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Terra American Bistro, San Diego, CA

Terra American Bistro

4.3
4.3
1469 Reviews
$30 and under
Contemporary American
Terra American Bistro brings a bit of southern soul to the East College area with redefined Modern American Comfort Food. Our chef Jeff Rossman's rotating menu features local fish procured from Catalina Offshore products, bread from Bread & Cie, and as much local farm fresh produce as possible. Featured menu items include pot roast, grilled steaks, pork chop, seasonal pumpkin raviolis and the famous banana bread pudding with Jim Beam butterscotch! 21 years strong, this restaurant is a great neighborhood gem. The team’s ambition at Terra is to create a relaxed and casual atmosphere to enjoy great food, local craft beer & wine.

Not available on OpenTable

Unfortunately, this restaurant is not on the OpenTable reservation network.

If you like, we'll notify you by email if this restaurant joins.


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Additional information

  • Dining style

    Casual Dining

  • Cuisines

    Contemporary American, Tapas / Small Plates, Comfort Food

  • Hours of operation

    Brunch Sun 9:00 am–2:00 pm Dinner Daily 4:30 pm–9:00 pm Happy Hour Daily 4:30 pm–6:30 pm

  • Phone number

    (619) 293-7088

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, MasterCard, Visa

  • Dress code

    Casual Dress

  • Executive chef

    Jeff Rossman

  • 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 16 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: (619) 993-1437

  • Neighborhood

    La Mesa

  • Cross street

    El Cajon and 71st St

  • Parking details

    Street parking available and on weekends & evenings parking in business lots around restaurant.

  • Public transit

    San Diego Trolley stop on 70th street.

  • Additional

    Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Chef's Table, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Delivery, Full Bar, Gluten-free Options, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

What 1,469 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

4.3
4.3 based on all time ratings
  • 4.4Food
  • 4.4Service
  • 3.9Ambience
  • 4.3Value

NoiseModerate

Sort by

Filters

  1. r

    rjvr1954

    San Diego

    36 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    36 reviews

    Dined on March 15, 2020

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    As always everything was FANTASTIC. Could not have been better. Michael and the whole crew are EXCELLENT. HATS OFF TO EVERYONE INVOLVED.

    Terra American BistroResponded on March 20, 2020We appreciate the review.

  2. J

    Josephbre

    San Diego

    9 reviews

    5.0

    9 reviews

    Dined on March 14, 2020

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great food with tons of flavor! One of the best hidden gems in La Mesa!
  3. VM

    VickyM

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on March 8, 2020

    overall5food5service4ambience4
    Have been coming here for several years and have recommended it often to friends and family

    Terra American BistroResponded on March 13, 2020Thank you!

  4. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Diego

    2 reviews

    4.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on March 1, 2020

    overall4food4service4ambience2
    Great food and service. Uncomfortable seating.
  5. LE

    LeslieE

    San Diego

    6 reviews

    4.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on February 29, 2020

    overall4food4service5ambience4
    Excellent server who knew the menu well and made great suggestions. Food is good, not great. Gets busy on weekends, but a good place to enjoy a nice meal!
  6. K

    Kepsf1213

    San Diego

    34 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    34 reviews

    Dined on February 28, 2020

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Haven’t been year in about a year and we forgot how wonderful the food is.

    Terra American BistroResponded on March 13, 2020Glad to have you back. Thank you for the review.

  7. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Diego

    99 reviews

    5.0

    99 reviews

    Dined on February 24, 2020

    overall5food5service4ambience4
    It's been fun to try parts of the Terra menu we hadn't ventured into before. This time, I had hands down the BEST pork chop ever, doubly rewarding since I often avoid these at restaurants, having had one too many dried-out versions. Not this one! It was perfectly cooked, juicy, and tender enough to go head-to-head (or fork-to-fork?) with a beef filet mignon. My tablemate had the angel-hair pasta with shrimp and raved about it then AND the next day; he also had the calamari and declared it an excellent iteration. We both started with the day's soup, a broccoli-cheese puree that had us smacking our lips and going for every last drop.

    Terra American BistroResponded on February 29, 2020Fun to explore new otions. Thanks for the shout out.

  8. BN

    BrendaN

    Las Vegas

    8 reviews

    5.0

    8 reviews

    Dined on February 23, 2020

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    The short ribs had asked for breakfast was delicious!

    Terra American BistroResponded on February 29, 2020Thank you!

