Terra American Bistro
Terra American Bistro

Terra American Bistro

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.terrasd.com/
  • Phone: 6192937088x
  • Hours of Operation:
    Champagne Brunch: Sunday 9:00am - 2:00pm
    Lunch: Monday - Friday 11:30am-2:00pm
    Dinner: Tuesday - Sunday from 4:30pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Carte Blanche,Diners Club,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Comfort Food, Contemporary American, Tapas / Small Plates
  • Executive Chef: Jeff Rossman
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Beer, Chef's Table, Delivery, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Catering: Whatever the occasion, our goal is to make your event a complete success. With overflowing creativity and a gracious and dynamic staff, let Terra be your hospitality partner. We promise to exceed your expectations with an uncompromising commitment to perfection. Whether you are planning a simple luncheon or an elaborate six-course dinner, Chef/Owner Jeff Rossman will work with you from the start. He would be delighted to create a custom menu for you and your guests.
  • Private Party Facilities: small parties up to 12 can order off the menu and larger parties need to contact our banquet department for special menu with pricing. Private parties can buy out the restaurant or possibly host an event on Saturday afternoons or Monday evenings.
  • Private Party Contact: Lisa or Jeff 6192937088x

Getting there

  • Cross Street: El Cajon and 71st St
  • Parking: Private Lot
  • Parking Details: Street parking available and on weekends & evenings parking in business lots around restaurant.
A word from Terra American Bistro
Terra American Bistro began in Hillcrest May 1998 and has since moved to the East College District of Rolando. Chef/Owner and Cookbook Author Jeff Rossman supports local food purveyors and sources all ingredients carefully, with a commitment to buy all products that are cultivated sustainably and humanely. Terra specialties include Steamed Carlsbad Black Mussels, Chipotle Marinated Skirt Steak, Pumpkin Raviolis and Lobster Macaroni ‘n Cheese. This neighborhood Bistro serves up farm to table fare and offers the perfect combination of sophistication and casual elegance. The team’s ambition at Terra is to create a relaxed and casual atmosphere to enjoy great food, local craft beer & wine.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerContemporary American
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked
Terra American Bistro reviews from OpenTable diners
87 reviews since June 27, 2014
Overall Rating4.4
  • Food4.4
    Service4.4
  • Ambiance4.1
    Noise LevelModerate
97% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (65)fit for foodies (56)special occasion (32)great for lunch (26)good for groups (23)great for brunch (23)hot spot (12)kid-friendly (11)notable wine list (11)romantic (7)vibrant bar scene (5)late-night find (1)Show More
  • Always Delicious
    BEARVIP
    Dined on 10/23/2014
    I took some friends to dinner here and they requested that we go back again on Thursday night. The food is always very fresh and really, really good. The stuffed pork chop was amazing very tender and super flavorful. Can't wait for next time you go eat here.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • food review
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/21/2014
    The service was very good. The restaurant is nice but way too noisy. I ordered the quinoa with vegetables. At first it tasted very good but I soon realized that there was way too much oil in the dish. It would be much better with more seasoning and less oil.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Amazing Brunch!
    MZeitz
    Dined on 10/19/2014
    This was my second time at Terra for brunch. Everybody at the table ordered a different item and everybody was delighted with their meals. From the breakfast bowl with black beans and eggs, to the spinach/ mushroom and goat cheese omelette, to the short rib hash, each menu item was well thought out and presented beautifully. The wait staff even brought a special toy to entertain the one child at our table. And we never had to ask for champagne refills! I would definitely recommend this restaurant to anybody who want to get away from the brunch buffet and still have plenty of options for vegetarians and meat eaters alike!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, hot spot, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always a great experience
    twofriends
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    We've eaten at TERRA frequently and introduced friends to it. We were a party of six plus a toddler--and it couldn't have been a more pleasant dining experience. Service was attentive, friendly and responsive. Food was delicious.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Still my favorite
    Lynn
    Dined on 10/15/2014
    Terra is the epitome of a bistro with a hint of neighborhood familiarity. Even if you're from a different neighborhood. Everybody is treated like a special guest. The staff has plenty of knowledge and smiles. A most enjoyable experience every time.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fun for Brunch with the Ladies
    Terrareview
    Dined on 10/5/2014
    Six women celebrated brunch. The food and service were exceptional. The Bloody Mary's looked like magazine pictures. We were not rushed and enjoyed our champagne and coffee after
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • An evening out with friends
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    This was my third experience at Tera...I was very pleased with the experience. Would have been happier if they had not run out of my first choice of meal selection and the sangria. However, I so appreciate the fresh aspect of the restaurant, that this has no affect on my willingness to return. So healthy, ample portions and affordable. Thank you
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Happy Birthday?
