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La Terza: WORST Italian Food in L.A.

Very possibly the WORST Italian food in Los Angeles - though if it were 1/10th the price, it wouldn't be so egregious a case of insult to injury.

What's wrong with the place?
Well, it's uncomfortable, for starters. High chairs at small tables.
Then there's the appetizers. $16 bucks will get you 2 scallops. 2 ordinary scallops on, I think, a couple of mushroom shavings.
All of the appetizers were pricier than hell and, frankly, mediocre.

The entrees are uninteresting and again, the old joke: the foods lousy, and the portions are small.

Even the desserts - teensy tiny tastes - are nothing to write home about except, of course, for the marvel of paying so much for so little that's so bad.

Why, then, is this place still open? I dunno. Location location location? Or maybe its the stellar service - which would have been perfect, had the waiter not brought the bill.

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  1. That's not been my experience. While not life altering, I found it to be solid having a very good rib eye entree and a delicious desert on top of the stellar service. I don't particularly remember either the app. or pasta cource.

    1. I've also had some good, not great, meals there. I've had some great dishes, but overall I think the place is dependably good. And while I consider it somewhat expensive; considering the neighborhood, the customers and the type of Italian food, it doesn't seem out of line with other, similar restaurants. I have a friend who often stays in the hotel that it is attached to, so I've eaten there a number of times and have always found it a perfectly pleasant place to catch up with my friend over a good meal.

      1. I have to disagree also -- I've always had consistantly delicious food at La Terza and never felt uncomfortable.

        1. I always take Italian visitors to La Terza.
          I still have to find a single one of them that doesn't call the place excellent.

          OTOH, your comments sound weird.
          High chairs and small tables?
          Pricier than hell?
          Teensy tiny tastes?

          Are you sure you're talking the right ZIP code here?

          1. Huh. Funnily enough I was just at La Terza for the first time the other day, early (around 6-7.30pm), dining at the bar. Apart from the fact that the gal behind the bar took an AGE to serve me a glass of Prosecco, I found the food I sampled (from my friend's plate, mostly) to be quite mediocre and not a patch on Angelini Osteria in any shape or form.

            but the worst? dunno about that.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Maxmillion

              Agreed that it is inferior to its sister Angelini Osteria, but I definitely would not call it the worst in LA
              I've found them to be pretty solid, although sometimes the meats are a little overcooked - the duck rotisserie portion was not at all small IMO though ...

              The desserts though are the same as Angelini and the chocolate bunet I found to be just amazing.

              But if you know of an Italian place with 1/10 of the price (which would be ... $1.60 for 2 scallops? I am so there!)


              1. re: burumun

                I am having difficulty imagining the world in which the osteria is superior to La Terza. You may enjoy the casual atmosphere more, but most of the dishes at the osteria are basically less-detailed version of La Terza's cuisine. Angelini is very much a finesse chef, and La Terza showcases the things he does best.

            2. I work down the street from La Terza and I go there when I need a quiet lunch place for business meetings. I have never had a bad meal and I have eaten there at least 5-6 times this year. I'm sorry that the poster had a bad meal there but IMHO it's not the worst Italian food in town.

              1. "All of the appetizers were pricier than hell and, frankly, mediocre."

                You had all of the appetizers? Did you also try all of the desserts you reviewed as "nothing to write home about"

                "Entrees are uninteresting" What!????????

                I realized that you are a newbie to Chowhound but you do a disservice to us all by your dubious review.

                I have found La Terza to be reminiscent of my many meals in Italy. Small simple fresh ingredients. I do not enjoy it as much as Angelini Osteria but it is hardly the worst Italian in LA.

                I can only assume we are talking about another La Terza or you have had some very amazing Italian food in LA that I have not experienced.

                So...If you La Terza is the worst, what do you consider the best?

                1. I was pretty underwhelmed by my recent visit to La Terza. Gold lists it in his top three Italian places in LA, so I had high expectations that just weren't met. I've had much better food at Osteria Mozza.

                  1. Sorry to hear that you had such a bad experience, which doesn't match mine nor the several others I have recommended the place to. What places do you find have better Italian food at significantly lower prices (not necessarily 1/10th the price, but, say, more than 1/3 lower)?