  9. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Diego

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 23, 2020

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    The food and liquor were excellent, cream of asparagus soup- to die for. Salty/peppery calamari was cooked perfectly although I have had better crispy and light coatings in Little Italy. I had a delicious lemon grass ginger ale (non-alcoholic) and my husband had a his favorite bourbon. We opted out of dessert but out chimmichurri skirt steaks were melt-in-your mouth tender and flavorful, plus my husband raves about the Brussel sprouts, which is very unusual

    Terra American BistroResponded on February 29, 2020Awesome feedback and review. Thank you!

  10. B

    Becky

    San Diego

    10 reviews

    5.0

    10 reviews

    Dined on February 22, 2020

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    It was our first time for Friday date night, and what a gem! The food and service were excellent. It was a bit on the loud side, but the rest makes up for it. We will most certainly be returning.

    Terra American BistroResponded on February 29, 2020We love that you love our hidde gem. We look forward in having you join us again.

  11. MK

    MaryK

    San Diego

    27 reviews

    4.0

    27 reviews

    Dined on February 17, 2020

    overall4food5service2ambience5
    We've always had excellent service there - until this visit. It was a Sunday evening about 5:30 and they weren't that busy but our server was slow and seemed a bit scatter-brained - maybe just an off day. The value is excellent - I had a 3-course meal with their most expensive wine by the glass and the price was amazingly reasonable. This is on our list of regular places to eat! And we won't let one instance of poor service deter us.
  12. S

    Stephanie

    San Diego

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on February 16, 2020

    overall5food5service4ambience5
    The meatloaf was delicious!
  13. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Diego

    7 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on February 16, 2020

    overall3food4service5ambience1
    One of the noisy restaurants. Tile floor with lots of reverberation where you have to speak up to be heard across the table. The food is good and Chef comes out to visit which is very nice. We will go again.

    Terra American BistroResponded on February 17, 2020Thanks for the review. It can get nosiy at times, but we love a full restaurant.

  14. J

    Jojo

    San Diego

    52 reviews

    5.0

    52 reviews

    Dined on February 15, 2020

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    What a fun experience to be treated to a Valentine's Dinner at Terra. The fixed menu made for a relaxed, totally organized event. The fondue appetizer was a plus. The smoked Gouda delicious. The steak dinner was truly amazing while the chocolate Pyramid and chocolate covered strawberries for dessert were the definite hit of the evening. What a great idea...Thanks for a special evening. The waiters were spot on and judging by the other diners most were as pleased as we were with their service.

    Terra American BistroResponded on February 17, 2020Thanks for choosing Terra to celebrate. Our customers deserve the best.

  15. L

    Lynn

    San Diego

    23 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    23 reviews

    Dined on February 15, 2020

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great service. While all the dishes at Terra are good, The pistachio crusted grouper was the best fish we eaten EVER at Terra. Bartender CHRISTINE is tops!

    Terra American BistroResponded on February 17, 2020Awesome! Thanks for the shout out.

  16. CH

    ChareseH

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 15, 2020

    overall3food2service3ambience2
    Worst food I’ve had since going to Terra Bistro The Lobster Bisque tasted like mushrooms and dirty socks No lobster believe me My fish was raw Won’t go back
  17. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Diego

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 31, 2020

    overall4food5service3ambience4
    Food was excellent as usual but service was a little slow - a problem because we had theater tickets.
  18. j

    jtred

    San Diego

    5 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on January 26, 2020

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    The food is always delicious and service is attentive. Bread pudding amazing.

    Terra American BistroResponded on February 29, 2020This is great to hear. Thank you!

  19. SH

    SheenaH

    San Diego

    4 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on January 26, 2020

    overall4food4service3ambience3
    Overall this is a decent place to eat. The servers were friendly, but management needs to work on staffing issues as it was a very busy Saturday night and service became very slow. Management also needs to work eliminating the smell of the restrooms as you can smell the odor immediately upon entering the restaurant which ruins the ambience.
  20. P

    Pablo

    San Diego

    21 reviews

    3.0

    21 reviews

    Dined on January 26, 2020

    overall3food3service5ambience3
    Server was excellent. Rice bowl was very good. Had restaurant week special: salad was good but small, Fish (Opah was just ok), chocolate cake was very good). When it is close to being filled, it is VERY noisy
  21. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Diego

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 25, 2020

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    So amazing will be back soon many thanks!!!