    MandM
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    We were a party of 4 celebrating a Birthday. When we arrived it was so noisy that we could barely understand what our waiter was saying. It calmed down later in the evening and was OK. When we went to order, they were out of two items, our B-Day person ended up having a hamburger instead of the entree they really wanted. That said, our waiter was outstanding. MandM
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Service Disaster
    PatrickVIP
    Dined on 10/3/2014
    Our service experience was so bad it was probably an exception. Waited 10-15 minutes before our server finally made her 1st appearance. Twenty-25 minutes after 1st course plates were cleared, entrees had not arrived; our server had not been seen. I found the hostess and explained. The manager was soon at our table apologizing and saying our entrees were “next in line” and would be “right out”. The manager said that any deserts would be gratis. Ten minutes later, entrees arrived. Two of the three of us really liked our dinners. Mine would have been good except it was served at barely room temperature. Of course, there was no way I was going to send this back and wait forever for a replacement.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Worth the time and money
    Lynn
    Dined on 10/1/2014
    Can't get enough of the pumpkin ravioli and wedge salad.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Terra-riffic
    davidVIP
    Dined on 9/29/2014
    Very helpful wait staff. Very good food and drink. I have been to several good-bye lunches here and its been great! Please try this place and tell your friends.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • lovegoodfood
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    I love this restaurant! I have tried almost everything on the menu and always look forward to the seasonal changes. The staff is very inviting and friendly!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Mom's birthday
    Sandarb
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    We were celebrating Mom's 74th birthday and chose to take our group of 9 to Terra. It just so happened it was also Restaurant Week. Everything worked out great! They had a nice big table for us and the food choices were fantastic! Only bummer was they had run out of the fish. We got lucky and got the last to pieces (one for Mom and one for Dad). The Mac and lobster was to die for. The pumpkin squash was fantastic. The pot roast was fork tender and EVERY dessert was sublime. And we were all pleased with the portions. Usually with Restaurant Week you receive what would be considered a smaller than dinner version. But not at Terra. The staff was attentive, friendly and efficient. Thanks so much for a wonderful birthday dinner.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • DISAPPOINTED THIS TIME
    back4more
    Dined on 9/25/2014
    Previous visits were flawless. This visit not even near the other visits. At 5pm the restaurant was very warm and humid, so much we almost cancelled out. The waiter was a little impatient as we were a little slow in deciding what to order. One order was a very generous portion of fish and the doneness perfect however the flavor was very bland, no seasoning. The other order was the lobster mac n cheese. The lobster and the pasta were overcooked, We felt all food was pre-prepared. Only minutes between ordering and delivery of the food, an assembly line. No one ask if we needed anything or how was the meal. For $110.00 we were a little disappointed. We’ll call this experience a fluke and hope for a better experience next time.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • restaurant week
    ktlred
    Dined on 9/25/2014
    They opened a few minutes late, &the forgot the berries that should have topped our dessert, but on the plus side, the food was delicious. I think that restaurant week overwhelmed them, and that on a slower night, they would be perfect.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • hamfam
    Dined on 9/24/2014
    The chocolate truffle taster was awesome. The lobster mac 'n cheese was a little lacking; expecting more sauce wise but lobster meat great! Husband loved pot roast! Delectable hazelnut pumpkin ravioli; could've had many more Yum!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • different
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/23/2014
