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It may be a Canadian import, but Terroni might actually feel more Italian than anywhere else in Los Angeles at the moment, with as many expats at the tables as on the restaurant staff, terra-cotta serving dishes, a roster of decent Italian wines available in half-liter and quarter-liter carafes, and the deftest espresso pull this side of Naples. Terroni, nominally a southern-Italian restaurant, specializes in pizzas - not the artisanal, wood-fired things you find at Mozza and Antica Pizzeria, but stretched thin to order over the lip of a counter and tossed into a regular deck oven. Terroni's pizza is good stuff: skinny, crunchy most of the way through, served as in Italy in individual uncut rounds, topped with things like broccoli rabe and crumbled sausage; Gorgonzola, honey and walnuts; or plain old mozzarella and tomato sauce. The pastas tend to be very good: taqliolini with clams and the dried mullet roe bottarga, a definitive cabatelli alla Norma with sauteed eggplant, and possibly the first L.A. appearance of spaghetti ca'muddica, a Sicilian pasta a little like spaghetti alla puttanesca enriched with toasted bread crumbs. The oddest thing about Terroni may be its name, a nasty term for southern Italians that you sometimes hear directed at Napoli soccer players by ultras in Bergamo and Milan.
Where the Chefs Eat is an ongoing series in which we ask a local chef to give us his or her favorite dining options. This week we talk to David LeFevre, chef at Manhattan Beach Post. Chef David LeFev... More »
A few weeks ago, Dahlia Lithwick wrote a piece for Slate in which she set forth The Muppet Theory of Humanity: We all can essentially be described as a Kermit or a Miss Piggy, a Bert or an Ernie, or, ... More »
Isn't this the place with the foosball? If I were associated with Terroni, I'd probably be getting angry about now. Because while the Italian restaurant may refuse to put herbs in its olive oil, to allow Parmesan to be sprinkled on its linguine... More »
View more photos in Anne Fishbein's slideshow, "Terroni: No Substitutions, Southern Italian–Style."If I were associated with Terroni, I'd probably be getting pretty mad about now. Because while the restaurants older locations are famous in its... More »
Max Stefanelli's wine program at Italian restaurant Terroni isn't entirely Italian: There's Champagne, some Slovenian wines and a few outliers from Hungary that he couldn't resist. And it's hardly the deepest Italian list -- that sort of distinction falls to a Valentino or an Osteria Mozza. Yet the Terroni wine program celebrates Italy as do few other wine programs in Los Angeles -- it is, as they say, molto convivio. Stefanelli is from Bologna by way of Toronto, where Terroni... More »
Feels Like NYC When I walked into this place, it reminded me of Balthazar or Pastis - fine, those are French restaurants and this one's Italian, but the vibe is very bistro, very upbeat, good for people watching and raucous conversation. This is the kind of place that is great for a dinner with friends - or a first date, because the energy will cut through the tension. They don't take reservations, but it doesn't take that long to get a table, and there's plenty of bar space to grab a glass of wine while you wait. The kitchen doesn't allow for substitutions (probably why they manage the turnover they do), but that's okay, because the menu is goooood. Heavier on pizzas and pastas than anything else, but the pastas are made fresh daily and the pizzas have a deliciously rustic thin crust. The prices are totally reasonable, and the portions are quite ample, so that will just add to the happy mood you'll be in while eating here.
Haven't been to the LA location but have frequented their downtown Toronto location a ton. One of my favorite Terroni salads ever is a peach / prosciutto / buffalo mozz. / greens mix, seasonal only. Best salad Caprese con Buffalina or Giuggiolosa. Then fresh buccatini pasta with san marzano tomato sauce. Pizzas always win too.
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