmartha Dec 19, 2007 09:44 PM

                      "I didn't say Terroni's the BEST Italian in LA, just that it's better than the overhyped Mozza. I can't tell you how disappointed in the Mozza meal we had recently.

                      I found Enoteca Drago better than Mozza's, but Drago's not much hyped."

                      by notmartha

                      You have the same expeirnce that I have whenever I eat in SF. I found it underwhelming wherver I go. To me, SF is lauded as this foodie oasis, but to me, it is full of pretentiousness and never delivers on its promise of heavenly cuisine.

                      On a more related note, My wife really didnt like MOzza first time we went. Too much "hype" if you will. We have since been back sans the attitude and the wait. The kitchen is never overworked when we go and they turn out some very solid stuff.

                      For us, hype can really kill a restaurant sometimes.

                      I will say this though. LA is a solid place for Italian and always has been. It really frustrates me that people think LA all of a sudden has good italian food, then 90% of the great italian in this city has been around for as long as I can remember (which isnt very long).

                      Again, I will try Terroni and see if it matches its own "hype".

                      1. re: jlrobe
                        notmartha RE: jlrobe Dec 20, 2007 08:26 AM

                        Well, actually I found many places I love in SF/Napa, but that's another thread.

                        I didn't notice any attitudes at O. Mozza. Just comparing the food - pure and simple. I don't know if it's an off-day for them (but the head chef and Nancy were both there), but the food I got was meh, and the octopus that people loved was downright unchewable. I know - should have sent it back.

                        Yup, hype sometimes set such a high bar it's hard for the restaurant to meet. Some like Craft met the hype, others like O. Mozza didn't (I do like P. Mozza, btw despite the hype).

                        Terroni is really close to food I've got at Italy, but to those who enjoy a bit more untraditional stuff, or Italian-American, it may be a disappointment.

                        Lastly, I totally understand the no-subsitution policy. I saw someone posted a complain that they won't add chicken to some pasta. It's funny because the pasta dishes in Italy generally are not oversauced, and any meat in them are miniscule comparing to the States (no spaghetti with meatballs, for instance). They are trying to stick to the tradition as best as they can (which is kind of strange as this is a Canadian chain), but I applaude them for it.

                        1. re: notmartha
                          j
                          jlrobe RE: notmartha Dec 20, 2007 03:44 PM

                          "Well, actually I found many places I love in SF/Napa, but that's another thread."

                          You are right on that. I actually started 3 of them, and collected about 30 recs. Of them I tried the 4 highest recommended, and they were all good but nothing spectacular. I think hype had a lot to do with my disappointment. That is why I made the comment.

                          "didn't notice any attitudes at O. Mozza. Just comparing the food - pure and simple. "

                          Oh wow! Usually its the wait and the loud music, and the attitude that gets people. You must have had an abysmal experience. I am sorry for making the wrong assumption.

                          "Yup, hype sometimes set such a high bar it's hard for the restaurant to meet. Some like Craft met the hype, others like O. Mozza didn't"

                          That's very interesting you say that. Some people say craft doesnt match the hype, but Mozza does. It all depends on the person I guess. Anyhow, I respect your opinion that the osteria didn't deliver.

                          "Terroni is really close to food I've got at Italy, but to those who enjoy a bit more untraditional stuff, or Italian-American, it may be a disappointment."

                          You are right about that. I actually like Batali's cooking in that it is more of a modern American spin on Italian food. So, I will agree with you there. Sometimes authentic works for me, and sometimes updating the cuisine works too. It is good to have both choices.

                          "Lastly, I totally understand the no-subsitution policy. "

                          I also agree with you there. This town is big enough for a no-substitution policy resto.

                          "It's funny because the pasta dishes in Italy generally are not oversauced, and any meat in them are miniscule comparing to the States"

                          I have not been to any italian restaurant in LA or America in the last year (except bucca di beppo for a celebration) that oversauced their pasta. I think oversaucing speaks to the quality of the italian restaurant in question and not its authenticity. I do however agree that meat is used more here. Again for me, that is a good thing.

                          Anyow, thanks for the food for thought.

                          1. re: jlrobe
                            notmartha RE: jlrobe Dec 21, 2007 07:51 AM

                            Guess timing is everything. We went to Craft's after they cleaned the front of the house and fixed the service problem. I didn't see a lot of complaints about the food on CH before (like things being not edible), really more service issues.