    The food definitly is worth travelig from outside California. Just not having the option of tge regualar menu does have NOT have an effect an MY rating. I like having less options in this jungle of take this tan add this and have this and so on and so on. So perfect for me an my company. still the location is very loud and noisy and the service is not aware of bringing new fork and knife after the starter. which i belive belongs to goood service, BUT most friendly and not at all anoid by questions. so a good for a good
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Doug
    Dined on 9/21/2014
    Staff was very accomodating to reservation changes, handled them with good humor and without any indication of unhappiness. Chief visited table, always a plus. Food is high standard in taste and presentation. Terra is the best in the East County area.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • I'm a fan
    Goodneighbor2
    Dined on 9/16/2014
    Love go to terra for lunch and dinner. Food is always good.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • disappointing visit
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/14/2014
    Of our party of six, only two enjoyed their meals, the lobster roll and angus beef sliders. Two ordered the seafood fettucini, which was way too sour with lemon and lacked enough seafood; the mussels seemed slightly undercooked. The pot roast was dry, even though the sauce and potatoes were great. One guest described the catch of the day (halibut) plate as "nothing special". The ambiance was very nice, and the service fine. The restaurant is not in the greatest part of town, and the lack of patrons on a Sunday night would indicate that location and food quality are probably issues. Very nice staff!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Wonderful
    goodeats
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    The service at Terra is ALWAYS first rate. Plus the food is fresh and delicious! I would recommend this place 100%.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • SDDiner
    Dined on 9/10/2014
    Less than impressed. Chicken was mediocre and had no seasoning. Arugula salad was very boring with only a few pieces of cucumber, 2 halved heirloom cherry tomatos and very little dressing. Never saw the waitress except when she took order and delivered food to the table. Got ice from the bartender as there was none in the glasses of warm water. Asked for uneaten food to be placed in a take-home box, which the waitress never brought back to the table. Dining experience was not worth the price paid. Will not be going back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • La Mesa Neighborhood Gem
    nickleanddime
    Dined on 9/7/2014
    We found this restaurant shortly after recently moving to La Mesa. It had good reviews on Yelp, although it certainly doesn't appear impressive from the outside! Once in, things are different. The food is outstanding . . . fresh, creative, and extremely good. Service is better when they aren't as busy (we have gone twice - once at night and once for brunch).
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Will Return
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    A great place to eat. Service was friendly and helpful. Due to the busyness on a Friday night the service was a bit slow, however, first class. I will highly recommend this place to anyone and will definitely return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great find
    Happydiner
    Dined on 9/4/2014
    Last minute reservation on a Thursday night. I had a perfect burger with perfect truffle fries! My husband had the short ribs which were delicious. I tried a house-made peach rum - also very tasty. No room for dessert so will have to return since the dessert menu looked amazing. Nick, our server was very helpful & on top of things. It was quiet when we first arrived at 7pm but things were much busier by the time we left. A reservation never hurts.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fiona
    Dined on 9/4/2014
    It is always a pleasure to dine at Terra American Bistro. Great service, great food, great atmosphere, a true delight. So glad to have such a nice restaurant in East County San Diego.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for lunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Small Plates
    RosemaryThyme
    Dined on 8/26/2014
    We were a group of 4 seniors. Each of us ordered a small plate and we shared. Each with its own flavor and personality, we had the flatbread with mushrooms, the wedge salad, the stuffed peppers and truffle French fries. Believe me, these were not your typical flatbreads, fries and salads. The restaurant buys locally and the chef is imaginative. Service was most attentive. Thank you Nick.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Always a treat!