    Terra American BistroResponded on January 31, 2020Awesome- see you soon

  22. j

    jrride4fun

    San Diego

    7 reviews

    5.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on January 23, 2020

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    My brother and I came there for restaurant week again and were not disapointed that is for sure. From the appetizer to desert with a delicious skirt steak for the main we both were very impressed and will tell others as we have before. Thank you again, Jerry

    Terra American BistroResponded on January 26, 2020Great to hear! Thank you for the review and hope to see you back soon.

  23. M

    Michele

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 20, 2020

    overall4food5service4ambience4
    We visited Terra American Bistro for SD Restautant Week and have discovered a neighborhood gem. We arrived earlier than our reservation and the host was able to accommodate our party of 3 immediately. The food was original and delicious (loved the salt and peppery calamari). Farmhouse feel, fresh ingredients and friendly servers. We will be back.

    Terra American BistroResponded on January 26, 2020Awesome to hear you loved our hidden gem. Don't be stranger. Hope to see you back soon.

  24. MK

    MaryK

    San Diego

    27 reviews

    5.0

    27 reviews

    Dined on January 18, 2020

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Everything was perfect as usual. We each ordered our favorites which lived up to expectation. Our waiter was attentive without being obtrusive. A hostess was waiting to seat us when we arrived. It was a bit noisy because they had several family parties but everyone seemed to be having a great time so it was okay.

    Terra American BistroResponded on January 20, 2020Glad to hear you enjoyed your experience. We appreciate you taking time to review us.

  25. JD

    JDiner

    San Diego

    63 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    63 reviews

    Dined on January 12, 2020

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Everything was awesome about this hidden gem. Bobbie and the hostess greeted my husband and I. He ordered a craft beer and I ordered a yummy craft manhattan. I had the calamari which was devine and the beet salad which was one of the tastiest bites I have had in a long time. My husband had a build your own entree. The fish was cooked perfectly. The mac and cheese was delish. Topped it off with the best bread pudding I have ever had. Chef stopped by the table TWICE. Where in San Diego does that happen? And Bobbie the owner stopped by as well. This is the sort of special touch that makes you want to return....along with the amazing food.

    Terra American BistroResponded on January 17, 2020Thank you for your kind review. We love what we do and love to share it with others. Stop back in anytime.

  26. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 1, 2020

    overall3food5service2ambience4
    New Year’s
  27. AJ

    AlexJ

    San Diego

    5 reviews

    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on December 29, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Great food and excellent service on Sunday for brunch.

    Terra American BistroResponded on January 2, 2020Great to hear.

  28. GL

    GeneL

    San Diego

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on December 29, 2019

    overall5food5service4ambience4
    We had a great evening at Terra Bistro. The food was excellent and the prices were very affordable! We couldn't have asked for a better atmosphere to celebrate a special occasion! Service was quite good and everything was just perfect.

    Terra American BistroResponded on January 2, 2020We appreciate the review. Thank you for choosing Terra.

  29. CF

    CarolF

    San Diego

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 25, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Terra American Bistro is always a favorite for us! We love the excellent selection and taste of the food! Wow.... what great choice of restaurant for Christmas Day!!! Just Excellent!

    Terra American BistroResponded on December 30, 2019Thank you for choosing Terra for your holidays.

  30. CH

    CarolH

    Los Angeles

    19 reviews

    5.0

    19 reviews

    Dined on December 25, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Terra American Bistro has become our family tradition for our Christmas Day dinner. We always feel welcome and know that we are in for a delicious treat. This year again, we were not disappointed. THANK YOU!!!

    Terra American BistroResponded on December 30, 2019You are very welcome. It is our pleasure. Thank you for choosing us.

  31. r

    rjvr1954

    San Diego

    36 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    36 reviews

    Dined on December 25, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Your ENTIRE STAFF is AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Always a joy to have dinner at Terra. See you in 2020

    Terra American BistroResponded on December 30, 2019So great to hear. I will let our team know.

  32. KC

    KiyaC

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 17, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We came for the vegan option and was not let down! Everything we tried was fresh and amazing. We are definitely coming back real soon!

    Terra American BistroResponded on December 30, 2019You are welcome anytime!

  33. MK

    MaryK

    San Diego

    27 reviews

    4.0

    27 reviews

    Dined on December 14, 2019

    overall4food5service5ambience5
    They really need a hostess at the front desk. We had reservations for 5:30 and arrived about 5 minutes early. We stood for a good 5 or 10 minutes waiting for someone to acknowledge us - the 2 servers were obviously overwhelmed. When the 3rd server showed up things settled down. The lack of a hostess seems to be a continuing issue. Other than that the food was superb as always! Service excellent! We are devoted customers and the restaurant is on our permanent list.