                    1. La Terza is a terrific restaurant with good food and service.Why don't you tell us what the best Italian restaurant is in your opinion.? It certainly ranks in my top five.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: turleyandolly

                        I don't agree with the OP that this is the "worst," but if La Terza is in the top 5 in LA, that's a sad commentary on Italian food in this city.

                        BTW, can someone recommend a good Cal-Ital place on par with Oliveto in the Bay Area?

                        1. re: turleyandolly

                          I too have always had great meals @ La Terza. It is indeed expensive (a bit more than Angelini Osterini), but I only go for special occasions; I agree that at least for me it's too $$ to be treated as a regular neighborhood Italian. That said, I've always found the seating very comfortable; I like the food at least as much as Angelini (one of my favorites), but choose La Terza when I feel like a somewhat quieter, comfortable, less bustling atmosphere. I usually have pastas or fish dishes there & cannot recall a disappointing meal . You don't list what entrees you had, so it's unclear why you found them uninteresting and/or "lousy." Everyone has different experiences of course, but it's hard to understand "worst Italian" associated with a chef like Gino Angelini...

                        2. wow. i was curious about trying the place but the menu did seem somewhat pedestrian. thanks for saving me a trip and the money. worth a try but not exactly cheap is Piccolo in Venice, best veal chop i had in LA . . .

                          1. godwillen, gotta disagree.....
                            Some of the Best food we've had at Terza has been in the last 6 months since acquiring their new Chef.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: russkar

                              Could not agree more with russkar. Went last Thursday with an Italian friend with exquisite taste. His first time at La Terza, although he had been to Angelini many times. He was astounded by how good the food was and disappointed that he had not been dining there in previous years. I had the oxtail agnolotti (sp?) that was tremendous. Each of the four in our party commented on how wonderful, and authentic, the food was. This initial post is a `flat earth` variety comment, I am afraid.

                              1. re: herculesmulligan

                                Has your Italian friend with exquisite taste been to Osteria Mozza?

                            2. La Terza? The worst? Impossible.

                              The WORST Italian restaurant in Los Angeles -- in fact, the WORST restaurant in Loa Angeles, of any kind -- is Capri, of course.

                              Capri on Abbott Kinney.

                              Worst. Restaurant. Ever.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: rcbl

                                Worst than Buca di Beppo??? No way José. Nothing beats BdB.

                                1. re: RicRios

                                  There's probably a good sized competition for worst Italian in LA. Buca di Beppo, Anna's, Tesoro, to name a few.

                              2. I sure hope that you are exaggerating, because as most people stated here, while Terza might not serve you a meal you'll remember for the rest of your life, they are pretty solid and serve above average food. maybe you just went in with wrong expectations. Maybe you thought it was a really cheap restaurant, so $16 appetizers came as a shock to you.

                                As for the high chairs, that's because you sat in the bar area. If you dine in the main dining area, they have normal height chairs and tables.

                                I have a funny story regarding the service there. Last time I was there, i ordered a glass of Pinot Noir. Without paying much attention, I drank about half the glass before i realized that I was not drinking a Pinot Noir. So I called the waiter and told him that the wine he brought me wasn't Pinot Noir. He insisted that it was and even smelled the wine and said "yup, that's definitely Pinot Noir. I can definitely recognize the smell of our Pinot Noir because I don't like it very much." So I said, "that's great, but I'm telling you, this isn't Pinot Noir." So he offers to bring the bottle of the pinot noir and pour some in front of me and of course, I let him. As soon as he poured a new glass, it was very clear that the original glass he poured was indeed NOT pinot noir. He apologized and poured me a HUGE new glass. I actually felt bad for the guy as I'm sure he felt really stupid.

                                1. I've had great meals at La Terza and mediocre ones. But never, ever a bad meal.

                                  I would feel very comfortable putting it in my top 10 Italian Restaurants in Los Angeles. I've heard - from a fan and a chef - to go on Monday (or maybe it's Tuesday) - when the chef is doing the actual cooking. I think it's Monday.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: foodiemahoodie

                                    I consider La Terza one of the finest Italian reastaurants in Los Angeles.

                                  2. Had a lovely dinner and a great time at La Terza recently. Of course, people have different expectations and perceptions of restaurants, but it really shouldn't be an equilibrium buster...