                            No, actually what was really disappointing for me is that after reading Batali's interview that the #1 sin is oversaucing the pasta, I went to O. Mozza a couple of weeks after Craft's and the pasta dishes were way oversauced. I went to a CH recommended 'authentic' Italian restaurant in SF (Ideale) and their pasta were oversauced too (tasty, but oversauced).

                            I go to Asian restaurants a lot, so service (or lack of), and ambience doesn't bother me as much, as long as food is good.

                            Hum, I guess I didn't go to very much hyped restaurants in SF/Napa, certainly all were very basic and not fancy - like Hog Island, R&G Lounge, Ad Hoc, Sushi Ino.

                            Anyway, have to go back to Terroni's and see if their food hold up after the initial period.

                            1. re: notmartha
                              j
                              jlrobe RE: notmartha Dec 21, 2007 11:57 AM

                              hey notmartha

                              I heard that craft got better after time as well, but I was still afraid of being a little dissappointed and a little light on money. I think it is the right time for me to go to craft as well. But first thing first, salads, pasta, and pizza at Terroni. I think of Terroni as a casual mid-priced italian place for the basics, so I will probably go within a week or two. I want to give them time to iron out their prolbmes, but it sounds like they are fairly consistent. I will report back later.

                              How does the pizza and salad compare to Mozza?

                              1. re: jlrobe
                                notmartha RE: jlrobe Dec 21, 2007 12:13 PM

                                Didn't have salad in either places, so can't compare.

                                Pizza is completely different styles. If you've been to Rome and like the ultra thin crust you will like Terroni. I happen not to like that style, but ordered it to see how close to Italian style this restaurant is really. Oh the crust tends to get soggy in the middle. The topping is sparse and a hungry person will definitely need an appetizer or something else with a pizza.

                                P. Mozza's pizza has more innovative toppings and their crust is not that thin (very chewy, so I like that). So if I have to pick between the two I like Mozza's pizza slightly better. But my heart belongs to NYC style (which is neither of these two).

                                I think pasta is where this place truly shines.

                                Terroni's is about the same price-wise as Mozza.

                3. s
                  Sam L. RE: turleyandolly Dec 19, 2007 08:00 PM

                  Well...I have to disagree. The food/wine were outright BORING except for the fried zucchini blossoms.
                  The pizza was cold and you couldn't substitute anything! Actually, it is written in their menu (about 3 times) NO SUBSTITUTIONS! All I wanted was no olives on my pizza not replace them with something else. Give me a f*** break! It wasn't like I was adding cheese in lieu of my olives. Also, what a boring wine list. My table tried four glasses of wine - all sucked. What a waste of $$$$$. Next time I try All'Angelo - I hear it’s excellent.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Sam L.
                    wutzizname RE: Sam L. Dec 19, 2007 08:32 PM

                    The strict no modification policy had been reported long before they opened. For those who go without knowing, I'm sure it can be a huge annoyance. The better for me, I say. The more people who get pissed off and stay away, the sooner the crowds will die down and I can take full advantage of my great new neighborhood Italian.

                    1. re: Sam L.
                      j
                      jlrobe RE: Sam L. Dec 19, 2007 09:50 PM

                      "Next time I try All'Angelo - I hear it’s excellent."

                      All Angelo is very solid. Terroni, Im not sure since I havent been, but All Angelo is great. It doesnt have the rock music or the crowds, so many people will like it quite a bit.

                      1. re: Sam L.
                        notmartha RE: Sam L. Dec 20, 2007 08:32 AM

                        Strange, the glass of wine we got was decent at $9 a glass, although we are not Italian wine experts. Seems like you can easily pick the olives off your pizza, unless you are allergic to olives, in which case they should accommodate you. I am guessing that they have this policy to keep their dishes traditional.

                        I agree with Wutzizname, wish I have a Terroni in my neighborhood instead of the usual Olive Garden, Macaroni's, etc. BTW, no line at 5:15.

                      2. s
                        salsaqueen RE: turleyandolly Mar 3, 2008 06:42 AM

                        I'm undecided. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the room. First time there everyone bent over backward to make us happy. Since then, not so much. I'd stick with the pizza. But don't ask for a substitution if you want to keep your head!!!

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