    Martha
    Dined on 8/26/2014
    Another excellent dining experience. Wait staff attentive and friendly, food outstanding as usual. Tried the short rib tacos finally and was not disappointed.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • diamond in the ruff
    luv2eatVIP
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    Great restaurant off the beaten path. Creative cocktails. Terrific food - don't miss the burger or the pot roast - both are standouts! Salads are so fresh and delicious. The "wedge" is an inventive take on the standard - love the tomato marmalade. For dessert, don't miss the banana bread pudding. This is outstanding and I don't even like bread pudding. From the moment we got there, we were made to feel welcome. Our server, Tori, was wonderful - friendly, knowledgeable and not afraid to give an opinion when asked which I appreciate.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Another great meal!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    We shared Terra with our daughter and son-in-law and we all had a great time. The food as always was fresh and exceptional. Thank you to the whole Terra team from Chef Jeff to the entire wait staff.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Favorite new place
    CakSue
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    After my third visit visit to Terra, I could not be more impressed. The food is delicious and changes often. It has a nice ambience, warm, inviting but not so loud you can't have a conversation. The service is friendly and the food has decent portions. I will definitely go again for a special occasion.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Follow thru a problem
    Coast2coast
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    I love Terra but . . . I took my daughter there for her birthday with friends on Friday. I called in advance to see if I could special order a cake and they said no but could make a notation on our reservation so her dessert comes out with a candle. But it didn't. Terra did not recognize her birthday at all despite hints I tried to drop the server. Apparently calling in advance was less than useless and the staff's promises worthless. I was really dissappointed.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • So tasty!
    Bevgo
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    Crab cake sliders were wonderful and perfect amount of food for lunch. All dishes so beautifully presented. Our waiter so friendly and prompt.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excites Palate and Convesation
    HopefullyHelpful
    Dined on 8/10/2014
    Been here twice, once to celebrate our son's college gradation and this time to celebrate our daughter-in-law's birthday. Next? Bringing my wife for a romantic rendezvous. Many would just drive by this inadvertent spot (unless you notice the tractor in the garden on the corner). And in some ways it seems a secret hideaway. The food and caring service are both excellent!!! Our server, Micheal (this trip), was unobtrusive and his suggestions intuitive. A few couples were at the bar enjoying adult beverages paired with a bit of delectable food and conversation. What flows from the kitchen excites the palate and the conversation; all one needs to make a memorable mark with (a) loved one(s)...including our 3 yr. old grandson.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A rare find for East County Foodies
    EastCountyFoodie
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    There are not that many places in East County that I can go to satisfy my foodie cravings. Plenty of down and dirty places to be sure, and I frequent them. Terra is a rare opportunity to enjoy some refinement, and a real culinary experience with subtlety. My wife and I both had a great time, and will return. I went to the previous Hillcrest location before it moved. I have to say that I enjoyed the ambience of the new La Mesa location much better, and the place was very well attended. Everything was great - highly recommend the Sangria!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Tantan50
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    This is one of our favorite neighborhood spots. The food and service are always excellent.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Steak Sammie
    ConnieVIP
    Dined on 8/6/2014
    I was challenged to decide on a specific lunch item, with everything sounding so wonderful. I'm so glad I went with the steak sammie and greens. Perfect! And hard to believe I ate the whole thing. Complemented by their unique Lemongrass mule, which is the best I've ever had. Love the fresh lemongrass in it.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Last day of summer
    3Yips
    Dined on 8/5/2014
    Awesome time & awesome food! We ate more than we intended - but it was well worth it!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Sunday night at Terra
    BBJ913
    Dined on 8/3/2014
    Went to Terra at 5:30 pm for Sunday dinner. Food was outstanding, but they do not offer bread anymore when you sit down at the table. Terra was understaffed due to a concert at SDSU, therefore the service was a bit off. The server was trying his best, but he looked stressed due to the full restaurant. The wife and I will go to Terra again, but we will check for concerts beforehand.
    Special Features:
    special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • We'll be back.
    Kaynjay
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    We spent an enjoyable evening with friends at Terra. The local fish dish was outstanding. We're looking forward to a return visit soon.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.