Thursday, September 25, 2014

Reviewed: Terroni

Restaurant: Terroni (downtown location)
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Location: 802 S Spring St, Los Angeles 90015
  • Pricing: $$
  • What's delicious: Pizza; Aperol Spritz cocktail; make sure to ask for a side of the red chiles for your pasta and pizza (game changer!)
  • Perfect for: Dining at the bar - casual date night - pizza snobs - those who appreciate a full bar (many Italian restaurants only serve beer/wine)
  • FYI: Unless the public lot across Spring Street is full, don't overpay for valet.

You know you truly adore someone when you drive downtown - during rush hour - for a dinner date...

Terroni resides within a historic bank building, so you can only imagine the ceiling heights that reach to the heavens, the oversized windows, and the interior detailing that seems to have gone away eons before any of us took our first breath.  Rounding out the space is a fully-stocked bar that hugs the center of the dining room like a coiled snake.



Having become slightly obsessed with California wines, I was taken aback when trying to decipher which Italian red would be most similar to my beloved Napa cabernet.  Our hurried server promised to send over one of the expert wine staff to aid me in my decision.  Ten minutes and no sommelier later, I marched up to the bar, myself, and ordered a glass of Brunello.  By the time I returned to our table, I was greeted by a new server and much happier fellow diners.

After placing our food order, we were gifted with gratis sliced bread and a dish of fragrant olive oil.  Shortly thereafter, our shared appetizers arrived.

Fiori di Zucchine Stuffed with parmesan and house made ricotta cheese, four squash blossoms were deep fried to a perfect golden brown and crowned with flash-fried zucchini slices and fresh basil leaves. 
While I love the concept of cheese-stuffed fritters, I am confident that these would be much more unctuous and moist if, instead, they were stuffed with marscapone cheese or a blend of ricotta and marscapone.


Funghi Assoluti Tossed with parmesan cheese, sweet balsamic, extra virgin olive oil, and garlic, baked oyster mushrooms were served warm over a cool bed of spicy arugula greens. 
Our table devoured this salad within what seemed like seconds!  I highly recommend this dish for a group of folks with mixed dietary restrictions; the mushrooms are rich and meaty (although, obviously, meatless) and the savory flavors are exciting and bold.


Spaghetti al Limone Handmade spaghetti noodles were enveloped in a rich sauce composed of lemon and olive oil, before being tossed with spinach, onions, and briny capers.  Salty ribbons of parmesan cheese topped this mound of beautifully tangled pasta.
We thoroughly enjoyed this tangy, zesty "primi" that surprised us with exciting textures and an array of savory flavors with every bite.


"San Giorgio" pizza Oh, the beautiful things that an oven capable of reaching 900-degrees can do for a pizza!  Sadly, I do not have a picture of this masterpiece, but trust me when I say that this was the best pie I've had in recent memory.  Or yet, in my LA culinary adventures, for that matter!  Terroni's philosophy is NOT to pre-slice their pizzas, because "...in Italy pizza is served uncut to preserve its integrity and keep it hot."

A pillowy, charred crust gave way to robust tomato sauce, stringy mozzarella cheese, spicy Calabrese salame, and quartered mushrooms.  It was nothing short of dynamite!


As a newcomer to LA, my goal is to not repeat the same restaurant twice.  However, I can not stop thinking about this meal; there is just no way that I will only eat here once!!

...

Lindsay, Beverly Hills Bites