    Terra American BistroResponded on December 30, 2019Thank you for your feedback. We understand and are adjusting things.

  34. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Diego

    99 reviews

    4.0

    99 reviews

    Dined on December 9, 2019

    overall4food5service4ambience4
    Terra is always relaxed and friendly, and their specials are indeed special—not that the regular menu is any slouch. On a rainy Sunday, we opted for the pot roast and meatloaf as comfort food, along with the excellent seafood chowder, topped with the butter cake—which to me is more like a big soft cookie—and the chocolate cigar. Yum to it all!

    Terra American BistroResponded on December 12, 2019We appreciate your review. What a great way to spend a rainy night!

  35. r

    reddove113

    San Diego

    11 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    11 reviews

    Dined on December 8, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    The ease of making a restaurant reservation is phenomenal. Customer Service is Hi, and appreciated. Every item on the menu is delicious, and good-sized servings. The menu it’s self has a wonderful variety of dishes, and a ginger lemongrass lemonade is to die for.

    Terra American BistroResponded on December 12, 2019We love what we do. We are pleased to hear you love it too.

  36. r

    rjvr1954

    San Diego

    36 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    36 reviews

    Dined on December 1, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    The FOOD and STAFF ….. are EXCELLENT!!!!!!!!!! We always have a great meal and a great time.

    Terra American BistroResponded on December 12, 2019Thank you!

  37. P

    Pandi

    San Diego

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 29, 2019

    overall5food4service5ambience5
    We had a lovely Thanksgiving meal. For the meat eaters it was well worth the price and quite delicious. A little disappointed with the vegan selection/price. However...our vegan family member had a wonderful experience. We would definitely return to do it again.

    Terra American BistroResponded on December 1, 2019We appreciate your feedback.

  38. b

    bbritt

    New York Area

    8 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    8 reviews

    Dined on November 28, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Going out for Thanksgiving dinner conjures images of cold turkey sitting on plates of congealed gravy, under heat lamps. But at Terra, it was fabulous! Each meal was as freshly prepared as if made to order - just as it is on any other night when you may be smart enough to choose to dine here. The pork loin may possibly have been the best thing I have eaten in a year. And let's not forget the golden beet and goat cheese salad that came first! Seriously - the team at Terra is amazing. You can't go wrong. The food is fresh and cooked to perfection. There is always a wide range of choices - meat, vegetables, and fish. Desserts are on par with the rest of the meal - which is to say...DEElicious. The servers are courteous and friendly without joining your party and they're knowledgeable about the food and wine choices if you just can't make up your mind. You can dress up or dress down - it's incredibly comfortable. GO

    Terra American BistroResponded on December 12, 2019This was so pleasing to read. Thank you so much for taking time to give us feedback and thank you for choosing Terra.

  39. CH

    CoriH

    San Diego

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 28, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    The food NEVER disappoints. Chef Jeff served up a wonderful Thanksgiving meal. Everything was tasty and moist. The plate was full and we left stuffed. Thanks Terra for a wonderful Thanksgiving experience.

    Terra American BistroResponded on December 1, 2019So happy to hear you were pleased.

  40. PJ

    PJMcK

    San Diego

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on November 28, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    As usual, excellent food, great service - Nick is always alert and attentive to service needs

    Terra American BistroResponded on December 1, 2019You deserve the best everytime.

FAQs

Terra American Bistro offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (619) 293-7088.

Terra American Bistro is rated 4.3 stars by 1469 OpenTable diners.

Not available on OpenTable

Unfortunately, this restaurant is not on the OpenTable reservation network.

If you like, we'll notify you by email if this restaurant joins.


Is this your restaurant?
Claim this listing

Additional information

  • Cross street

    El Cajon and 71st St

  • Neighborhood

    La Mesa

  • Hours of operation

    Brunch Sun 9:00 am–2:00 pm Dinner Daily 4:30 pm–9:00 pm Happy Hour Daily 4:30 pm–6:30 pm

  • Cuisines

    Contemporary American, Tapas / Small Plates, Comfort Food

  • Dining style

    Casual Dining

  • Dress code

    Casual Dress

  • Parking details

    Street parking available and on weekends & evenings parking in business lots around restaurant.

  • Public transit

    San Diego Trolley stop on 70th street.

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, MasterCard, Visa

  • Executive chef

    Jeff Rossman

  • Additional

    Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Chef's Table, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Delivery, Full Bar, Gluten-free Options, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

  • Phone number

    (619) 293-7088

  • 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 16 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: (619) 993-1437

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